There are two types of people: Those who are scared stiff of speaking in public and those who thrive on it. Here are some tips for preparing and delivering a great speech:

Strive for authenticity.

You need to be honest, speak with conviction and, most of all, be real. An audience can smell insincerity a mile away so speak genuinely and with empathy.

Figure out your conclusion first.

What are the takeaways you want from your speech? What’s the objective you can realistically hope to achieve? Are there calls to action you need to convey? 

Know where you’re headed and write with a purpose. There are plenty of commonsense structures to choose from. Problem/solution is one. Opportunity/leverage is another. Pros and cons is a third. Or you can simply list your points in numerical order.

Overdo the research and include a story.

Research makes you more confident and creative when you sit down to write. It also furnishes more angles from which to approach your subject. Adding a story can be a highly effective communication tool by helping to narrate your point and put a human face on an abstract issue.

Interview the speaker-to-be.

If you’re writing the speech for someone else, sit down with them to more learn about their style and approach to speaking so you can write using their own cadence.

Keep it in your head.

Avoid using index cards as a prop. They usually result in presenters appearing stilted and less confident. You don’t need to remember every word. Memorize key talking points and then the bits in the middle will take care of themselves.

Of course, the best way to make your presentation perfect is to practice. Write out a script. Talk out your presentation in front of a mirror or a smaller audience, such as a group of trusted friends. Record a video of it and study how it looks and sounds.

Don’t wander.

The more you walk around, the more your audience will follow you rather than listen to what you have to say. For each of your messages, it’s best to stand still, slow down and project. Walk around between key talking points and while describing less important details. The best way to reach an entire room is to think about communicating to the back row. That way, you will naturally amplify your speech.

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