What are the 5 most important quick ideas for improving your public speaking?  I’m going to go for broke this week and blog on 5 quick takes for fast quality enhancement in 5 days.  Put them together and you should have a good ‘cheat sheet’ for fulfilling your resolution to improve your public speaking in 2012. 

1.  Think of your job as persuading the audience.   Most people think of speaking as dumping information on the audience.  And there are lots of schemata that tell you some speeches are persuasive, some are informational, some are ceremonial, and so on.  But it’s simply better to figure out what it is that you want the audience to do differently as a result of your presentation, and then persuade them of that. 

Here’s how you do it.  Begin by talking about the problem the audience has for which your information is the solution.  Then give them your information.  If you’ve presented the problem well, your speech will be persuasive.   It’s that simple.  And your audience will be much happier, because you’ve presented your information in a way that both makes sense to them and is interesting to them.  If all speeches were persuasive, the speaking world would be a much better place for audiences.   

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