Well Christmas is upon us – that season of overindulgence. Come on fess up you know what I mean all that good food and wine. It is the time we all seem to eat far too much – just have to cram in that last bit of Christmas pudding! Drink that last bit of wine! Fortunately we don’t suffer too many ill effects and everyone has a great time and enjoys themselves.

Unfortunately, when it comes to presentations and public speaking not knowing when to stop can have less pleasant results. In fact it can be very detrimental to achieving your goals or getting your message across. Not knowing when to stop can so very easy turn into waffle and you can then very easily lose your audience. All those nuggets of gold that you want to share become lost in the muddied waters of waffle.

So what can we do to prevent this happening? Firstly, as we have said many times, preparation, preparation and more preparation. It will avoid many mistakes and ensure that your presentations are concise and well organised.

Secondly, structure your presentations and speeches. Know what you want to say – what message you want to impart, what outcomes you want to achieve. Remember Winston Churchill and his pearl of wisdom when it came to speeches – Tell them what you are going to tell them, Tell them and then Tell them what you have just told them – Opening, Body and Conclusion – the basic structure of a speech.

Thirdly, be aware of timing. If you know the length of time you have for your presentation and you have structured your speech then you will find that this will prevent you from waffling. If you do find you finish under time – keep this time for questions – don’t rush in to fill it with words that will not add to your message.

Remember you can also structure your responses when answering impromptu questions. If you keep in mind point, reason, example, point – a simple structure to form your response it will keep you from waffling and keep you on track. The second point indicates the necessity to conclude, stop finish your response.

Know when to stop when giving presentations and speeches to ensure that your message, goal or aim is achieved concisely and competently. Want some more tips come along to one of Trischel’s Public Speaking Workshops to see how you too can put this into practice and learn the power of stopping!

And that overindulgence at Christmas time well what the heck it is Christmas – just don’t overindulge too much or is that an oxymoron?

I’m off to have that extra piece of plum pudding…

Merry Christmas to everyone

Trish @ Trischel

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