The 3 essential tasks of a good public speaker

How does a speaker know she’s written a speech she can be happy with? Here are three basics she must complete before she’s ready to join her evening crowd at the local watering hole.

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The work of a public speaker is never done. You can never complete your expertise—a true knowledge of this subject is the work of a lifetime. You can never finish perfecting your presentation—even Martin Luther King, Jr. in “I Have a Dream” made some slips of the tongue in a speech considered one of the best of the last century. It’s too early to talk about the best in this century, but whatever it is, you can be sure it will be imperfect.

You can never connect perfectly with your audience. Attention is partial, and even if you’re perfectly present, only some percentage of your audience will be. Communication is always less than complete-noise always corrupts the signal, and your work is never done.

But if you do well in three speech areas, you can take the rest of the day off, content in the knowledge that you did your job. What are these three tasks?

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