Break your best speech habits

The professional presentation habits that you worked hard to cultivate can work against you. Your next speech may be better if you vary from these practices:

  • Memorizing your remarks. Jot down the most effective lines you deliver instead of relying on your memory.
  • Gesturing broadly. Go big to exaggerate and add humor. Tone down your motions when conveying drama or a similar emotion.
  • Smiling. When your expression is a habit, you no longer convey warmth and emotion. Plus there are times when a smile is inappropriate.

— Adapted from “The 5 Bad Habits of Experienced Speakers,” Olivia Mitchell, Speaking About Presenting,


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