Discover Your Tics

LDiscover Your Ticsast week the annual Grammy Awards show was broadcast. One of the co-hosts was LL Cool J and the day after the event Jimmy Kimmel roasted him for a little tic that he spotted. This clip is hilarious but it highlights the point I’m making today.  We all have little tics when we speak in front of audiences. These may be tics we have all the time no matter what. But when you’re in front of an audience they are amplified. Especially if it’s a large audience and your image is being projected on big screens.

In a previous post I mentioned the value of taping yourself and watching. One of the things you’re looking for are these tics. It might be that you pull you ear every few minutes, or you play with the microphone cord (although cordless mics are much more prevalent today), or you tap your hand on your thigh. It doesn’t matter what your tic is, what matters is that if it’s visible to the audience they will do to you what Jimmy Kimmel did to LL Cool J. They will begin counting how many times during the presentation you do that. And guess what they’ll remember about your presentation?

One of the worst kind of tics for any presenter is the verbal tic. These are usually what I call ‘reset words’ that we use. I call them that because speakers use them to reset a train of thought or concept. A classic reset word is ‘just’. It’s particularly popular in certain Christian churches as a prayer word, ‘Lord just bless us today as we just seek to do your will and just guide us as we just strive to know you better and Lord just know that we just love you with our whole hearts and just want to show the world just how much you care. Amen.’

Do you know what your tics are? If not, why not? If you do then make a plan to reduce or eliminate them when you are presenting. You just want your audience to just leave with the point you were just trying to make and not just have a new drinking game that’s just based on how many times you said just.

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