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The 5 Most Common Speaker Prep Mistakes

By | Nick Morgan |

What are the mistakes that speakers make over and over again when preparing their speech content?  Here are the 5 most common ones that I’ve seen during a lifetime of attending speeches, coaching speeches, and of course giving them (and making mistakes) myself.

When a speaker’s biggest fear is losing the audience’s attention, focusing on bells and whistles instead of storytelling. A sure sign that a speaker is excessively worried about attention is an early obsession with creating many, many slides, with lots of swoops and builds and video embedded.  Don’t misunderstand; I have nothing against cool slides.  But the story should drive the slides, not the other way around.  Moses (and God) worked out the commandments first, then chiseled the stone tablets, in what is perhaps history’s first example of the right use of slides.

When a speaker has discovered the power of authenticity and ends up giving us too much information.  We humans are a fickle bunch.  We want to know the real, authentic story, but we lost interest quickly if we feel that the speaker is indulging in excessive detail in ways that slow the story down.  In other words, we want the storyteller to be expert enough to know what to leave out as much as what to put in.  Imagine if Luke in Star Wars had treated us to a long chapter on the farming techniques he and his uncle had been utilizing to get sufficient crop yields out of a dry planet on his way to Mos Eisley.

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