1. Not connecting with your audience. To really make an impact, you have to bring in the personal. Even if it's just an awards ceremony, you have to bring in some kind of personal element that people can latch onto. People don't come to a party simply to hear a thousand names called out, or to watch people walk up to a podium and receive an award. They want more.
2. Not telling a story. No matter the occasion, you have to tell a story. You have to paint a picture for them. You have to walk them through your experience.
3. Failing to bring in some humor. Even if it's a gut-wrenching, emotional story, it's still important to add in some levity to the proceedings. This breaks up the sadness and gives your audience a breather.
4. Getting embroiled in the minutiae. You have to make your speech clear to an audience. Not everyone in that audience is going to be well-versed in your field. You have to make it relatable, powerful, and practical.
5. Forgetting to breathe. This sounds crazy, but it's true. So many times, speakers forget to breathe, to take a moment, and to relax. When you're up there, remember to breathe. Don't try to race through your speech.