12 ways to piss off your audience

Why make an effort for your audience when you can just piss them off?

Too difficult, you say? Not at all!

There are so many things you can do to anger, frustrate and confuse an audience. If you’re struggling for ideas, the 12 tips below—individually or in combination—are sure to do the trick.

1.  Talk about something completely off point. Why speak about something relevant to the audience when there are so many other things to discuss? Just go on Google. There are millions of things to talk about.

2.  Don’t prepare. Who says you have to prepare? Just show up and wing it.

3.  Arrive late. It’s dramatic and it makes a statement. You’re busy and you’re going to make sure that people adjust to your schedule.

4.  Use crappy slides. Lots of them. If you need guidelines, these should do:

  • Only text. No images.
  • At least 60 words per slide. Bonus points for every slide with more than 75 words.
  • Small font. Nothing over 16 point.
  • Feature your business logo prominently on every damn slide.

5.  Talk fast. Pretend that you’re an auctioneer at some local fair. If anyone asks you to slow down, politely explain that you feel the need for speed. Alternatively, suggest that people listen faster. If you can also mumble, the effect is enhanced.

6.  Talk about yourself and your accomplishments and stress how wonderful you are. You are wonderful and people should know. Do this for an extended period of time.

7.  Use lots of acronyms and obscure references and assume that everyone knows what you are talking about.

8.  Don’t look at the audience. There are so many other things to see: the floor; your shoes; your hands; the ceiling; your slides (see Point 4 above); whatever is outside the window.

9.  Maintain a closed body language. Cross your arms, put your hands in you pockets or just hug yourself. Scowling enhances the effect.

10.  Go over time. A good rule of thumb is that for every 15 minutes you are allotted, you should speak for at least five extra minutes. Thus, if you have one hour to speak, speak for one hour and 20 minutes. Minimum.

11.  If there is a Q&A and someone asks a silly question, mock them.

12.  If you promise to do something after you speak, don’t follow up. Ever. You’re too busy (see Point 3 above) and besides, you have to get ready for your next audience.

Yes, if you want to piss off your audience, the 12 tips above will work wonders.

Then again, perhaps making an effort isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 277) – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett – American Businessman, Investor and Philanthropist

“If you can’t communicate and talk to people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”

— Warren Buffett

Photo courtesy of Fortune Live Media
Posted in Motivation, Quotes for Public Speakers | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments


Very pleased to share with you that Florian Mueck and I have hit 1,000 downloads of the app version of Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™.

RHETORIC it is the world’s first public speaking board game. Florian and I created it a few years back. The game began as a physical board game. We then went digital with launch of the app, followed by several upgrades.

Players can play different themes (Classic, Business and Family) and in different languages (English, Spanish, French, Russian, German and Catalan). More themes and languages will be added.

People are playing RHETORIC in homes, businesses, schools and organizations around the world.

“Challenging and fun!”

“Fantastic for improving my speaking skills!”

“What a great way to spend an hour or two!”

These are just a few of the comments that we have received.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has played.

If you would like to find out more about the app, visit our website or click on the icon of your favourite app provider below.

Now, it’s your turn to speak.

Posted in Rhetoric - The Public Speaking Game | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Never wear a name tag when you speak

If you are invited to speak at a conference or other event, you will likely receive a name tag when you register. It will usually be in a plastic envelope that you attach to your clothing with a pin, or that you hang around your neck on a lanyard.

Name tags are useful. They tell us a bit about the people we meet and they can get us out of a jam when we have forgotten the name of someone we met earlier during the coffee break! But on stage, name tags have no place.

Speakers often wear their name tags when they go up to speak. They shouldn’t. Name tags serve no useful purpose when a speaker is on stage and can actually detract from a presentation. Here’s why:

  • Nobody can read your name tag from that distance. Besides, you will have already been introduced—or you will introduce yourself—and you’ll be listed in the programme if there is one. So the audience will know who you are.
  • Even if people could read your name tag, often it will flip around.
  • Name tags can interfere with microphones, especially lapel microphones.
  • Name tags on a lanyard swing when you move and can make noise when rubbing against buttons or fabric.
  • The plastic envelope can reflect the stage lights.
  • They just look bad on a speaker.

The solution is simple. Before it is your turn to speak, remove your name tag and put it in your purse or pocket or just leave it on your seat. Once you have finished your talk, you can put it back on.

Of course, if you are amazing on stage, you won’t need a name tag for people remember you.

Photo courtesy of Student Veterans of America
Posted in Delivery | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 276) – Emma Bannister

Emma Bannister – English-Australian Presentation Expert, CEO of Presentation Studio and Co-founder of Presentation Guru

“Invest the time and energy into planning a powerful presentation and your audience will invest their time and energy in you.”

— Emma Bannister

Posted in Preparation, Presentation Guru, Quotes for Public Speakers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment