Neil Gaiman: 6 Tips for Speaking In Public


A friend of mine wrote to me recently and wanted to know about public speaking. He was going to have to give his first ever speech, and asked if I had any advice or tips. 

This was my reply to him. And I’m posting it here because it might be of use to some of you.

tips for speaking. Let’s see…

1) Mean it. Whatever you have to say, mean it.

2) Either write exactly what you want to say, or just make notes, and extemporise around it.

3) If you’ve never given a speech before, give it to your wife, your dog, friends, walls, cows, children, trees first. Get over the weirdness of talking aloud. Make sure it flows. Practice.

4) Have a point. Go somewhere. Start somewhere and go somewhere else.

5) Putting a joke in at the beginning is a good thing. Not something particularly funny, just something comfortable to put people at their ease. But you don’t have to worry about it - and it doesn’t have to be a joke. Just something that says that you know where you are.

6) Relax. When all’s said and done, it’s just a speech.

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