March 28, 2022

3 Mistakes Leaders Make in Public Speaking

by Coach Kardan

What are some of the common mistakes that speakers make during a presentation? The points below can cause failure of message delivery and have serious damaging effects. These can be a mistrust of leadership, nonchalance and a breakdown of relationships. It is of paramount importance to learn what to avoid to ensure your speech stands out.

  1. Lack of State Management

Before public speaking, many people including leaders become nervous. They therefore, internally say to themselves “I’m anxious and nervous, what if I fail, what if I embarrass myself?” This creates a negative state, and therefore they will go on stage with a negative mindset, setting themselves up for failure.

However, there are some simple techniques to manage your state. To put yourself in a positive state, there are breathing patterns including deep breaths, stretching and quick body movement such as jumping up and down to increase your heart rate. Of course, you don’t need to jump wildly and do summersaults, but this will help get the energy flowing. A great tip is to use a wireless headset microphone so you don’t feel physically constrained on stage and you have both hands free to express your message fully.

If you are a spiritual person, a prayer may also help put you in a positive state. Furthermore another important skill is visualisation. Visualize a happy audience with smiles on their faces. Visualize that they have been impacted with the content you delivered. Visualize a positive outcome. Once you have gone through these steps, you are ready to deliver!

  1. Lack of Rapport

A big mistake is that speakers tend to rush into sharing content rather than connecting with the audience first. This connection is called “rapport”. If you don’t create a strong rapport with the audience, you might as well just give them a piece of paper with the content and not be there!

Presenters also forget to thank the audience. Express how happy you are that they all showed up. Then introduce yourself so that they knows who you are and what gives you the right to speak. After this, it is important to ask a couple of questions that are relevant to the audience and the content. For example, if they came to study about finance, you can ask “How many of you want to earn more money?”. If this is a presentation concerning family wellness you could ask “Who wants a happy family everyday?”. Once the connection is clearly there, remember that the rapport must last all the way to the end of the presentation. One way to do this is to ask at the end “What was one important thing you learnt today?”.

  1. Relying on Slides or Notes

A big mistake is to rely too much on slides or notes. Simple slides can be useful, but the timing of sharing slides is crucial. The best timing is to share slides after rapport has been established. If the audience doesn’t know who you are, the slides are just information. Information is a problem today since we are always bombarded with too much information in our daily lives with our very digitally-connected lifestyles.

Another problem with relying on slides is in the case that something goes wrong! If the computer or projector isn’t working, you must still be able to deliver your content without the slides. You must have a backup plan. One idea is to have a white board, so that you can still jot down key words and the audience can take notes from them.

The worst type of presentation is when the presenter simply reads their notes. There is no impactful connection and you might as well just give them the paper and not waste the audience’s time!

These 3 points above contribute to a less effective, less successful presentation. If you have had such experiences, embarrassing situations or feel that you need to reduce such mistakes, come join our programs at Step Up International. We offer group or 1-to-1 private coaching lessons.

Coach Kardan is fully committed to supporting you personally. His expertise in public speaking training is unmatched and will guide you with his extensive knowledge, care, flexibility, skillfulness, and clear vision.

Visit our website: All the information is here. You can also read testimonials by former and current clients to understand more about the process and results.

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About the Author

COACH KARDAN is an entrepreneur and the CEO of three training companies in Japan, the UAE, and KSA. He is a management consultant and leadership trainer for government officials, leaders, and business executives. He is the author of two best-selling books, and he has been delivering educational seminars and training programs to more than 35,000 leaders and managers in the last 20 years. In 2019, with the support of the UAE Federal Youth Authority, he served over 5,000 young Emiratis by conducting leadership workshops and training programs in several youth hubs around the country, and with the help of the youth, he initiated the “Emirates Youth Leadership Certification Program.” He is a certified trainer from the Leadership Academy in San Diego, California. COACH KARDAN has served thousands of young and senior leaders to improve their performance and increase the revenue of their organizations to more than 2,000% within 3-5 years. He has been an executive coach to Fortune 500 CEOs and their teams. He has lectured at several prestigious universities and institutions worldwide and has influenced millions of people with his inspirational stories, business strategies, and life lessons.

Coach Kardan

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