Article Category: Speaker Habits

10 Presentation Habits
My College Students – And You –
Must UN-Learn (Part 2)


Yesterday, Alex Rister introduced five habits that college students need to purge.

In this article, she continues with five more negative habits.

6. Faking or acting when delivering.

Delivery should be authentic and natural.  Often, students have incorrectly learned that audiences respond to funny and loud presenters, and they rely on foolish antics or acting like someone they are not.  I frequently see students trying too hard to be outgoing like the class clown.

Don’t invent a new persona when presenting, and don’t rely on gimmicks to win over your audience.

Last week, my students delivered persuasive presentations.  The last student to present was the shy, quiet kid in class who rarely speaks to anyone except when spoken to.  Automatically, this student had the audience’s attention because they quieted to hear him talk for the first time.  This quiet student didn’t stand on his head or juggle fire.  He didn’t tell jokes or try to make the audience laugh.  Instead, he was true to himself.  His delivery was effective because it was him!  Through his delivery, he showed his authentic self: quiet and reserved, yet knowledgeable and super duper smart.  He had the best delivery of anyone in the class.

How to Un-Learn this Habit…

Remember that audiences respond to real presenters, people who act in front of the room the same way they do in real life.  Don’t invent a new persona when presenting, and don’t rely on gimmicks to win over your audience.  In order to avoid faking or acting when delivering your next presentation, focus on developing your authentic speaking persona.  What are you like in real life?  Write down the 5 to 10 words your family and friends would use to describe your personality.  You want to embody those characteristics in front of an audience.

7. Creating bullet-ridden, ineffective slides.

Overused templates full of bullet points and too much text are not “visual,” so they do not work as visual presentations.  My students learn from their teachers that they should select a template in Keynote and put their entire script on a slide.  This results in the student turning around and reading his or her slides.  This breaks all three legs of Endicott’s presentation stool.

A student in a previous class argued, “I like slides with bullet points!  I’m not a visual person.  Why should I change my PowerPoints?”  This very student raised his hand a few lectures later to ask me what kind of font I was using because he liked it so much.  Clearly, he was a visual learner and didn’t even realize it.

How to Un-Learn this Habit…

Don’t resist the gospel of Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte!

  • If you have a lot of material to convey, pass out a document at the end of your speech filled with text, data, and important information.  You must remember  that Keynote and PowerPoint were designed to be visual aids – not a container for your 17-page report.
  • Reynolds and Duarte teach us the proper principles of presentation design, so study these masters and improve your visual design skills.  Start with Reynolds’ Presentation Zen and Duarte’s slide:ology.
  • Reynolds and Duarte teach the picture superiority effect, which says that audiences remember high quality images and photographs more than text.
  • Reynolds explains that a slide is “glance media.”  Like a billboard, a slide should convey a message that can be digested in 3 seconds.  Try the glance media test to ensure your slides will connect with your audience.
  • Duarte also asks us to try another test: the Twitter test… If audiences aren’t engaged, they are complaining about yet another boring presentation on Twitter or Facebook.

It’s your job as a presenter to engage your audience, so meet their needs by thinking like a designer and creating visual slides.

8. Starting with an apology.

I’m sorry, I had a lot of other work to do, and I didn’t have time to put a lot of effort into my speech.”  “I’m sorry, I’m sick today, so my voice isn’t going to be what it usually is.”  “I’m sorry, I’m really nervous.”  Nervous students apologize throughout their speech, but all students make the mistake of apologizing at the beginning of a speech.

Start with a positive!  If the first thing you say is negative, you create a negative impression on your audience, and you lose credibility.

This month, I had a student come to class and admit to a few of his fellow classmates that he wasn’t confident in his material.  The first thing out of his mouth when he stood up to do his presentation was, “I’m sorry, everyone.  I’m really shaky.  I just drank a 5-Hour Energy.”  By calling attention to the fact that he was shaking during his presentation, his audience couldn’t focus on his content because they were looking at his trembling hands.

How to Un-Learn this Habit…

Start with a positive!  If the first thing you say is negative, you create a negative impression on your audience, and you lose credibility.  You have 6 seconds to make a positive first impression on your audience; don’t waste that time apologizing.  Garr Reynolds tells us to start with P.U.N.C.H. … Use your first 6 seconds to make your audience go, “Wow! I want to hear more.

9. Believing that a good speaker never says “um.”

Some of my students believe that a good speaker never says “um” or “uh” and often ask on the first day of class if they will be penalized for this.  Students admit many of their former teachers have taken off 1 point from their overall presentation score for every “um” they utter in a speech. “Um” is an everyday part of communication, so why shouldn’t it be a part of public speaking?

Focus on delivery as a whole instead of nitpicking every sound that comes out of your mouth.

Teachers who insist on perfectionism in presentation are irrational and don’t understand the point of natural delivery.  My students learn that there is no such thing as “perfect,” and I only want their delivery to be authentic and natural to the person they truly are.

How to Un-Learn this Habit…

Focusing on perfectionism in delivery actually takes you farther and farther away from your authentic self.  This isn’t a good thing because, as Garr Reynolds teaches us in The Naked Presenter, naturalness is the key to effective speech delivery.  Instead, accept “um” as a part of our communication and language.  Focus on delivery as a whole instead of nitpicking every sound that comes out of your mouth.

10. Winging it.

Sometimes on the morning of speech day, a student will say to me or to his fellow classmates, “I’m just going to wing it.”  This commonly used phrase results, 99% of the time, in an “F” on the presentation.  The other 1%?  A “D.”  Research and preparation are essential for all 3 legs of the presentation stool.  If there is ever a presentation fail in my classroom, that fail is the result of a student “winging it.”

How to Un-Learn this Habit…

Want to learn more?

Nancy Duarte explains that 36 to 90 hours of preparation are essential to pull off a successful one-hour presentation.  Please do not ever believe you can “wing” any speech.  Your audience expects preparation from you as a presenter; otherwise, they wonder why you’re leading them in the first place.  Aristotle explains that ethos is all about the character and credibility of a presenter; an unprepared presenter has zero credibility.  Remember the success rate of students “winging it” in my classroom, and remember that success rate applies to the real world, too.

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Comments icon60 Comments

  1. Zaldy Co says:

    Haha! I am guilty of winging it. Thanks for the article. I have to stop winging it to take my presentation skills to the next level.

  2. While I think you are spot on with most of these, I must disagree with #9. Ummms and Ahhhs are not part of authentic communication, they are annoying verbal tics that can be easily eliminated.

    I find that by directing my students to simply be silent in the moment that they want to Ummm and Ahhh, they can improve the impact of their delivery tremendously, without impacting their naturalness at all.

    In fact, giving them permission to be silent for a moment, seem to help them in gathering their thoughts and speaking more deliberately and succinctly.

  3. Keith Tiemann says:

    Sadly #8 is a big issue with many students as beside causing their audience to focus on stuff such as “trembling hands,” it could seem that they are winging it. They would say sorry to try to cover-up the fact that they never prepared their-selves for the speech and look worst in front the class (audience).

    Also #9 deserves a half-half kind of answer. Saying “uhhh” or “um” is natural and normal to say in a speech, even great speakers say them sometimes. The issue is that you being to say it so often that 1/3 of the speech becomes a mix of “uhh’s” and “umm’s,” as now it can lead back to not being prepared for the speech and/or “winging it”.
    A student in CST 100-02 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College and still learning.

  4. Junaid Baig says:

    I am from CST 100-02 from NVCC Annandale campus. These habits that people have are really hard to get rid of. I think that it’s good that it tells how to unlearn them. One of the habits that I saw was of using the word “um”. I have used “um” in countless speeches throughout my school career. I am very used to it. Some teachers may say that students could get penalized, but it’s good that he says to be authentic and natural. It makes sense because “um” is apart of our language and why not use it. Not many people love speech giving but if they practice, then they will succeed.

  5. Nhat Doan says:

    Nhat Doan from CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College!

    Believing that a good speaker never says “um.” I’m pretty surprised to know that “um” in speeches are ok. Most of my teachers did deduct point if he/she heard “um” from my speeches and now this text’s saying the opposite thing. Very interesting…

  6. Jenny K says:

    I am from CST 100-02 from NVCC Annandale campus. I feel like number 8 and 9 relate to me the most. Our professor told us when we gave out vocare speech and you should not say sorry when you are giving a speech. With regards with the um’s, i think one should be able to use um but up to a certain point and not using it in every other word because it can be distracting.

  7. I am a student form Northern Virginia Community College CST 100-036N. #7 is a great point. I am also in habit of making presentations full of bullets and numbering. This article will helps me to identify my mistakes and take another look on my presentations in future. Also, it will help me to avoid overuse of bullets and numbering.
    Besides, #9 is a real gem. Till today, I believed that words like “um” or “uh” are not part of any type of speech presentation. The reason for this is mentioned in the article that most of the teachers don’t accept these words during speech. This article helped to understand that delivering speech naturally without using these words is usually very tough.

  8. Phuc Truong says:

    I’m a student of CST 100-36N at the Annandale Campus of NVCC.
    I think the habit number 9 is my biggest drawback. When I feel I’m losing my confident, I always come up with the “um” and “you know”. Although I know the audience will be bored but I keep repeating those words because sometimes I feel stuck with my speech and cannot deliver my speech fluently.

  9. Nur Uyguner says:

    Hi, I am from CST 100-036N from NVCC Annandale Campus.

    I totally agree with you about story telling. I think, stories are like a bridge that helps you to deliver your original message to the audience.
    On the other hand, as you said choosing bad topics is not always students fault, they sometimes assigned to talk about those topics. In that case, how can we, as students, are going to be humorous or going to tell a story about a topic that we are not connected?
    According to my experiences, I agree that message on the slides should be digestible by the audience in 3 seconds, because I remember those slides at the end of the speech.
    Your article is really helpful for a student, who just started to take speech classes.
    Thank you,

    H. Nur Uyguner

  10. Stella Min says:

    Hello, I’m a student of NOVA CST100-36N class. After i finish reading this article, I agree 100 percent with this article. I also think that starting the presentation with apology make the presentation un professional. I believe that we should not mention about our excuses and try our best to deliver points.

  11. Alex Fishkin says:

    I am a student at NOVA’s Annandale Campus for the class CST 100-36. #10 is my main problem. I don’t practice nearly enough, even though the idea in my head is perfect. However, because I’m sure it’s perfect in my head and as I write it down, I don’t deliver the speech perfectly, which is when it actually matters. Although the ideas in my head are so amazing, as I give speeches, more and more ideas come up into my mind and I let my mind wander, losing track of where I am on the speech. Because I forget where my place is, I tend to repeat something to remember where I am. If i practice enough and not wing it, I can at least remember where I am in the speech and when to say what, etc. For me, it’s because my ideas are too amazing that I take them for granted.

  12. Nicole Carlin says:

    The main problem that i have when i’m giving a speech is that i always try so hard to not say “um”. Everytime i feel myself about to say “um” i freak out and lose track because i’m so focused on trying to not say “um”. I’m glad to have read that good speakers are allowed to say “um”. This article was really helpful because, it really cleared all the myths that i thought was true about public speaking. Now i have a lot more confidence and knowing that some of the things i thought were not allowed can be allowed.

  13. Baha'a Bassil says:

    Hello my name is Baha’a Bassil and I am a CST 100-36 student at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Reading this article I could relate to one particular habit and that is the “faking or acting when delivering.” For the audience to feel the emotion the speaker has to feel the emotion. Though that doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. Some speakers when are put in front of a crowd completely change, they become entertainers. Muhammad Ali for example, he didn’t have the best grammar in the world but when he spoke people stopped and people listened. He said “At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.” Therefor I agree though to a certain extent with what you are saying.

  14. Michael Frigiola says:

    I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

    Looking at some of the other comments, it seems that everyone can relate to rule 9. I feel like it’s really a matter of opinion if filler words are acceptable or not. Personaly, I can’t help but kick myself every time I notice myself saying um. I feel that a simple pause is far more graceful than using filler words but I am still struggling to break the habit.

  15. Rachel Shubin says:

    Hi. I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

    The act I identify with is 6. Faking or acting when delivering. Sometimes for me it is hard to not put yourself in the moment you are describing and add too much excitement to your voice or act like the event is happening again.

  16. Ranjit Singh says:

    I am a student form Northern Virginia Community College CST 100-036N. #7 is a great point. I am also in habit of making presentations full of bullets and numbering. This article will helps me to identify my mistakes and take another look on my presentations in future. Also, it will help me to avoid overuse of bullets and numbering.
    Besides, #9 is a real gem. Till today, I believed that words like “um” or “uh” are not part of any type of speech presentation. The reason for this is mentioned in the article that most of the teachers don’t accept these words during speech. This article helped to understand that delivering speech naturally without using these words is usually very tough.

  17. Nathan Schell says:

    Good afternoon. I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

    #9 Believing a Good Speaker Never Says “Um…”
    Last week I spoke of my falling into #5 in order to avoid #9. After seeing a few speeches on YouTube last class, I clearly saw the point of #9. The best speech we saw was guilty of saying “um” a few times. Having “um” seem to be the main point of the speech by overindulging could be crippling, but I clearly saw that its presence doesn’t automatically ding the effect of a speech. Now I know, and as a wise man once said, “knowing is half the battle.”

  18. Thao Bui says:

    Hello, I’m a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. All those 5 presentation bad habits mentioned above help me notice the important and seriousness of a way to deliver a speech. Among all those, I especially like the point #8 – “Starting with an apology.” Normally, first impression is really important. If I said sorry to my audience about my lack of confidence, lack of preparation before giving them the speech, I would think it was like asking them for an excuse of not presenting well or sufficiently delivering what the audience expected.
    By the way, thank you for the good tips, they are definitely useful.

  19. H.Nur Uyguner says:

    I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
    I have been taught that a good speaker never uses the expressions like “ummm,aaa”. But I realized after reading this article that if you used them occasionally it sounds more natural then without using them at all. But I also think that if you use those expressions a lot you might loose your credibility in front of your audience. Also, I agree with starting with an apology makes people to notice the things that you don’t want anyone to notice.
    I also would like to add that I believe winging a speech never works for anyone. Audience will understand if you are prepared or not.

  20. Tony Amaniampong says:

    Hey this is Tony from CST 100- 36
    These are some valid tips that I’m sure all of us use when we are not fully prepared. Often times we try to think off the tops off our heads and many times its very noticeable. Think the best way to overcome this is to be more prepared with our speeches in order to have a better outcome.

  21. Nicole Carlin says:

    Hi, my name is Nicole and i am a student from cst 100-036n from the Annandale Nova Campus.

    The main problem that i have when i’m giving a speech is that i always try so hard to not say “um”. Everytime i feel myself about to say “um” i freak out and lose track because i’m so focused on trying to not say “um”. I’m glad to have read that good speakers are allowed to say “um”. This article was really helpful because, it really cleared all the myths that i thought was true about public speaking. Now i have a lot more confidence and knowing that some of the things i thought were not allowed can be allowed.

  22. I am a student in CST 100-036N at the Annandale campus of NOVA and I believe that the most important habit to un-learn is number 10. Sadly I am guilty of this bad habit in many of my speeches but not necessarily from a lack of practice. In my case I am just get extremely disorganized and nervous while presenting that I will start going off topic. I believe it would definitely benefit me if I could drop this habit so that my speeches seem more fluent and organized.

  23. Joseph Vorachack says:

    I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. All these habits in this article I truly agree with. They are hard to get rid of and finding a different way to deal with it. I think it was very helpful that this article was here to help us step away with these habits. It connects to how mostly everyone talk during speeches. It’s a very helpful article and a lot of people should read this to help them get better.

    I agree with post number 9. No one like pauses so we need something to kill the gap. I do it all the time but it became a really bad habit. It’s hard to not say um or ah during a speech. I guess it comes from not knowing the topic or forgetting something on the spot. I’m glad that i read this article because now I know what to practice on and not to over think everything.

  24. Renee Durieux says:

    Hello, I’m a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). The points that stood out to me the most were the ones that focused on being natural (practice and it’s okay to say um). Many teachers have said to be natural, but they have never taught me how, as you did in this article. In the past I did feel a lot of pressure to never say um and it ended up being more of a focus than making the speech flow and effectively communicate my message. That shouldn’t happen! Now thinking about it if I rehearse enough to a point that the message comes naturally to me, I think the number of times I say um will go down as well, and that will make for a natural speech. I enjoyed reading this article, thank you!

  25. Jamie Rhim says:

    Hello. I am a student in CST 100-37 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. It would be better I read this article before my three to five minutes speech which was on last week. If I read it last week, I would fix my bad habits and do better presentation. I think I have some bad habit like number 5 and 9. Now, I learned how to fix my bad habits and I will try.

  26. Danyal Babar says:

    I am from CST 100-37 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Sadly the problem that is the biggest issue for me is number 10. I normally ended up doing my speech with little practice. I have to unlearn this habit and practice before I do any public speaking. Than I would be less worried and nervous because of the practice.

    1. Abdulla Al-Thani says:

      CST 100-37
      NOVA
      Annandale Campus
      _____

      According to this article i can see that the habits and mistakes students make, are very common. i guess its human nature to pick up such habits, when structure and regulations have been applied to a form of communication making ‘normal talk’ into a speech worth of delivery.
      i found this interesting

      “Teachers who insist on perfectionism in presentation are irrational and don’t understand the point of natural delivery. My students learn that there is no such thing as “perfect,” and I only want their delivery to be authentic and natural to the person they truly are.”

      in all my classes were i had to present, in every presentation i took, there is always points deducted for saying um, even in middle school classes that focused on content such as science or literature. With that being said i automatically start to believe that a good speaker is one who doesn’t say “um”.
      This could be argued and challenged, but i would stick to what you said a speech delivered naturally would be better than an artificial concoction.

  27. Hyunmo Ahn says:

    Hi. I am a student taking CST100-37 at NOVA. This is a good article. I totally agree with these points except number 9. Um is an interjection that is “used to express doubt or uncertainty or to fill a pause when hesitating in speaking”. Like the author says, um or uh is a part of everyday part of communication. However, public speaking should be different. When you keep saying um, it sounds like you do not prepare for the speech well. I think we should use it as few as possible.

  28. Ahmad Wali Azizyar says:

    Hello,
    I am a student in CST 100-37 at Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus. I agree with Habit #8 (Starting with an apology). This is not a good habit because it represents a speaker’s weakness that s/he is unprepared. I think if someone really has an excuse or apology for a presentation, instead of mentioning it to the audience it would be better to let the professor or whoever is in charge of the presentation know a head of time in order to find a solution to that problem. Finally, making apology not only causes the audience lose interest in the presentation but also they no longer be good participants in the discussions.

  29. loan nguyen says:

    My name is Loan Nguyen, a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. This article is really helpful for students to improve quality of their speeches and become confident presenters. The article emphasizes most of popular mistakes that students usually make when they deliver their presentations. Personally, I try to eliminate the 9th habit from my presentations. During presenting, I easily get nervous and unconfident when I stand front of many people; thus, I sometimes do not remember what I want to say. As a result, “um” or “uh” usually happens in my presentations. I understand that saying “um” too many times when presenting is able to give audiences a thought that this presenter does not prepare the speech well or lack of presenting skills. Furthermore, saying “um” many times will make audiences bored and confused. Saying “um” or “uh” will be normal if it occurs couple times, but it will be terrible if it is repeated too many times in a speech.

  30. Duyen Nguyen says:

    I am a student in CST 100-37 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
    Tip # 8, Starting with an apology is not a good idea and I have seen many people have done saying it over time. I have to agree with the author that I’d feel the same way about the speaker if he opens a speech with an apology. I can feel that he is not confident and therefore losing his credibility. Tip # 8 is a great tip for me to learn because we need to be positive and project our confidence over our speech. Having saying that, the most important thing that I need to do is spend more time to prepare for myself. The more I know about the subject, the more confident that I can talk about it. Like many other people, when we are not prepared, we usually are nervous about it.

  31. Allison Currence says:

    Hi. I am Allison Currence, a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
    I thought there were excellent points in each of the topics, but I think the “How to
    Un-learn” tip in #5 is the most important. PRACTICE! Last week, when I gave my first speech in class; I realized I hadn’t practiced enough! I would lose my train of thought and have to go back to reading my script. I also think more practice will cut down on the number of “ums” during a speech; a few are OK, but one in every sentence is very distracting.

  32. Faisal Alarifi says:

    im a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. To be honest about rule #10 im guilty of winging it sometimes, especially if i know a little bet about the topic, and actually i got an A one time, saying that i have actually stopped winging my presentation because i realized that even though that i got an A one time the others grades were just bad i mean Ds and Cs, and researching a topic doesn’t take that much time and work also i have a better chance of getting an “A”

  33. Matthew Sterling says:

    I am a student in CST0-100-036 at the NVCC campus.
    I agree with most of the stuff in this article. The one thing I have the hardest time with is I tend to wing it. I may make up a speech, but then I change it before class starts into something I have not prepared for. I find the more prepared I am for a presentation, the more calm I will be about presenting.

    I picked up this bad habit in ENG-111, I could write a paper hours before it was due and still get an A on it. So I figured I could do the same with speeches, well, it doesn’t work that way.

  34. Metab Al Rumaihi says:

    This article helped me get some answers I always wanted. I have a problem with saying um and uh a lot. but I really learned something from this article. I’m a student from the public speaking CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. I sure hope I do better in my next speech or presentation.

  35. Steven Do says:

    Hi, I am from CST 100-037 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. I like this article because it shows the most issue that students always have when they have presentation. I can to say that habit # 8 is a big issue. Starting with an apology is not a good way to start presentation, for audiences will think that the speaker does not prepare before the speech. When the speaker says an apology, they also show that they are afraid of the presentation. I am sure that you should not start with an apology, for you will create a negative impression on your audience. I total agree with unlearn tip #8. I think if the first thing I start with a positive, then I will have a positive result.

  36. Lorena Sandoval says:

    Hello, I am a student of CST 100-02 at the Annandale NOVA. It was a little to read some of your tips because I’ve pretty much made all those mistakes. Yet it really inspired me to work hard , put a lot of effort in my speech and most important be myself during a speech. Thanks.

  37. Christian Portocarrero says:

    Hello, I’m a CST-100 student at NOVA and I wanted to say that all of this points are very helpful. I think the one that called my attention the most was the last one. I knew that for a good presentation there had to be preparation, but I did not know that so much needed to be dedicated for a one hour presentation. I guess it brings to my attention that I’m not putting enough time into my presentations. Thank for sharing this information I find it very helpful, especially now as I’m getting ready to grade my own speech that my teacher has recorded.

  38. Lera Tsayukova says:

    I am a student at NOVAs Annandale Campus taking CST 100-37. I can definitely identify with point 7 creating bullet-ridden slides. Although this is something I probably have been guilty of doing as well as some of my classmates I have to say that I see professors do this sometimes as well. Theres nothing worse than sitting through a presentation in which you can basically tune out the presenter since all the information is contained on the slide in front of you. Ive definitely also been guilty of trying to “wing” things in the past, although it was more out of fear and anxiety of the actual assignment than laziness. Im astonished that a successful presentation really requires as much time as the author suggests. And its unfortunate that theres isnt more we as students can do to resolve our issue with the use of “umm” and similar words since most professors will definitely dock points for this in presentations. Overall though, I mainly agree with the points above. Great article. Thank you!

  39. Emma Olmedo says:

    Emma Olmedo, I am a student in CST 100-37 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

    I related to #7 Creating bullet-ridden, ineffective slides. I have realized in the past, using power points many people tend to just write their entire presentation on the slides rather than utilizing it as a simple visual aid. Instead of being visual pleasing it tends to be reading along with the presenter. Keeping it simple and visually pleasing tends to be more effective.

  40. jeysabeth gonzalez says:

    student in CST 100-37 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College

    #10, winging it
    This habit is something that many students do, especially as we get older. Most of the time we think because we’ve had to give so many presentations that we can just “wing it” and be fine. I think its very important to prepare for a speech especially for a speech that regards a topic you dont know much about. I think once students practice and prepare more for speeches they’ll be more comfortable in delivering their speech and wont feel the need to wing it.

  41. Wesley Fouse says:

    Hello, I’m a student in Professor Tirpak’s CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. I agree with all of the bad habits that are described in this article. But one that really stood out to me was #10. I deal with a little bit of public speaking anxiety and often the moment I hear of an upcoming speech the first thing I want to do is avoid working on it. I continue to pretend the speech doesn’t exist all week. Suddenly, the day of the speech arrives and I realize that I have nothing to say and I simply decide to “wing it”. Unfortunately, like the article said, it never really works out quite as well as I’m expecting. I end up stumbling over my words, making up facts and actually embarrassing myself more than I would have had I just done the work earlier in the week. If I start sooner and give myself more time to prepare I can avoid the humiliation and bad grades of “winging it.”

  42. Madison Suh says:

    I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. I agree with the article; using a bullet-ridden powerpoint is boring. It is important to effectively engage your audience by including visuals, changing your tone throughout your presentation, and using hand gestures. Many people use bullet points to remember the sequence of their thoughts. However, this often causes speakers to — many times, unintentionally — transform their presentation into a reading. The solution would be to practice.

  43. Matthew Delage says:

    I am a student in CST0-100-036 at the NVCC campus. I am guilty of winging it. On my first speech I added and redacted material from the speech that I never practiced. And I feel that I should have practiced more to be better prepared. To me, my speech felt like I was winging it since I was changing small details during my speech and the delivery didn’t come off as smooth as a well practiced speech. I also would not have looked down as much from my speech to remind myself where in my speech I was.

  44. Darnell Ross says:

    I really think this article is helpful to me for the simply fact the it tells you how to break bad habits and most of all my favorite which is not picking a boring topic to speak about. This article gives you pointers on what not to write about and ways to break bad habits a person have during a speech. Turning off the lights during a speech to me is definitely a bad habit that shouldn’t be allowed. If the lights are off during a speech that can bore the whole audience and can lead to everyone falling asleep.

    CST 100-36

  45. Amreen says:

    Habit number 9 is something I’ve been trained to not do. Being a previous DECA nerd, our presentations were memorized and timed so we weren’t allowed to say “um” or any sort of filler phrase. I think it’s hard to un learn the habit of saying it and un learn the habit of not saying it. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to say um, but after so many years, it’s hard not to count the number of times someone says um or like in a speech, especially if its an excessive amount. I’m a student at NVCC’s CST 100-36 class!

  46. jhon vallejos says:

    Cst 100-036N

    The article was well written and i agree with most of them. #8 surprised me in a way because i want to be honest with the audience but i understand the side effects as well. #9 was definitely helpful and explains a better way to not make mistakes. Overall the article is helpful. Thanks a lot.

  47. Xi Chen says:

    I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
    I agree with #8 9 10. If students don’t have confidence to their speech,of course, that will be a bad speech. As a result,learning no apology is necessary for us.
    I have a bad habit which like using a lot of um when i have a speech. This article teach speaker to focus on speech. it can help it.However, I don’t think so. This is a habit, I want to know how to change this.

  48. Rob Amery says:

    As a borderline professional procrastinator, I very often have the urge to just “wing it”. While this doesn’t always work, obviously, it has in fact worked several times on papers and projects, enough to where I am not entirely discouraged from doing it. It means that sometimes I think to myself, “I will just wing this, it will be fine.” then think “but I should just do it.” then reflect on past experience and see all the successes that I have had with last minuet prep and do that instead. It sucks, and of everything in this article, that is the biggest issue for me.

    Student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College

  49. Metab Al Rumaihi says:

    I’m a CST 100-36 in NVCC and I did learn a lot from this article. sometimes I do “wing” it and that’s very bad with me. but this article really helped me understand a lot of things. Thanks.

  50. Matthew Sterling says:

    I am a student at NOVA CST-100-036N.
    I have definitely done winging it quite a few times. I always figured that if I managed to pull of an A once without preparing, that I could do it more times.
    I find though, when I do this, I am much more nervous and do not have the material I need to give background information on the topic, thus limiting my insight into it.

  51. Nuria Nunez-Quezada says:

    I agree with #6 everyone should be themselves. Youre kidding yourself if you can do that forever. Be confident and act yourself, people will like the truth better than having everything based on a lie
    a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College

  52. Joe Nolan says:

    Hi I’m a college student and NOVA Annandale Campus in CST 100-36. I used to apologize to the audience for forgetting what to say or if my visual aid like a power point was not working properly. I would recommend that people do not apologize during a presentation due to the fact that most of the time the audience does not know that their is anything to apologize for. So why draw attention to it.

  53. Cameron Bias says:

    I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale campus of NVCC. I agree very much with number 9 in my school career I encountered the perfectionism teaching method when it came to giving a presentation, and it caused me more anxiety and added unnecessary stress to the assignment than needed.

  54. Ashley Ramirez says:

    Hi my name is Ashley Ramirez and I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The articles content that stood out to me was number 8. I choice 8 starting with an apology because it’s something I have done before in my speeches. I just get so nervous it just comes out my mouth so it breaks my nerves a little bit. This article actually showed me that I shouldn’t do that because I just call attention to me being more nervous rather than my audience focusing on what I have to say. The article taught me to start out positive and with a punch so my audience will want to hear more.

  55. Tyler Jones says:

    I am a student in professor Tirpak’s CST 100-36 class.

    The point I found most relevant to my own speeches was “Faking or Acting when delivering”. This is something I learned last year – that when presenting a speech you need to almost treat it like a conversation. Although you have prepared for it, it is important to try to act as natural as possible. This is particularly important when answering questions. When asked a question at the end of your speech to which you do not know the answer, it’s much better to simply reply, “I don’t know the answer to that..” or explain what you do know regarding the question rather than pretend like you know an answer by offering things which aren’t related to the subject at all. This tends to confuse the audience even further and it’s often apparent that you don’t know the answer. It can really confuse the audience further, especially in a small group setting.

  56. Allison Currence says:

    Hi. I am a student in CST 100-36 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. I think the points discussed in #6. “Faking or Acting when delivering” are very true. It’s hard enough to research the material, prepare and practice your speech – trying to be someone you’re not, will only add to the stress. If you’re outgoing and funny, don’t try to change; being warm and natural will win over the audience. If that’s not your personality and you try to fake it – everyone will know.

  57. Hwanung Choi says:

    I am a student form Northern Virginia Community College CST 100-036N. in most of presentation, i always here ‘um’ or ‘you know’ or ‘like’ every time and i use it a lot too. but i realized it was bad habit after read this article. also for myself, i don’t like to be acting in anytime and i believe others too. faking or telling lie will be always the worst thing even it could be delivered perfectly. so i would try to concern those bad habits, and i would improve my real presentation skills.

  58. Kyungwon Kim says:

    Hi, I am a student at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Public Speaking CST 100-36.

    I totally agree with this posted article. I also think that good habit is important thing to speak to audiences. If you do not, it could not delivery well to them.
    A Good speech is from good preparing and habit as usual.

  59. Rachel Grenz says:

    I am a student at the Annandale campus Northern Virginia Community College. I am in CST 110-17. This whole article has so much useful information that I will definitely be using. Especially, #9 how “um” are actually okay to use. When I present I try to never use “um” because I was one of the students that had a teacher that would take points off for using um. I am so relieved to know that using um is alright and that I should focus on the speech as a whole than nitpicking. Another piece of advise was #5 about “writing and then reading the script”. I also relied on my script and I would just read off of it but I now know that it takes away from the presentation and that I should try and present without the script in my hands and just practice over and over so that I memorize it. This article has some amazing advise.
    Thank you

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Geekspeak @geek_speaker — Sep 28th, 2012

10 Presentation HabitsYou Must UN-Learn http://t.co/2wYNIRmt & http://t.co/yaQiJhhe via @6minutes #presentations

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Caryn ღ dW. @_caryn — Oct 19th, 2012

5 dingen die je moet afleren als het gaat om presenteren volgens @alexrister1 http://t.co/SWHGBnLr

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5 dingen die je moet afleren als het gaat om presenteren volgens @alexrister1 http://t.co/SWHGBnLr

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5 dingen die je moet afleren als het gaat om presenteren volgens @alexrister1 http://t.co/SWHGBnLr

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5 dingen die je moet afleren als het gaat om presenteren volgens @alexrister1 http://t.co/SWHGBnLr

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