Speeches & presentations

Speeches make words sing. But you only get one shot. So a good speech – along with a good presentation – should embody your biggest thoughts and best ideas. It should hook an audience, and keep them hooked (but not for too long… please don’t make a speech go on too long). It should pivot on one idea and germinate several others, wrapping with a clear take-away and a strong ending. It should feel like you on a good day, not you trying to be somebody else. With this kind of writing, sincerity is more important than wit. And wit is more important than jokes. If in doubt, take your cues from the best TED talkers. Which means less PowerPoint, more storytelling.

If I could give you one tip: rehearse it out loud (not just moving your lips). This will significantly improve your delivery as well as build your confidence.