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6 Timeless Pieces Of Advice On Public Speaking

Sometimes the best advice is the same advice. When it comes to speaking and presenting, there are certain skills and techniques that never age.

Today, six expert speakers give us their timeless and practical advice on preparing and delivering your next, great presentation.

John Baptista Jr:

Know your material and have 1½ times the material; you never know how long a program will run with questions or lack there of. Have fun, be sincere, and use stories that relate! Finally, start and end on time.

Grace Marks:

Be flexible. What you have planned may sometimes not always be right for the audience no matter what you have been told in advance. Tweak and adjust as you go along. There are always surprises…

Jayesh Menon:

Understand your audience even before the speech, especially if you are speaking in a country that you are not used to. There can be things that are culturally sensitive and once you lose them on that somewhere in your speech, it might be difficult to get them back.

M. Match Luther:

Start with a 4MAT pitch and address the four information-types in your audience:

  • What is the topic?
  • Why (in a bigger context) is it important?
  • What is the precise benefit for the listener/audience?
  • How does it work?

Carlos Morales:

Regardless of your topic, time also becomes part of the deal. Do not forget to allow ample time to make a powerful closing, they are perhaps the only words your audience will remember one week or one month from now.

Jerry Walker:

Arrive early. By arriving early, yes a speaker can check the nuts and bolts of the gig about to take place (mic placement, program order, seating, blocking for the presentation, stage location/size, etc.). Just as important though, is the opportunity to convey your gratitude to the organizers who hired you by honouring their time commitment and then to greet audience members as they arrive – this is a connection you can't make from the stage.

In closing, …

Getting the basics right can really mean the difference between a good and a great speech. It is important to remember that sometimes the simple stuff is what needs the most attention.

What is your one piece of timeless advice for giving a great presentation?


Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. Her programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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