Silly Phrases the Speaker Said – and you can avoid when speaking

George TorokCommunication skills, Public Speaking Leave a Comment


He was introduced as a bestselling author and PhD. However, that doesn’t guarantee a winning presentation. There was much we could learn from this speaker about the topic if only it was delivered FOR the audience instead of AT the audience. The best lessons the audience gained were how NOT to deliver a presentation.

When it’s your turn to speak avoid these mistakes and silly phrases demonstrated by this esteemed speaker.


I worked for your competition… oh but I like you better

Why would a speaker say that? What was the point. Why insult us and especially our leader who hired you? After you insulted us, were you trying to recover and apologize for your indiscretion? Check your ego before you speak.


Study this slide with the logos of my clients

This slide was unnecessary and, on the screen, far too long while you talked about other subjects. What’s the point? You were hired and paid to speak. You already got the job and we believe you have credibility – until you see the need to keep promoting yourself. Why not show a personal message from your mother telling us what a wonderful son you’ve been. (That was sarcasm.)


We’re gonna talk about

This phrase appeared several times during the presentation, near the beginning, part way through and even near the end. Why did you keep making this false promise? “We” didn’t discuss anything – unless you think of yourself as the royal we.

Instead, it was you talking and us listening. To me, “we” means you and me. That means that each of those promises was a lie.

Raise your hand. Stop overusing this cheap trip

Raise your hand if you know of…

You used this question and variations several times. This can be a good way to engage your audience – if you mean it and show them that you care about the response. Also be clear on the questions and purpose. Some of your questions felt insulting. Although this is one technique to engage your audience if used two or three times – you used it five or six times and we got bored with this cheap trick.  We are not your trained monkeys!


So far so good? Not boring yet?

These were two curious questions. Why did you say this? You didn’t want an honest answer. This was simply for you because maybe you thought you were boring. In case you wanted the truth, I was bored and annoyed.

Audience does not want the details

Here’s more of my research

As a PhD, I understand your penchant for facts. That’s good. Perhaps you adapted your dissertation to this speech and didn’t realize that we don’t care about all your research. We want useful steps that we can take. We want action. You’d know that if you researched the group before you spoke.

Before you proudly tell us facts that we don’t care about ask yourself these two questions.

“So what?”

“How would this information help my audience?”


Mr. PhD, no thanks for your presentation. I rate your presentation the same as the mushy scrambled eggs – which I detest.

PS: If you have technical expertise be aware of the audience and why they might be listening. They want actions they can take to solve their challenges.

Phrases and words to avoid when you are speaking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.