Speaking As A Non-professional Speaker: 3 Do Not’s and 4 Do’s to Effortless Presentations

It’s funny once you become a speaker everyone comes to you for tips and advice. They also get a little nervous when they see you in the audience thinking you are judging their every move. Let me be clear. I am a speaker, not a speaker coach. There is a difference. I don’t generally sit in the audience judging speakers. I go because I love the speaker, I want to see them succeed and I want to learn.

Then, every once in a while I see simple things non-speakers do when they get to speak that I wish I could tell them to not do. But, it’s to late.

So, here goes: Three Do Not’s and Four Do’s to raise the bar on your speaking for non-speakers.


  •  Don’t start by saying – if I only had more time or This talk is usually an hour

We all know how long we agreed this session would be. Make the most of the moments. You just wasted a minute telling us nothing.

  • Don’t tell us what you have but cannot show. You only annoy the audience that way

We spend the time wondering what you are not telling us rather than focusing in on what you are.

  • Do not read your speech off your notes/handouts.

We chose to attend because we want to hear your stories, expertise and insights. Yes, you can read a quote or two but we came here to hear you not


  • Do remember – less is more. In today’s ADD/ADHD world, keep it simple. Get to the meat of what you want to say. Eleven bullet points in 30 minutes is impossible if you attempt it you will exhaust yourself and your audience.
  • Do dress like you. Dress comfortably and if there is a microphone make sure you have a pocket or belt you can put it in or on.
  • Do make sure the microphone is centered on your mouth. Test it before they introduce you.
  • Do tell us what you want us to think, do or be different as a result of our time together.


As Naomi Rhode said as a Past President of the National Speakers Association it is a privilege to be asked the take the platform. Make the most of it.[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://hollyduckworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_4927.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP is your spirit strategist, as a CEO and business consultant speaker, author, and practitioner student at Mile High Church. She works with businesses to have clear vision, authentic action, and heart centered transformational leadership. Follow her @hduckworth or at www.hollyduckworth.com[/author_info] [/author]

I love hearing professionals, who are not speakers share their expertise if you consider these seven points you can improve and polish your presentation with less effort and more ease.