10 tips for successful public speaking

Tell stories to keep the attention of your audience.

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Ragan Insider Content

Most of us have an opportunity to speak in front of a group at some point, perhaps at your industry event, your company’s sales conference or to a local club.

Make the most of your opportunity. Here’s how:

1. Take it seriously. If 200 people are in a room and you speak for a half hour, you are taking up 100 hours of people’s time. I see many speakers “wing it” and it makes me feel sorry for the audience.

2. Know the conference organizer’s goals. When I speak, I work with organizers to accomplish three goals in equal proportion: education, entertainment, motivation. Since I am a paid speaker, I must deliver on all three so the conference organizer is happy he/she invited me. You need to know why you have been invited to be on the podium. How would the organizer define a successful presentation?

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