Here is a very insightful list from our speaker coaching team comprised of Susie Hawkins and Dianne Miller. I counted and recognize that I have been guilty of at least six or seven of them through the years. Lack of good training, laziness, or blindness to our own weaknesses can cause anyone to succumb to these mistakes. Thanks, Dianne and Susie, for such a helpful list of our top ten mistakes!
1. Not knowing your audience
2. Apologizing for yourself and/or your lack of speaking abilities
3, Not having a definitive, effective introduction
4. Not having a definitive, effective conclusion. KNOW WHEN TO STOP.
5. Not sticking to one main premise, cramming TMI into a message (one of the most common mistakes that even experienced speakers make)
6. Not using diverse illustrations (use a variety, don’t make it all about yourself/sports/ etc)
7. Going over your time limit – its RUDE
8. Flipping through Bible looking for verses. If you have several references, print them out in your manuscript.
9. Talking “down” to your audience, find some humility.
10. Reading a manuscript, rather than making eye contact and speaking conversationally.
Susie and Dianne suggest the following excellent but short resources for more specific help: Sue Bohlin’s article “So You Think You Want to Be a Speaker?” and Trevin Wax’s post which applies to any speaker, “Pastor, Are you Speaking in Tongues During your Sermon?”
What would you add as the 11th top mistake speakers make?