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Public Speaking

Notes from a lecture given by Michael Cloud *

at Success '97 (notes taken by Stacy Van Oast)

You have four minutes to win people over; four minutes in which to audition for the opportunity to perform, whenever you make any contact with anyone:
  • in letters to the editor
  • in fundraising letters
  • in books
  • in personal relationships
so.... lead with your best material!

Seven deadly public speaking sins:

  1. The failure to practice properly:
    • in front of the mirror
    • into a tape recorder

    practice makes permanent!

  2. The absence of a well-defined thesis
    • what's my main point?
    • try to define main point simply enough that it would fit on a bumper sticker
    • everything should tie in and be relevant
  3. Not focusing on your target audience
    • determine age, education, whatever's relevant
    • determine what your target audience knows about you and your message
  4. A poverty of passion
    • audience deserves your best
    • if you can't muster up passion, get a new topic
    • step into your energy (not away from it), demonstrate your energy
  5. Blowing the beginning
    • maybe you forgot about the first 4 minutes
    • start strong
    • create a good first impression
  6. A feeble finish
    • people should leave the room with a great impression
    • sometimes helpful to write the ending first
  7. Failing to write a speech script
    • write out your main points
    • sit down with somebody and write an outline; discuss it and take notes
Trust your heart

* send a SASE to Michael Cloud at POB 28368, Las Vegas, NV 89126-2368 for a copy of his essay on this topic

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