December 1, 2006

Public speaking: Distractions



We're often not aware of the little movements and twitches that are distracting our audience.

Sometimes, the movement is something that can't be helped. For example, last night I was watching Wanda Sykes performing standup. She had a microphone with a long cord. Occasionally, the cord would get in front of her and she would have to fling it out of the way. This was distracting to me (and I can only imagine how distracting it was to her).

Sometimes, the movement is unconscious and something we do all the time. Some people adjust their glasses, or push their hair behind one ear. Some people scratch their nose or tug on their jewelry.

I was giving a presentation last year and suddenly noticed how much my bracelet was a distraction. Every time I lifted my arm, the bracelet would slide up my arm and become lodged in place. Every time I lowered my arm, I would shake my arm so the bracelet would loosen and fall back to my wrist.

I literally discovered this as I was speaking, so I used it as an example of what NOT to do. I decided that I would not wear bracelets when giving presentations, because they are distracting to me, and therefore distracting to the audience.

What's distracting your audience?

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1 comments. Please add yours! :

funwithyourfood said...

AW I think it's adorable that you met your husband there. What a great atmosphere huh?

thanks for stopping by!

Teddy

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