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We’re bound to say it, but when it comes to transforming yourself from an Ape to a Gentleman there’s no better place to start than with a bit of body hair removal, also now unfortunately known as ‘manscaping’. After all, nobody should have to guess where a man’s haircut stops and where his back begins. Or wonder whether he’s harbouring a Wookie down his underpants.

“Men now spend twice as long on hair removal than women and also spend more money on it, with over half removing leg hair, chest and back hair and nearly as many grooming their eyebrows on a weekly basis.”

And we’re clearly not alone in thinking this, because so popular has manscaping become in recent years that according to a survey by Fragrance Direct, men now spend twice as long on hair removal than women and also spend more money on it. Over half regularly shave their leg, chest and back hair, and nearly as many groom their eyebrows on a weekly basis. A survey by Cosmopolitan, meanwhile, revealed that 90% of men trim or completely remove their pubic hair regularly.

The Benefits

Removing body hair can help enhance muscle definition

The benefits of manscaping are multi-fold: as well as helping you feel cleaner, more confident and sexier (the top three reasons cited for hair removal according to a Braun survey on the subject), it also enhances muscle definition if you work out regularly. It’s no coincidence that the Braun survey also revealed that men who visit the gym at least once a week are 63% more likely to trim or completely remove their chest hair.

But with nipples to navigate and “Private Ryan” to protect manscaping is one male grooming activity that needs to be carried out with care and attention. On a very basic (and in some cases quite literal) level, it’s gorilla warfare: a man has to be armed, ready and experienced to fight the fur. So, here’s a top-to-toe masterclass in body hair removal – one that that will help turn even the most uncoordinated of body groomers into the smoothest of operators.

Your Manscaping Choices

There are several ways to remove unwanted body hair. Some straight-forward; some plain eye-watering. Below are your best options.


Waxing rips hairs out from the root and offers longer lasting results than shaving (you’ll be reasonably hair-free for around four weeks). And because hairs grow back with fine ends there’s less chance of itchiness and irritation. If it sounds too good to be true that’s because it is – grown men have been reduced to tears by a back wax.


An ancient hair removal technique which uses a sugar paste to remove hairs. Sugaring is a bit like waxing – though generally a little less eye-watering – and is good for larger areas. Though home kits are available, it’s best done by a professional.


The manual removal of individual hairs with tweezers. Plucking is ideal for errant eyebrows but isn’t a technique you want to employ near your nether regions.


Fast, simple and inexpensive, shaving is probably the easiest way to phase out the fur. But, as with shaving your face, you run the risk of razor burn, cuts and ingrown hairs. If you’re shaving down below you’ll also need a steady hand and nerves of steel.

Depilatory Creams

Effective and simple to use (apply, leave on for a few minutes and wash off) depilatory creams contain chemicals that weaken hairs at the root so they just fall away, leaving skin super-smooth. What’s more, Veet claim their depilation creams result in up to 80% fewer ingrown hairs. They’re especially useful for chests, backs, shoulders and legs but should not be used on your man bits unless you have a high pain threshold or an excellent sense of humour.

Body Groomers

According to Braun, 21% of men now own a body grooming tool, and you can see why. Easy to use, trimmers give total control over how much hair you remove, get the job done in a matter of minutes and rarely cause nicks, cuts or irritation.

Laser Hair Removal

The best option for long-term hair removal and manscaping, this treatment is especially good for problem areas like the back and shoulders. Best done by a professional, it’s the most expensive and time consuming option as you’ll most likely need several sessions to get the job done. And though treatments often permanently reduce the number of hairs they don’t stop regrowth altogether.


Using an epilator is a bit like having your own private army of hair pluckers waging war on unwanted hair by removing them from the root en masse. As with waxing, results last around a month. Although women have been using handheld epilators for legs and armpits for years they’ve never really taken off with men. Possibly because, like waxing, epilation isn’t entirely painless.

The Best Ways To Manscape


eyebrow trimmer

Eyebrows are great. They keep sweat from dripping into your eyes and are perfect for showing Spock-like scepticism. They just happen to look better when there’s two of them rather than just the one.

Luckily, managing a monobrow is simple. You can simply shave the area using a gadget like the Philips OneBlade (the shaving head is the perfect width for removing hair between brows in one go), pluck out the hairs with tweezers (do this after a shower to open the pores, place the ends of the tweezers at the root and pluck hairs out one at a time in the direction of hair growth), or wax the area using eyebrow strips.

Rogue eyebrow hairs can be snipped off with round ended scissors like Tweezerman’s Facial Hair Scissors. Or you can simply whizz over the entire ‘brow with a beard/body hair trimmer or specialist tool like Wahl’s Precision Trimmer, which features a special attachment for eyebrows.

Alternatively, consider “threading”. An ancient eyebrow-shaping technique that uses cotton thread to remove the hairs, it’s increasingly popular with men wanting an eyebrow tidy. It’s available at many beauty salons, department stores and in some barbers too. 

Ears & Nose

nose hair trimmer
tweezer nose

Like a love of golf and a taste for fine wine, errant ear and nose hairs are generally something that come with age. But unlike golf and fine wine they’re both annoying and unwelcome. Although scientists still aren’t 100% sure of the cause, it’s thought changes in the hairs’ sensitivity to male hormones like testosterone as we age acts as a trigger for uncontrolled growth.

Plucking can lead to follicle damage and, if you’re unlucky, infection. Ditto waxing. You’re better off snipping off unwanted hairs with rounded ended scissors or by using a specialist gadget like the Philips Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer.

Remember, though, that while it’s an inconvenience, nasal hair is there for a reason: to trap dust and pollution from getting into your lungs. So don’t remove too much and don’t go too deep into the nostril either.

Of course, there’s always hair singeing – where ear hair is burnt with the help of a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. It’s a technique widely practised by experienced barbers in Turkey. And one best left to experienced barbers in Turkey.


philips clipper
Remington Barba

You’d have to go way back in history to find a time when having fur-filled pits was actually useful. Scientists suspect it may have played a role in helping attracting a mate by trapping the “irresistible” sweat our pits produce and acting as a primitive amplifier.

These days we have eau de toilette for that so, unless you’re attached to your armpit hair for aesthetic reasons (and plenty of men and women still find it attractive), it can happily take a hike. Not only will reducing or removing pit hair rob the bacteria that cause BO of a home, it’ll also make it easier for your body wash and antiperspirant to come into contact with your skin, enhancing their effectiveness in the process.

The simplest (and least itchy) option for manscaping your pit hair is to cut it back to around 2cm or so in length using hair clippers, a beard trimmer or a body groomer. Shaving with a razor is the most straightforward way to remove hair altogether (hack it back with a trimmer to the shortest length possible first to make shaving easier) but will leave you with itchy regrowth. And if you think that’s bad on your chest just wait until you experience it under you arms.

A much better option if you’re after a super-smooth finish is paying for a professional underarm wax. Not only will the results last longer, the regrowth, when it starts, is finer and softer so not nearly as itchy. Expect tears when you have it done though.


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ingrown hairs

Trimming chest hair is probably most men’s introduction to manscaping. Mainly because it’s where body hair is most prominent and prolific. Not only will trimming chest hair help show off hard-won pecs if you’re a gym-goer, it can make you feel cooler and fresher too and even improve the line of T-shirts, ensuring they don’t look lumpy and uneven.

Shaving, waxing and sugaring are all options if the look you’re after is alabaster, but a simpler option is to keep it neatly clippered. You won’t get as smooth a finish but you’ll still be able to see muscle definition beneath and if you trim hair to a centimetre or so in length you’ll to avoid the itchy regrowth associated with shaving.

Trim your chest with a gadget like the Philips Bodygroom when hair is dry (it’s easier to see how much you’re removing, plus hair relaxes and lengthens slightly when wet so you might end up cutting it too short otherwise). Trim up to the edges of the nipples rather than going over them to avoid accidents. And keep stomach hair the same length to create an even, balanced look.

If you’re feeling creative, you can contour your chest and stomach hair to create various different looks. Removing the hair below your pecs but leaving the stuff that’s on them longer can make the chest look slightly broader. While you can create the optical illusion of a more V-shaped body by trimming chest hair into the shape of an elephant’s head and trunk.

For a completely smooth chest you’ll need to wax, sugar or shave. If shaving, always begin by trimming hair back as short as you can with a body groomer or beard trimmer first. Shave with the direction of hair growth and apply an aftershave balm or lotion afterwards to soothe skin.

To minimise the risk of ingrown hairs exfoliate twice weekly with a body scrub. Products designed to minimise ingrown hair growth on the face, like Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment, are also perfectly safe to use on other parts of the body you’ve shaved.

Back & Shoulders

nads cream

While sporting a full on a chest rug is rarely a hindrance (Sean Connery, Hugh Jackman and Henry Cavill have no shortage of admirers) a hairy shoulder is rarely anything other than a scary shoulder. Hairy backs, meanwhile, often crop in top 10 turn-off lists, even though a survey of male members of Mensa found that the hairier the back the more intelligent the man.

If you’re after a baby-soft back you could try trimming it (extendable body groomers exist to allow you to trim your own back hair), but your best bet is a back wax, performed by a professional in a salon or, if there isn’t too much hair, a willing partner using wax strips. Nad’s For Men Body Waxing Strips are designed for tough male body hair, easy to use and come with cooling wipes to calm post-waxed skin.

The good thing about waxing is that you’re much less likely to experience itchy regrowth (truly maddening when it’s on your back or shoulders) and you shouldn’t need to wax again for around a month or so, saving money and time with a more efficient manscaping routine.

Another option for backs and shoulders is a depilatory cream like Veet for Men Hair Removal Gel Cream or Nad’s For Men Hair Removal Cream, which dissolves hair at the roots. It results in a smooth finish but again you’ll need to enlist a not-too-squeamish assistant.

To avoid irritation follow the instructions to the letter (foolish is the man who doesn’t as anyone who has used hair removal cream will tell you). Rinse thoroughly and apply a little antiseptic cream or tea tree spray afterwards to minimise irritation.


gillette skinguard
anthony defense

The pubic area is one of the most popular manscaping destinations. This probably has less to do with the fact that a tidy trunkline is aesthetically pleasing or the fact that numerous surveys show people prefer their partners to be neat and tidy downstairs as it does with the fact that trimming is thought to add an extra “optical inch”.

If you still want to prune your pubes, a body groomer is your best option because they’re designed not to cause nicks and cuts to your nether regions. The Philips One Blade Hair & Body’s tagline is “cuts hair, not skin” – which is extremely reassuring. They’re great for trimming hair so it looks neat and tidy (the most popular option) but can also be used to remove it altogether if you opt for the shortest setting or remove the trimming comb.

If you also want to shave your balls, use the trimmer to cut the hairs back first and then tackle them with a wet razor. As with shaving your face use plenty of shave cream, take your time (obviously) and splash your boys with cold water throughout to keep skin taught as you shave. It goes without saying that you’ll want to do this while sober.

Since the shaft of the penis tends not to have too many hairs, the best (and safest) way to remove them is to snip them off individually using safety scissors. Simply pull the hairs away from the skin with your fingertips and snip the hairs off as close to the skin as you dare. It’s a time-consuming manscaping process but less risky than hacking away at it with a razor.

Once you’ve finished manscaping downstairs, apply an unscented aftershave balm to soothe any skin you’ve shaved and think about wearing briefs rather than boxers for a few days afterwards – they help prevent prickly regrowth from irritating the skin around the testicles. Products like Anthony’s No Sweat Body Defense can help minimise discomfort in the days after manscaping too.

Legs & Feet


Cyclists shave their legs to make them more aerodynamic; swimmers do it to reduce drag and for the psychological boost feeling smooth and sleek in the water provides; while some rugby players do it to make them slipperier customers during tackles. But with the Fragrance Direct survey revealing that 53% of 25-34-year-old men groom their leg hair it’s clear not every man shaves his legs for sporting reasons.

If you’re manscaping other parts of your body it makes sense to bring the legs into line, hair wise, of course. Shaving is the simplest solution. Do it after a shower or bath to soften the hairs and apply a fragrance-free aftershave balm afterwards as you would if you were shaving your face. The Philips OneBlade is another solution for legs because it doesn’t cut the hairs quite as close as a traditional razor so reduces the risk of irritation – and nasty nicks and cuts.

Further south, Bilbo Baggins might be able to rock a pair of furry feet but it’s much harder for a bloke in sandals to pull off the look, especially if his toe hair is thick and dark. Hairy toes are actually a sign of good health (it shows there’s decent circulation to your extremities), but if you want to remove the hair for aesthetic reasons then use a depilatory cream (a small amount is all you need) or wax them with a home kit (cut larger strips meant for the chest and shoulders into toe-sized slivers and rip off in the opposite direction of the hair growth). Avoid shaving with a razor as this will leave the hairs with unsightly blunt ends that will make it obvious you’ve been trying to hide the fact you’re a Hobbit and manscaping adverse.

Popular Body Hair Styles

So, if you’re looking to leave your hair as nature intended, what are the most popular body hair styles for men currently? Well, Fragrance Direct’s survey offered up the following.

1. The Tree (20%)


The typical version of The Tree involves shaping a moderate amount of hair on the upper chest with a small trail leading down to the stomach. Most popular amongst the “younger generation” (21%), this evergreen approach to manscaping allows men to proudly display a standard growth of hair all year round.

2. The Top Heavy (15%)


These manscaping heroes rock a well-trimmed mat of hair on the top half of their chest but keep the stomach area smooth. This look was popular across the board, sported by men of all ages.

3. The Rug (14%)

This look epitomises old-school alpha male masculinity with celebrity supporters including Tom Selleck. Fans of this style tend to be 25 years and over, with a chest full of hair to be proud of, keeping the look defined with a quick trim over the summer.

4. The Snail (11%)

This notable male landscape is common amongst younger men who want to keep any hair above the belly button at bay, with a small trail of hair across the stomach.

5. The Woolly Jumper (11%)

Most impressively, but not for the faint at heart, these hirsute gentlemen channel their inner cavemen externally in a style which is most popular amongst those 31 years and over. To keep this look under control, trim hair to a suitable length on a regular basis.

The post From Ape To Gentleman: The Modern Man’s Guide To Body Grooming appeared first on Ape to Gentleman.

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By: Lee Kynaston
Title: From Ape To Gentleman: The Modern Man’s Guide To Body Grooming
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Published Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2021 08:00:50 +0000

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4 Steps To PURGE Your Wardrobe – How To Get Rid Of Clothing Clutter In Your Closet

4 Steps To PURGE Your Wardrobe closet jpg

It’s Purge Night in your closet.

All bets are off.

All laws are suspended.

For twelve hours, only powerful clothes are safe.

Which outfits will you spare?

Which deserve to die?

man purging wardrobe

A quick look at Rotten Tomatoes will tell you that the jury’s out on whether the premise of the movie The Purge – a society kept under control by a yearly 12-hour period with no laws or emergency services – holds up to scrutiny.

But when it comes to your wardrobe, maintaining order via an annual period of merciless settling up actually makes a lot of sense.

Today, I’m going to show you how to lay your internalized “laws” and emotional hang-ups aside and embrace the purge.

Rule 1: The Purge Lasts a Scheduled, Set Length of Time

man examining his wardrobe

Know when you need to purge. Sometimes it’s because a lot of your wardrobe has become worn out and you’ve been making do with it for too long. For many men, a transition to a new phase of life prompts the need for a clean-out.

If your clothes don’t reflect your age or where you are in your career, or you have a lot of things you never wear, it’s probably time.

Once you know it’s needed, mark it on your calendar. Block off a Saturday afternoon and resolve to only do that.

Set a strict time limit. That way, you’ll be less tempted to procrastinate AND less likely to dither unnecessarily about your decisions. The more time you allow yourself, the more you’ll overthink things.

Like the film’s, your purge should be annual. Marking aside time to check out your wardrobe in a deliberate way will save you time in the future – time shopping, time getting dressed, time panicking because you forgot that the shirt still hanging in your closet has a hole in it.

Subsequent purges won’t be as drastic as your first one. That’s okay. The point is, you’re keeping your wardrobe up to date, in good shape, and pared down to the essentials.

Rule 2: Authorized Weapons Only

man in hat inside the wardrobe closet

For your closet purge, your “weapons” are the questions and concepts you use to aid your decision-making. And heads up: the methods you might be thinking of – making three piles, looking only for what you literally never wear – are weak.

You want to separate the best of your wardrobe from what just doesn’t make the cut. You want a highly selective process. In your new, stylish wardrobe, every single piece should be a winner.

In his book Essentialism, Greg Mckeown presents a series of questions you might ask while cleaning out a closet, and better questions you could ask instead. He uses the analogy of de-cluttering our closet in the same way we de-clutter our lives.

But let’s focus on his closet strategy.

Don’t ask, “do I like this?” More than likely you do at least a little bit, or you wouldn’t have bought it in the first place.

Instead, ask: do I wear this often? Do I look GREAT in it? If I saw this on a store shelf today, would I buy it again at full price?

These are much more powerful questions. They’re derived from one of my men’s style equations: the style equation of value.

If it’s not a ‘hell yeah,’ then it’s a ‘no.’

Rule 3: All (Mental) Emergency Services Are Suspended

guy holding bag with clothes to trash out

That anxiety you feel when you think about getting rid of stuff is a mostly sunk-cost fallacy – the irrational belief that something you’re not using is worth holding onto because you’ve already spent money on it.

It may pay off elsewhere, but thrifty self-control won’t serve you here. Turn the “but I spent money on this!” sirens OFF for the duration of the purge.

Move fast and be brutal. Don’t let “someday” or “maybe” stop you from paring down your wardrobe. Maybe someday you’ll get back in shape, but in the meantime, it’s just taking up space (or worse, getting worn and making you look like a walking midlife crisis).

Besides, would you really want to celebrated a body transformation by wearing out-f-date clothes?

Clothes that are even slightly dated make you look cheap, and not in a cool thrift-shop hipster kind of way. Chances are, you can get along without them.

The last major category of items you’re going to get rid of are clothes fit only for the trash. Stained, worn out, and torn clothes, no matter how nice they used to be, aren’t fit to sell or donate. Toss them. They should not stay in your closet.

For more on this, check out my handy guide on when to throw away clothes.

Rule 4: No Killing of Outfits Level 10 Or Higher

man is looking for clothes for interchangeable wardrobe

In The Purge, you’re not allowed to kill a high-ranking government official. In the Closet Purge, you’re not allowed to kill an outfit you could wear in public if you were one.

When your whole wardrobe’s potentially on the chopping block, what you really need to save are the high-quality, timeless pieces that you’ve invested in because they will never go out of style. If they fit really well (or could with a trip to the tailor) and they’re in great shape, e.g. no holes or stains, these pieces are keepers.

Also in your ‘keep’ pile should be clothes that are highly versatile and could become a component of several go-to looks. You know what you wear often and what goes with what, so if, for example, you need to turn twenty shirts into ten shirts, build your all-star team from the most frequent picks.

If you need some guidelines, check out my posts on creating an interchangeable wardrobe. The mindset of incorporating maximum versatility will help you build a minimalist wardrobe that works.

After Closet Clean Out

man looking for clothes to create interchangeable wardrobe

Once you’ve completed your purge and you’re looking at what remains – vast, empty spaces between each item; gaping holes where the clothes that didn’t make the cut once hung – you’re going to want to buy tons of new clothes right away.

Unless you literally just trashed all your pants, don’t do that.

Instead, live with the clothes you have for a little while and work out what you still need to complete your wardrobe. Make a list of what you need or want so you can shop strategically. Don’t waste time and money just because the hoarding impulse kicks in.

Create a system for getting rid of unwanted clothes in the future. Keep a bag or laundry basket for unwanted clothes near your closet or chest of drawers.

When you buy a new item to replace something, discard the old one.

When something wears out, make sure you toss it out of sight so you’re not tempted to venture out in it.

You can donate or toss your no-longer-needed basket at your next annual purge.

If your closet hasn’t been cleaned out in ages, this probably sounds daunting, but it will be well worth it for the way it streamlines your mornings – and your laundry days.

Take it one step at a time, and you’ll be left with a wardrobe that contains only great options. Why settle for less?

Click below to watch the video – 4 Steps To PURGE Your Wardrobe

The post 4 Steps To PURGE Your Wardrobe – How To Get Rid Of Clothing Clutter In Your Closet appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: 4 Steps To PURGE Your Wardrobe – How To Get Rid Of Clothing Clutter In Your Closet
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Published Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2024 17:47:42 +0000

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Professional TV Dancer Neil Jones announced as the face of Shakeup Cosmetics 

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TV star Neil Jones has joined male beauty brand Shakeup as their first ambassador and launches new Age Def-Eye Instant Lifting Eye Cream.

Shakeup co-founder Jake Xu says “We are delighted to welcome Neil as our very first face of the brand. He aligns perfectly with our style, vision, and brand values and of course our fans and we are thrilled to announce this new partnership”.

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In his role as ambassador, Neil will be motivating men to look and feel their best as well as working closely with Shakeup on new product development and upcoming campaigns.

Neil adds “I’m really excited to be teaming up with Shakeup. Daily demands and hectic schedules can take its toll on my skin but looking after it properly is crucial, especially in my line of work. I love the Shakeup products – they give great results with minimal effort and they’re great value. A winning combination!”

Neil’s favourite product is the NEW Age Def-Eye Instant Lifting Eye Cream, £28. Combining caffeine, squalane, shea butter, and two revolutionary trademarked ingredients – Inst’Tight and Ipeptide, it instantly tightens, refreshes, and revives tired looking eyes and minimises puffy eye bags and dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet.

Neil says, “With a new baby and busy rehearsals, it’s brilliant for helping me look like I’ve had a great night’s sleep!”

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Products are made in Britain, cruelty free, vegan friendly and PETA approved and available from and Amazon.

About Shakeup:

Shakeup was founded in 2020 by twin brothers Jake Xu and Jake Carnell-Xu. As Chinese British (born in Beijing and grew up in Bath, UK) they have been inspired by the massive rise in men’s beauty in Asia and the K-pop market. With more men than ever branching out with their beauty routines, they created Shakeup to provide affordable, innovative, and solution-driven, skin care and cosmetic products and are

on a mission to normalise men wearing make-up.

The post Professional TV Dancer Neil Jones announced as the face of Shakeup Cosmetics  first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.

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Title: Professional TV Dancer Neil Jones announced as the face of Shakeup Cosmetics 
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Published Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2023 12:51:05 +0000

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13 Public Speaking Mistakes To Avoid In Your Presentation

Tips To Improve Public Speaking Skills How To Prepare And Run a Good Presentation jpg

man giving presentation


The sea of faces.

The expectant hush.

Butterflies in your stomach.

Sweaty palms.

This is the presentation of your life.

It’s going to make or break your career.

Your heart pounds as you listen to yourself drone on… watch their eyes glaze over…

And feel your career going down the drain.

Death by PowerPoint.

Today, we are going to throw you a lifeline. I have 13 public speaking mistakes for you to avoid to make sure you never fail another presentation in your life!

#1 Public Speaking Mistake: Not Knowing Your Audience

man observing audience before presentation

You need to know who you’re speaking to–in general and as individuals–to avoid losing them to confusion or giving them irrelevant information.

Ask yourself two questions: why are they here, and what do they already know?

By understanding how much your audience knows about the topic, you can avoid filler words in presentations or examples they don’t understand, but also avoid talking down to them.

Knowing what they want to find out helps you stay relevant and hold their interest.

Stand on their side of the podium for a moment. What motivates them to be there? What could you tell them that would make them glad they came?

Research who you’ll be speaking to. Knowing the age group, professions, and other demographics of your audience will help you decide what points are most likely to click.

If your audience is from a different generation, company, or background, try to get a feel for their culture so you don’t say anything that will come off as rude.

You can also use this to tailor references and humor to their taste, but understand that that’s not a substitute for genuine respect. Trendy internet slang isn’t the key to reaching an audience of high school students–showing you respect their intelligence even as you speak from an older perspective is.

#2 Not Emotionally Connecting

man in front of audience

There’s a reason your audience didn’t just google the info you’re telling them: they want to hear it from a person. They came to hear your human perspective and to experience the connection you can offer them

The best presentations are ones that create a deep personal connection, and one thing we all share as human beings are feelings of fear or vulnerability. If you’re willing to open up about yours, it can help people feel a stronger connection with you.

My personal example: I will, in the course of talks, sometimes talk about suicide, which is an issue that’s touched me closely in my family and in my military service. Getting people the help they need to try and prevent suicide is something I’m involved with and something that means a lot to me.

I don’t bring it up to impress people or to try and make them feel like they need to get involved, but I will mention it to show people that hey — I am a guy who does care and think about serious stuff, beyond whatever the topic of the moment is.

“The best presentations are ones that create a deep personal connection, and one thing we all share as human beings are feelings of fear or vulnerability.”

And most people are like that! They have some things they care very deeply about, or have strong feelings about, or are committed to or involved with in a serious way. Hearing about mine reminds them of theirs, and then we have a connection as real human beings.

Let them know how you feel about what you’re telling them – they’ll internalize it. Feel free to mention relevant things that you care about as examples. It helps your audience feel like they know you.

#3 Winging It

body language in a presentation

Under-preparing is a common mistake that can ruin a presentation with tons of potential. If you’re not prepared, you can’t relax. And if you don’t relax, you’re unlikely to engage at the level that the best public speakers do.

Have a plan B in case of technical difficulties, come up with alternate examples in case your original ones don’t seem to be landing and arrive early.

Check your equipment and everything you’ll need well before it’s time to start the speech. If you can, do a run-through on-venue–a full dress rehearsal, if you will.

If you’re prepared well in advance, you can use any extra time at the beginning to talk with individuals. It’ll help your audience feel more comfortable with you.

#4 Death By Powerpoint

guy giving presentation with powerpoint slides and projector

Visual aids can make your speech clearer and easier to follow, but not if they’re text-heavy, hard to read, or distracting.

Most people know you shouldn’t read text straight from your PowerPoint slides, but you should be keeping text basic overall. You want it to be easy for your audience to note down or remember. Set a target of no more than 10-15 words per slide.

To use PowerPoint effectively, make sure it looks polished and be careful of busy themes and long transitions. You want to keep people’s interest on what you’re saying, not distract from it.

#5 Not Practicing Enough

antonio centeno practicing before presentation

The keys to a good presentation are confidence, flexibility, engaging your audience, and knowing your stuff.

How do you get there? Practice.

The better you know your material, the more relaxed you’ll be and the more confident you’ll come across.

Start practicing at least several days in advance.

You want everything committed to long-term memory. Until you can give your speech while driving, doing the dishes, or walking through an unfamiliar conference center, you shouldn’t tell yourself you’ve “practiced enough.”

On your later run-throughs, hone the details. Test out how you want the presentation to feel–what the arc of it will be, where it’s most high-energy.

Don’t just memorize the bullet points. Match them to your tone and gestures.

#6 Not Knowing What You’re Talking About

man reading book

Obviously, you want to give your audience accurate information. They’re there to learn. But doing your homework before a presentation is important for another reason: credibility.

The audience doesn’t have to know everything about the topic to catch an outdated fact or a statistical mix-up. And if they do, they’ll wonder about the accuracy of every single thing you’re saying.

Building credibility keeps people paying attention because they know what you’re saying is useful. They feel like they can trust you to answer their questions and give them the straight talk about the topic. It goes without saying, but you want to avoid being embarrassed during the Q & A too.

If you’re tripped up by a question or need to double check a fact, it’s worse to say something wrong than it is to excuse yourself and quickly check your notes. At the end of the day, honesty is more valuable than smoothly rattling off incorrect info.

#7 No Excitement

man making presentation among colleagues

Especially if you’re at a conference or in an office setting where people are going to meetings regularly, they’ve probably already seen a lot of people just standing there talking.

If you can give them a fresh experience, they’ll listen more closely to your points and you’ll make an impression.

When you practice, get comfortable moving around. Don’t hide behind the podium.

Choose your anecdotes carefully, and tell them like you’d tell a story to your friends. If they’re interesting in their own right, they’ll do a way better job of illustrating your points because your audience will remember them.

Make sure the relevancy is spot-on though, or they’ll remember the story and not the point.

#8 Going On Too Long

man with mic giving presentation

People naturally pay attention in bursts of 15-20 minutes. Ask yourself if you really need to talk for longer. If you do, try to divide your speech into segments with a brief pause between each one.

Almost all presentations go on for longer in front of an audience. Practice until you can do it comfortably in less than the allotted time.

If you can save someone time then you instantly become a high value man in their eyes. Worst case scenario, you keep it brief and have more time for questions afterward.

Timing your statements keeps your message interesting longer. This is as true for public speaking as it is for stand-up comedy. Figure out how to make basic points as briefly as possible, then fill in the details where you have time.

#9 Not Engaging Your Audience

speaker engages with audience

Talk about things you know your audience is going to be interested in. If you can, talk about your topic in terms of their lives specifically.

As you speak, try to stick with mostly “you” statements. You should be constantly feeding the audience’s perception that this is directly relevant to them. A close second option is using “we” statements, creating the feeling that you and the audience are a team.

If you’re presenting to a small group, like a gathering around a conference table, you can alternate meeting each person’s eyes directly. For larger groups, move your gaze around the room.

Interact with your audience as much as you can. Ask them questions. Open the floor up to brainstorming. If they’re participating, they’ll be paying attention.

#10 Not Observing Other Speakers

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Never miss an opportunity to watch other public speakers in action.

Go to talks when you’re at conferences. Watch videos like mine online. Check the bulletin boards at your local college or library for public lectures (you can learn some really weird and cool stuff from those, too).

Exposing yourself to a wide range of speakers shows you both the good and the bad of public speaking.

I got to watch Ian Cleary of Razor Social speak recently, who’s an absolute master of the craft, and I was thinking to myself “man, I’ll never be as good as this guy.”

But at the same conference I saw enough presentations that made me think “okay, I’m at least this good” that I could feel positive about my skills, and aspire to get them closer to Ian’s level by learning from him!

#11 Not Moving Around

man with good posture

Whatever room you’re in, own it!

Don’t hide behind the podium.

Move around and gesture when you talk. It’s much better to look too energetic than not energetic enough.

In a lot of public speaking settings (like business meetings and conferences), people have been doing the same sit-and-listen routine for a long time. You want to offer them something that looks and feels different to get them out of their mental rut.

In one presentation that I did with John Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire, we only had 20 people or so and a fairly small space. When we got there, we moved the chairs into a big circle and had one “hot-seat” at the center that different people took at different points in the presentation.

The change in structure really helped break up the feeling of sitting and staring at screens while someone talks from up on stage. It gave people a sense that they were there getting one-on-one advice from some guys with big successes under their belt, which made the whole experience feel very valuable to them. We got great feedback on that one.

#12 Not Utilizing the Correct Body Language

Your body language adds credibility to your speech. Avoid crossing your arms (this is a defensive gesture which puts up a barrier between you and the audience) and try to avoid fiddling with your cuffs, wallet or buttons because this makes you look nervous.

Take time to watch how the professionals do it and remember to work the room.

That means not standing in one place like a statue – you should be animated to keep your audience’s attention.

Want to learn more about body language moves that can help you gain trust? Click here to check out the 3 Secret Body Language Moves That Help You Gain Instant Trust.

#13 Not Realizing Unconscious Bad Habits

You’ll spot some bad habits as you work on your body language – things like putting your hands in your pockets or touching your face while speaking.

But I’m willing to bet you also have some bad verbal habits. Watch out for ‘filler words’. Words like:

  • Uh
  • So
  • Well
  • You know
  • Like
  • I mean
  • Anyway
  • As I was saying

These weaken the impact of what you’re saying and make you come off as unsure, unprepared, and nervous.

How to break yourself of the habit? Try making a game of it. Create a ‘filler word jar’ and drop a quarter in there every time you use a filler word. Speaking without filler words will feel odd, but you can go a long way towards breaking this habit in just one day.

The post 13 Public Speaking Mistakes To Avoid In Your Presentation appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: 13 Public Speaking Mistakes To Avoid In Your Presentation
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Published Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2024 17:58:33 +0000

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