10 pieces of sage advice for public speaking success

How to balance enthusiasm and detachment, passion and logic, factuality and eloquence, in your public speaking? One veteran offers some practical wisdom on these delicate subjects.

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From time to time it’s important to take a step back to put public speaking into perspective. I take it seriously, and I am passionate about it, but it’s important to recognize that public speaking is one human activity out of many.

We don’t burn people at the stake any longer for disagreeing with us, and life is about love and work, as Freud said, so at the very most public speaking should only occupy your thinking 50 percent of the time.

Here are my 10 rules for thinking rationally about public speaking, whether it’s something you dread or love, whether it’s a career or a religion, and whether you ever will try to master the art and science of it—or not.

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