The 16 Most Common Public Speaking Mistakes (part 2)

Last week we explored the first 8 common public speaking mistakes. Today, we’ll continue with another 8 more.

Public Speaking Mistake #9 Reading from the Slides

Reading from your slides is fine, but if you rely on them too much, you’re going to lose the audience’s attention very quickly. Instead, speak confidently and use your slides as a brief overview of what you want to say about each slide.

Public Speaking Mistake #10 Giving a Bad Speech Title

A bad speech title can have a negative impact on the speaker and the audience. A good title can be a source of encouragement and inspiration. Apart from that, a speech title that is not related to your speech is a no-no. If you are talking about ‘Greenhouse Effects’ but your speech title is ‘Bitcoin’, then you’re going to either confuse or put-off the audience.

Public Speaking Mistake #11 Focusing Too Much on the Audience

This is more of analysis paralysis whereby you want to focus on every audience so much that you cramp every possible points in your speech so that every single audience benefit from the speech. Although the intent is great, but it will affect your delivery and, not forgetting, time.

Public Speaking Mistake #12 Relying on Notes Too Much

Some may say, get rid of notes, it makes you look unprepared. Some may say, you need notes, it makes you look prepared. In my opinion, notes are great to have when you need a quick look at the key points before putting the notes aside and delivering your speech. Avoid reading from your notes word by word.

Public Speaking Mistake #13 Not Utilizing Feedback from Previous Talks

Ken Blanchard often use this phrase by Rick Tate, a previous consulting partner with Ken,

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”

You may have received feedback, whether it was from your first speech, rehearsal or even after a number of speeches. Take the feedback constructively and use points that will help you in your next speech. When you don’t utilize the feedback, you won’t grow in your speaking skill.

Public Speaking Mistake #14 Failing to Captivate

People often read from a script or memorize their speech and this can be boring for others who are listening.

In order to maintain a natural flow of speech, it is important for the speaker to put their thoughts into words as they are speaking. This can be difficult to do when reading from a script or memorizing their speech. However, the speaker can still maintain a natural flow of speech by using gestures and facial expressions in order to keep their audience engaged.

Public Speaking Mistake #15 Informal or Formal?

Wear and act according to the event setting. This is more to the example of, if the event you are speaking to is a formal business event, you may not want to dress up informally or too informal. The tone should be formal and there should be little to no sensitive jokes or stories. This is because it can make some audience members to hear your feel differently or the message makes them feel like they’re not important and that they’re not worth taking the time to address them. This goes the same for informal events.

Public Speaking Mistake #16 Not Paying Attention to Detail

Public speaking is one of the most challenging tasks to do. Standing in front of a group of people can be intimidating and stressful, so it’s easy to make mistakes. Not paying attention to detail can happen to many things such as spelling error or data mismatch on materials. It can make the speaker look unprofessional and unprepared, especially if the mistakes are repeated.


It’s important to take your time when you are preparing for a speech. Practice makes perfect! Use this mistake list as a guide for things to avoid before giving your presentation or writing your script, because it’s much easier that way than saying “I’m sorry I made a mistake” in front of that crowd!

Public Speaking Mistakes


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