Great Advice on Public Speaking

If you do any public speaking, or ever want to do some, you must read Dave Pollard’s excellent blog post about public speaking, blogging and comunicating called “As Long As You Believe It.”
There is a ton of indispensable practical advice in this post. You’ll also find a great summary of lessons long-time speakers will have observed and learned over the years. It’s essential reading.
The money quote gives you three key lessons:

1. Know your stuff,
2. Focus on what’s really important, really novel or really interesting, and
3. Only speak on subjects you care about to audiences you care about.

I agree with Pollard that point #3 is the big one. He says, “As important as knowledge and focus are, passion is even more important. I’ve seen nervous, tongue-tied speakers muddle through presentations extraordinarily well simply because they obviously felt very strongly and deeply about what they were saying — so the audience made allowances. When people sense that you really care about and believe in something passionately, and want to convey that passion to them, they will go out of their way to pay attention.”
He concludes with some words that you will want to keep in mind: “In writing, as much as in oral discourse, what you know and what you can tell are interesting and useful, but what you really believe in, what you instill with every ounce of passion in your heart and soul, is what people remember, what changes them. And what can save the world.” The name of his blog, of course, is “How to Save the World,” and I thoroughly recommend that you spend some time there.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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  1. says

    Yes I agree with above all points. Public speaking is an art unlike other forms of communication, which very few are born with. Most of the greatest public speakers of our times have developed their public speaking skills over years of practice and experience. Still, some of the pros in the field get nervous before arriving at the public meeting. Thus, at the end of the day it’s all about how much effort you are ready to put in the form of practice and, listening which will help you become a good or even a great public speaker.

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more…. even a stumbling presentation can have impact but (I’m a voice & presentation skills trainer, so I would say this!) a slick, professional presentation allows them (the audience) to remember more.
    How to do that? Well, here’s a shamless plug for my own blog at
    The key thing – if there is a simple, single key thing – is structure. That helps your audience understand where you’re going, remember how things fit together and (in emergencies!) allows the presenter to find their feet again when things go wrong! :)
    Sometimes I even advocate presenters having the overview/structure as a running footer on their slides if the presentation is particularely complicated….