Major Mistakes Ep 06: The Performance

Your talk is not judged on the content alone. Your performance matters.


Takeaways What Not to Do:


  • Standing behind a podium

    If you have a podium, get rid of it.

  • Reading notes

    Trust your content, ditch the notes.

  • Un-natural movement

    Rocking back and forth or not moving at all are both unnatural and distracting to the audience.

  • Fighting with A/V crew

    There will sometimes be technical glitches. Move past it and don't engage in a public fight with the A/V team from the stage.

"You know, I don't trust my content so I'm just going to read my notes word for word every sentence and occasionally I'll look up but I'll look down real quick and get back to my notes so I don't even miss a line." Don't do that! Kymberlee

It's time to give that next big talk you have and you're in the middle of the talk and you're speaking behind a podium, or you are giving your talk and you're deciding, "You know, I don't trust my content so I'm just going to read my notes word for word every sentence and occasionally I'll look up but I'll look down real quick and get back to my notes so I don't even miss a line." Or whether you have a podium or not in front of you, you're rocking and you're doing some kind of predictable movement where you're in a cadence of some sort or worse you're not even moving at all. You're like a robot.

Don't do that. Those are some of the common mistakes I see that people make during their talks. First of all, if you have a podium, get rid of it. In most cases, the people think you want a podium. You don't. Get rid of it. Some technical talks you have to have a podium for some reason, I'm not sure why, but every time you can, move around the podium. Get in front of the podium. Or ask them to take it away because oftentimes they will.

As far as reading your notes, do your best to not do that either. Memorize your content the best you can and speak from the heart. We want to connect with you as an audience. We don't want to connect with a paper that you're reading. And as far as any predictable movements, video yourself on camera and take time to watch that so you can catch these predictable movements and most importantly, move. The audience loves to see you move, to see you be expressive. They want to see you so allow yourself to move all over the environment that you're speaking in front of and then you're going to have a great talk.

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