10 Gaffes, Goofs, and Mistakes
to Avoid

This is a list of 10 gaffes, goofs, and mistakes that oftentimes sabotage the careers of professional speakers. (Aspiring and emerging speakers tend to make more of these mistakes, of course. But even experienced speakers who have been in the industry for decades have been known to make a whopper of a screw-up on occasion.)

In listing this blunders, I'm not putting anyone down or making judgments. I freely (but not happily) admit that I've made most of the mistakes that I've listed here... as well as quite a few that I haven't listed. Making mistakes is normal; it shows that you're trying. (But that doesn't mean that you should try to make mistakes!)

And I don't claim that these are the most common blunders, or even that they're the worst mistakes you can make. But I do know that if you can avoid falling into these ten traps, you'll be way ahead of the game!

Knowing about mistakes is a good start, but it would also be helpful to correct - or avoid - these boneheaded blunders. So along with each blunder, I've listed some "action steps" that will help you avoid these blunders. (Of course, avoiding these errors won't guarantee that your career will be successful, but it will certainly improve your chances of success!)

This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but it does list some of the more serious - and common - errors that pro speakers make. I've based some of this list on the blunders that I've observed other speakers making over the years, but many of these blunders come from my own experience. And - despite my best efforts - I continue to make mistakes.

But I try to minimize my boneheaded blunders, and you should also. If this little list keeps you from making just one blunder, it'll save you months (or years) of lost effort and gobs of money.

So take risks, and don't be afraid of making mistakes. But try to learn from other people's mistakes and not make the boneheaded blunders that other people have already made. It's a waste of your valuable time and money.