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Going to the people - ten public speaking tips
Know your key publics and objectives.
Time is a limited resource. Know whether this opportunity represents value for both you and your audience.
Know your audience.
Talk with two or three people to get a feeling for what matters to
audience—their issues, values, level of knowledge.
Sketch your talk.
How will you engage your audience? How will you move across salient points? What is the one message people will come away with?
Find good sources.
Prepare rich background notes and save these as short text files. Create a database with fields for filename, author, date, source, topic, and a 20-word summary. This is a menu for your clippings and notes. It can also be shared internally on your intranet.
Build sound bites.
Write. Be articulate in less than 100 words (40-60 is best) on every point you want to make. You'll need a core message, supported by clear major points, each supported by relevant details. Your first few words in each case are critical.
A 10-minute talk is 1600-1800 words. Tape yourself. See what you haven't said. See what can be trimmed. Edit your written text. Recast your outline. Tape again. This is to clarify and focus your thinking.
Speak, don't read.
You don't prepare a talk, you prepare
for a talk. The spoken word reveals presence, energy, interest, conviction; these are lost on paper. An outline will keep you on track.
Bring a handout.
In formal situations a copy of your speech is expected. The media will follow a prepared text and note any departure in content. Speak, but realize you're going on record.
Watch for feedback.
A live audience means real-time feedback. When their attention is rapt, your audience will resemble a still photograph or freeze-frame video. This is what public speaking is all about.
Frequently_Asked_Questions — A key part of any public speaking engagement in the question and answer period. Collect questions like hockey cards. Prepare credible, informative, 40-60 word answers for them.
You'll find helpful tips on many aspects of speech communication at
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