Here are 50 ideas to help you take your public speaking to a new level in the New Year.
In no particular order:
1. I will prepare.
2. I will practice.
3. I will have a clear message.
4. I will be able to distill every speech and every presentation into a single sentence.
5. I will always ask myself: “Why should the audience care about my message?”
6. If I cannot answer that question, I will find a new message. Or a new audience.
7. I will arrive early for my speaking engagements.
8. I will make sure that the equipment works.
9. I will have a back-up plan in case the equipment doesn’t work.
10. I will be well rested before speaking.
11. I will use less text in my slide presentations.
12. I will use more images in my slide presentations.
13. I will speak without a slide presentation.
14. I will read Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.
15. I will watch one TED Talk every week.
16. I will get feedback on my performance.
17. I will join Toastmasters or another speaking association.
18. I will give a toast at a party.
19. I will seek out speaking opportunities at work.
20. I will seek out speaking opportunities in my community.
21. I will join public speaking groups on LinkedIn.
22. I will actively participate in discussions in those groups.
23. I will read Resonate by Nancy Duarte.
24. I will get comfortable using props.
25. I will give a speech without notes.
26. I will tell more stories.
27. I will smile.
28. I will remember that being a little nervous before a speech is normal.
29. I will make eye contact with the audience.
30. I will read good blogs on public speaking such as the ones found here.
31. I will pause effectively.
32. I will find out as much as I can about my audience beforehand.
33. I will not speak longer than my allotted time.
34. I will get comfortable using a remote control for my slide presentations.
35. I will read Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.
36. I will be passionate.
37. I will breathe deeply.
38. I will video myself speaking.
39. I will watch the videos.
40. I will work on eliminating distracting gestures or habits.
41. I will focus on the audience and not myself.
42. I will use quotes.
43. I will use humour, if appropriate.
44. I will speak without using a lectern.
45. I will be willing to be vulnerable on stage.
46. I will remember that my audience doesn’t expect me to be perfect.
47. I will remember that my audience does expect me to be present.
48. I will remember that all the great speakers were bad speakers at first.
49. I will recognize that there is always room for improvement.
50. I will enjoy the ride.
Happy New Year!