A damn fine motto, isn’t it?

I believe that preparation is certainly the key to success for any kind of public speaking.

You might think you can get away with inadequate preparation, but let’s face it, you can generally tell when someone isn’t ready to give their talk, just from the basic signals such as hesitation, lack of eye contact or any technical fumbles.

Here are three simple ways to prepare for your next talk:

+ Write something of substance, with a structure that flows. Whether it’s a presentation, weekly catch-up or a call with a new client, note down some key points so you have something to say and know where you’re going. Have notes in front of you (on the wall behind the monitor works for me).
+ Rehearse. Run through it a few times so you get used to actually saying the words.
+ Get mentally ready (the previous two steps should have helped already). Remember that you know your stuff, the audience is on your side and that this isn’t life or death – even if it feels like it.

Preparation is your friend.