Public speaking has never come easily to me. I recall a middle school assignment in which I attempted to demonstrate how to lace Adidas in Run-DMC style. My fingers trembled so badly that I never managed to slip the lace’s aglet through the sneaker’s eyelet. Yet despite my hard-wired uneasiness, for the past several years, public speaking has become an unavoidable part of my career.

While I may never be able to turn “it” on as effortlessly as David Meerman Scott, the following pre-, mid-, and post-session process has helped me become a stronger and more comfortable presenter.

These tips didn’t come from a textbook or public speaking class. They’re the byproduct of at least a hundred speeches to audiences ranging from handfuls to hundreds. The real world, it turns out, is still the best teacher.


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