How to Correct Your Bad Public Speaking Habits

Bad Habits

Bad speaking habits can hinder your way to delivering a good presentation. As audience, we’ve all seen these kind of speakers — either they’re too nervous or they are too seasoned they unknowingly developed a distracting mannerism. Good thing we have an expert communication coach to help you out on this. Today, we’re gonna talk about the worst public speaking habits and give you concrete suggestions on how you can go about correcting them.


  • Fiddling with PenPen fiddlers are those who have a habit of clicking a pen or popping the cap of a marker while speaking. This is a sign of nervousness and can be very distracting to your audience.How to Correct It: It’s normal to be nervous. But we can give you a strategy that can help you manage this. Try deep breathing exercises before and during your presentation. Other than calming your nerves, it can also give you a stronger voice.
  • Hands Behind the BackPutting your hands at the back is a display of shyness. Audience will also tend to delay their trust on these kinds of speakers because they don’t feel the confidence in them.How to Correct It: Rather than putting your hands behind your back, you can use it to emphasize something or make a point. When not gesturing, be comfortable with dropping your hands on your sides naturally.
  • Hands in PocketsWhile others do this because they think it’s cool, know that this can actually show lack of self-confidence.How to Correct It: Again, you can utilize your hands to create useful gestures. But when you are not, be comfortable with dropping your hands on your sides naturally.
  • Unnecessary PacingMovement is good — it keeps your audience alive and can actually be used to help you resonate with them. It’s useful, but up to an extent. Because when pacing tends to be excessive, it can also show nervousness.How to Correct It: Plan you pacing, every movement should have a purpose.
  • Shifting WeightStanding on one foot and constantly shifting it every now and then displays laziness. Avoid doing this or you’ll easily draw your audience away from your presentation and closer to snoozeland.How to Correct It: Practice proper posture. Don’t slouch and stand lazily. We suggest planning your pacing, especially when giving long talks.
  • SwayingHave you ever seen a speaker who sways all throughout his talk? More apparent to younger speakers, swaying is another mannerism that shows off nervousness. Avoid this if you want you audience to be able to focus on your presentation.How to Correct It: Again, practice a strong, confidence stance, with your feet slightly apart.
  • Touching Your FaceDue to anxiety, some speakers just can’t help but touch their face. This displays the feeling of uncomfortability and should definitely be avoided at all costs.How to Correct It: Whenever you tend to do this, gently remove it and try to convert your nervousness into power.


  • Clearing of ThroatConstant clearing of throat is particularly distracting, and sometimes annoying, especially with a microphone. How to Correct It: Prepare water if you need to. Make sure you’re in the pink of health days before your talk.
  • Swallowing RepeatedlyAgain, a manifestation of nervousness is swallowing. Try to avoid it as much as you can. How to Correct It: Really, the key here is continuous practice. Practice in front of the mirror first, and then in front of a few close people to get yourself used to it.
  • Word WhiskersThis is the most common among all speech habits. Word whiskers are words, sounds, or expressions that a person use as fillers when they can’t figure out the next word or phrase to say. Sometimes it also happens just out of habit. Examples are “like,” “ahh,” and “uhm.” How to Correct It: Practice your speech by heart to prevent mental block.

Most habits come out of nervousness or a from an unconscious mannerism that has been earned over time. In order to correct them, you first and foremost have to be aware of it. Try to ask your colleagues to watch you deliver a speech. Have them comment and see if you have a particular bad speaking habit. With that, you can go on and start working on correcting them. If you need additional help from our expert coaches, feel free to inquire at Speech IONIZERS for public speaking programs.