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Public Speaking Tips

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Here are some additional tips for giving a great presentation.


o Arrive at least 45 minutes early.

o Start and end on time.

o Speak before food is served. I have found that speaking after eating is much like speaking after drinking. You are not as concise or quick-minded. The blood runs from your brain to your intestines to digest food and suppresses your mental activities.

o Smile. You’ll look like you’re having a great time, and your audience will be more likely to have a great time, too.

o If you are wearing a jacket, keep it buttoned, and use a tie clip so your tie does not slide to the right or left and make you look askew.

o If you are using a Lavaliere microphone, run the cord under your jacket or sweater so that it does not show.

o Stand up straight.


o Don’t tell jokes. That is really the sign of an amateur speaker. Professional speakers weave humor into the stories and the situations more like comedians, but outright jokes are better saved for cocktail parties.

o Don’t talk about yourself or your services, except at appropriate moments.

o Avoid using sexist language or insulting anyone.

o Be sure to stay on track, both in terms of time and of your topic.

o Don’t stand behind the podium and grip it. Bring yourself out to the audience.

o Do not use any alcohol or drugs within 24 hours of your presentation. This includes cold remedies. The only time in 23 years of speaking that I forgot where I was in the middle of a story was after I took a cold remedy. It really slowed me down and made me spacey.


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