10 ways to avoid a standing ovation

At the end of your speech, if audience members leap to their feet, clapping and cheering, it’s so embarrassing, isn’t it? It takes ages to calm things down again, and it ruins your walk off stage. Well here are ten ways to make sure it never happens to you.

  • Introduce yourself at great length, including your books and qualifications
  • Begin by saying “I’m not very good at this, but I’ll do my best”
  • Read your entire speech, word for word, from notes
  • Avoid any eye contact with members of the audience
  • Use slides with numerous bullet points (for extra protection, use the “fly in” effect)
  • Tell a few jokes with no relevance to your topic
  • Tap the mike and say “can you hear me at the back?”
  • Go way over your allotted time
  • Skip through your last 20 slides in 30 seconds
  • End poorly, with no takeaway message

There. That should guarantee that they stay in their seats, if they haven’t already walked out.

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