Last week at state bar annual meeting events I observed lawyers as public speakers in various roles and thought about a few tips that go beyond being prepared, varying your pace, making eye contact, etc. It was a good wake up call for me as a frequent public speaker.

Regardless of whether you are introducing a speaker, running a meeting, giving a report, interjecting in a forum, presenting an award, receiving an award or giving the key note address, remember this bottom line:

  • Be respectful of your audience’s time and interest. Know why they are there and what they want to hear. Know what is most valuable to them and present it. Don’t overstay your welcome.For example:
  • Have humility.
  • Don’t fall in love with the microphone. Leave your audience wanting more.
  • Don’t say I’ll be brief. Just BE brief.
  • Bonus tip: if you are going to refer to someone previously at the podium, make a note of his or her name and use it. Project the image of a good listener.If you would like coaching to help you improve as a public speaker, please contact me.