When doing any public speaking it’s important to remember that you’re taking other people’s time; what may be interesting to you may not be to them. The best advice I ever heard about public speaking came from communications expert Gary Hankins, which was something like this:
· Tell the audience what you’re going to be saying.
· Say it.
· Then say what you said.
Pretty good advice. Most folks are able to start talking easily enough, but where I see people fail most often when it comes to public speaking is the inability to wrap it up.
If you’re doing an impromptu speech, a good rule of thumb is to talk about who you are, spend 10 seconds talking about what you do, and then talk about what you are interested in right now. Then stop! Think about what you want your audience to take away, say it, and then shut up.
So next time you’re preparing a speech –regardless of the length — be sure you have an ending in mind. And, when in doubt, just stop!