14 ways to not suck as a speaker

Don’t be that speaker.

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When you’ve been invited to be a guest speaker for an organization’s luncheon or other meeting, you don’t want to be that speaker.

And it can be terribly easy to be that speaker: You know, the high-maintenance one, or the boring/irrelevant one.

2. Find out from your contact at the organization what the norms are for speaking engagements like this one. Will the audience members expect handouts? Is there usually a Q&A session? What’s the best way for you to share your contact information with every audience member?

3. Let your contact know what your A/V needs are as far in advance as possible, and only request what is necessary. Avoid last minute surprises, as they often cannot be accommodated—and they turn you into that speaker.

4. Plan your presentation so that you can expand it or contract it as needed. Even though you may have been told you have 45 minutes, you may discover that the business portion of the meeting has run long, and you end up with just 30 minutes. Make no mention of shortening your presentation to your audience; just do it.

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