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A Single Tip to Improve Your Presentation’s Effectiveness By 18%

Peter Sandman


Applying the right elements to make a speech memorable is often not easy – you may be better off reducing the distrations instead. Here is a simple tip that can boost the quality of your presentation by as much as 18%.


Since every second person I hear at a lecture makes this mistake, it seems reasonable that fixing it can have a massively positive impact on the presentation’s quality.


The otherwise brilliant Peter Sandman, a globally acclaimed risk communication expert, gave a fascinating interview in 2013 about ‘Risk communication in pratice’. During the 49 minutes of the talk, he said it 147 (!) times.


What is it? I’m sure you know.


You got it: it’s the “you know” mistake.


Listen to any non-rehearsed speech, radio talk, one-on-one discussion and pay attention to the number of times a speaker says ‘you know’. Be shocked.


Psychologists say that when a person says ‘you know’, they in fact mean ‘I don’t know but I hope you do’. It shows uncertainty and it hurts your credibility.


As it’s a terrible filler and an even worse habit for many, weeding it out can be tough. It requires that you record yourself and consciously, painstakingly eliminate each and every one this useless formula. Believe me, your audience will reward you.


When you’re done, all you need to do is revise a few other lists of what to avoid, and you’re set to make a killer presentation!


Posted in Public speaking

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