7 crucial factors in preparing for that internal speech

There’s a lot riding on this presentation. Did you do your homework? Did you rehearse? Can you be a showman like Steve Jobs?

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The basketball arena is rented for the all-employee meeting. The speechwriter, producer and lighting crew are sweating the last-minute details.

The principal, however, can’t seem to focus on the big event. Not to worry. I’ve done these things before.

How to light a fire under your bigwig? Show her the venue, says Justina Chen, a consultant and former executive communicator at Microsoft.

“Sometimes a principal needs to see the big stage in order to understand what’s truly at stake,” says Chen, author of “The Art of Inspiration: Lead Your Best Story.”

Preparation is key not only for important speeches to ballparks full of associates, but also for smaller audiences. Here are some tips for executives and the communicators who work with them:

1. Rehearse.

If it’s a big arena, there usually will be a technical rehearsal. Even if none is scheduled, a principal should check out the venue, Chen says. A company meeting with 20,000 means facing an audience the size of a crowd at a professional basketball game.

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