There is a rampant epidemic among public speakers, and that is that far too many are giving presentations that audiences love. To make matters worse, these same presenters are not only entertaining their listeners but also giving them actionable steps to improve their lives and businesses.
To ensure you don’t fall into this trap, we want to present you with ways that you can absolutely bomb your next presentation so your audience is bored, annoyed, and uninspired.
Just Wing It
They say that practice makes perfect, which is why you should never practice your speech before getting on that stage. Audiences don’t want to listen to someone who sounds totally prepared. They want a speaker who seems unprepared because there is a sense of danger and unpredictability. It’s a bit like being an action hero.
For your next presentation, DO NOT practice, just wing it instead – you’re more likely to screw up and your audience will love that.
There is another school of thought that says thinking positively results in positive outcomes. But you don’t want that, your goal is to bomb. That is why it is imperative that you load your head with as many negative thoughts prior to your presentation as you can.
Here are some thoughts to get you started:
“I am going to bomb.”
“The audience is going to hate me.”
“I have no idea what I’m talking about.”
“I’ve failed at everything I’ve tried in the past and today will be no different!”
Stay Up the Night Before
Research has shown that staying up late the night before a presentation increases your stress levels. This is exactly what you want. Stress releases cortisol, one of the powerful “fight or flight” hormones which causes our hearts to race and blood pressure to rise.
An inability to focus, think clearly, or speak without stammering. This is exactly how you want to come across, like a zombie. People love zombies, that’s why “The Walking Dead” is so popular.
So, do your best to stay up as late as you can the night before to ensure you don’t get proper rest. If at all possible, pull an all-nighter and watch the magic happen.
Here are a couple of ways you can ensure you don’t get a proper night’s sleep:
Eat a heavy meal very late – Research reveals that your body processes food differently at night than during daytime hours. When we eat late at night, our body is forced to stay awake to process all of those calories. This is what you want, so best to eat a whole pizza as late as you can. Oh, and why not add a 2-litre of soda so you’re properly caffeinated.
Stare at your smartphone or laptop – The Sleep Foundation has conducted research proving that the blue light emitted from our electronic devices impacts our brain’s ability to release the sleep hormones that make you tired. So, the night before your presentation, it’s a good idea to watch movies on your laptop or play Candy Crush on your phone all night.
Assume the Audience Hates You
Many presenters are told to look for friendly faces in the audience and focus on those. This is supposed to remind speakers that the audience is on their side and wants them to succeed. Of course, this trick ultimately helps speakers relax and feel confident. Which is EXACTLY what we don’t want.
If you want to really bomb, your best bet is to assume the audience hates you. Really hates you and is sitting on the edge of their collective seat, just waiting for you to screw up so they can have a good laugh at your expense. This will make you feel vulnerable and anxious so you have no choice but to completely tank your speech.
Rush Through the Whole Thing
Successful speakers are the ones aware of pacing. They know to take deep breaths throughout their speech to slow down the pace. They know how to use pauses effectively to keep their listeners engaged. Speaking slowly and clearly is a great way to ensure your audience receives your message.
But we don’t want that. We want you to bomb, so for this reason it would be in your best interest to speak as quickly as possible, never pausing, not even for one second. For added effect, stumble over your words as much as possible.
Don’t Make Eye Contact
When you make eye contact with your audience, it tends to make them more engaged and listen intently. As this is NOT your goal, you should look in one of three places: down at your notes, down at your feet, or at your PowerPoint slides.
Okay, obviously we are being quite sarcastic with these tips. Your goal should never be to bomb during your presentation. You should always look for ways to succeed during your speech. With that in mind, if you do the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what we’ve just recommended you will be the kind of speaker who is prepared, confident, and engages their audience.