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“I just want to get up there and get through it.” I sometimes hear this phrase from my coaching clients when they are anticipating a speaking engagement. It doesn’t matter if they will be speaking to 10 people or a thousand. Their sense of urgency can cause them to rush their preparation and their presentation.

Here’s the problem: it doesn’t work. All that time and energy spent putting together your presentation is diluted unless you understand a few simple guidelines.

Before you put your fingers on the keyboard, ask, what do I have in common with my audience?

By asking this question, you put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do you care about they also care about? What experiences have you had they also have had? What goals do you share? Answering these simple questions and putting that knowledge into your speech open, and throughout your presentation, will create an authentic and engaging connection with your audience.

For every point you make, ask, what can my listeners avoid, and what can they receive, by knowing this information or having this experience?

We learn and take action when we understand how something is going to impact us. In this statement, you let your listeners know exactly “what’s in it for me.” Share this information in your presentation every time you’re making a significant point and you will see heads start nodding in agreement.

When you’re making an important point, stop, make eye contact, and slow down your vocal pace.

Here comes the big reveal! Here is the point! Please, give it its due. So often we breeze right by it. Your listeners want to “get it.” To do that, they need to know something important is coming and have the time to digest it.  When you stop, make eye contact, and slow down your vocal pace to give your point the meaning and focus it deserves, you create much deeper engagement.

Try experimenting with these simple guidelines and find out how much more impactful, and enjoyable your presentation can be. As always, I’d love to support you! I can be reached at