The Real Rules of Successful Public Speaking

You’ve probably heard all the standard public speaking rules before – speak on what you know, use stories, blah blah blah.  As someone who speaks a lot in front of groups for a living, I’ll let you in on what the real rules are:

  1. Never wear a shirt that shows sweat – People are not wowed by the ghastly sweat stains under your arms as you fervently gesticulate to make your point. Same goes for pants.  I’m not going to get in to why, but just trust me on this one and wear a dark colour if possible.
  2. Be set up and ready to go with nothing left to do at least 30 minutes before you have to speak. Without fail, the first person will show up about 30 minutes before the event, and they don’t want to sit quietly and fiddle with their phone.  They want to talk to YOU.  So be ready and do all your prep and set up before you arrive on site.
  3. And here’s the kicker, a real rule that will increase your success by 50%. I’m not kidding, 50%, really.  Shake hands and introduce yourself to as many people as possible before you start.  If they want you to win, things will go much much better for you.

And use the standard rules too of course.

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