5 overlooked—yet crucial—tips for public speaking

Giving a speech or presentation? Make sure you read the author’s advice. It’ll not only improve your speech, but also boost your confidence.

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Here are five things I’ve learned:

1. If there’s a microphone, use it

All too often, a mic is available but the speaker refuses to use it and proudly proclaims his or her voice loud enough. This pointless braggadocio impresses no one and usually prevents some of the audience from hearing you.

Chances are, there are at least a few people in the back who can’t hear you or are having a tough time hearing you. No one will ever be impressed with your refusal to use a mic. You gain nothing. The members of you audience will be far more impressed if they can easily hear you. If nothing else, you’ll save some vocal strain.

2. Be accurate

This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how often even experienced public speakers are inaccurate in their facts, names and other information. Here’s an example:

I used to work with someone who fancied himself quite the excellent public speaker, mainly because he did it so often. But he was known not only to ramble incessantly about himself and his busy schedule, but also to speak inaccurately. I don’t want to use his name. To protect his privacy, let’s call him “Mr. Clinchpoop.”

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