It’s easy enough to offer a list of don’ts for public speakers—I’ve posted my own peeves—but here I’m giving hints on how to improve your game with a positive focus.
1. Start crisply, use your time well, and end just a bit early. Good time management is an essential skill of the public speaker. Far too many don’t use the time well, especially running over at the end. Rehearse to find out how long you’ll go. Never, ever run long. Also, start well; don’t waffle at the beginning.
2. Find a positive message and a hero, even if you’re criticizing aspects of your field. It’s the duty of every public speaker to find something right with the world, your view of it, or at least some hero who has exemplified the positive attributes you’re extolling. Otherwise, save your doom and gloom for the bar. The public speech needs positive visions of the way the world could be, even if you don’t believe it is that way right now.