But the seasoned speaker has eight secret advantages up her sleeve—bonuses even she may not recognize or think about. If you’re a seasoned speaker, here are some advantages you have over newcomers on the podium:
1. You know your strengths. If you can come up with a funny one-liner off-the-cuff or speak in precisely the amount of time allotted, you’ll know that after many turns at the lectern. And you’ll run with those strengths again and again. This creates a base of confidence you can work from.
2. You know your weak spots. Some beginner speakers have trouble identifying what they’re doing wrong, but seasoned speakers know their weak spots. Part of having experience means knowing precisely where you fall short and, ideally, committing to target those problems.
3. You can make a last-minute save. Your years of experience have prepped you well for the Hail Mary pass of public speaking: the request to fill in for another speaker at the last minute. Not only will organizers think of you, but you’ll be ready to say “Sure, no problem” when the call comes.