You’re an expert in your industry.
However, when you speak… you’re failing to impress. Remember, it’s not always about what you say, but how you convey it. Here are 5 toxic speaking habits you should avoid to ensure you impress every time you speak:
1. Turning Statements into Questions
Problem: Are you making statements but phrasing them as questions with your voice inflection rising at the end?
❌ “We could do this?”
✅ “We could do this.”
Pro-tip: There’s no need to be overconfident. But when you’re sure about something, express it with confidence.
2. Forgetting to Smile
Thought: Why should I smile excessively, like a creepy clown?
Reality: A missing smile might portray you as:
A neutral face lets the audience infer your feelings. A smile, however, grants you control over that narrative.
Pro-tip: Begin with a smile. Mix up your expressions throughout. Conclude with a smile.
3. Being in a Hurry
When you’re rushed:
- You speak rapidly.
- You skip over words.
- Pauses are rare.
Ironically, the audience comprehends better when you speak more deliberately.
4. Reading from Slides
Downside: If you rely solely on your slides and read from them, you might not come off as credible. The audience might just think, “This presentation could’ve been an email.”
Pro-tip: Slides are there to guide you. You, as the speaker, deliver the core message.
5. Not Checking In
Speaking extensively without gauging your audience can make them feel neglected. Trust is hard to build if they feel you don’t care about them. Periodically:
- Observe your audience.
- Confirm they understand.
- Engage them in the discussion.
Every time you communicate, someone in the audience ponders, “Why should I trust this person?”
Now, you have the answer: “Because I know my stuff, and I know how to articulate it.”