The art of public speaking from one of its masters

The careers of most executives advance or stall based on how
well they communicate. Public speaking performances are the riskiest of all,
but they also give you a chance to make a very big impact. Being a sought-after
public speaker gives you and your company a cachet that would otherwise be
absent. One of the best places to look for guidance in these matters is the
late Jack Valenti, former CEO of the Motion Picture Society of America. Here is
ValentiÂ’s expert advice on becoming a confident and powerful public speaker.

Millions of people consider public speaking a fate worse
than death. But if you occupy any type of leadership position itÂ’s inevitable
that you’re going to be asked to stand up before a group – large or small – to
deliver a speech.

 

The careers of most executives advance or stall based on how
well they communicate in a variety of forms. Public speaking performances are
the riskiest of all, but they also give you a chance to make a very big impact.
Being a sought-after public speaker gives you and your company a cachet that
would otherwise be absent.

 

When you do speak publicly you want your voice to be brimming
with confidence and power. One of the best places to look for guidance in these
matters is the late Jack Valenti, former chief of
staff to President Lyndon Johnson but
better know in the latter portion of his life as chairman and CEO of the Motion
Picture Society of America
.

 

Suave and silver-tongued, Valenti was renowned for his
public speaking abilities. Whether donned in a tuxedo for the Academy Awards or in a basic
business suit for his many appearances on the rubber-chicken circuit, he always
presented himself and his thoughts flawlessly.

 

Valenti was so well known for his talents at the podium that
he wrote a book on the subject titled Speak Up with Confidence.

 

It might surprise you to know that Jack Valenti preached that
20 minutes was the absolute maximum for any speech. ThatÂ’s quite a contrast to
the politicians and keynote speakers of all stripes who routinely devour a full
hour of the audienceÂ’s time. Valenti believed in economy. It is best to leave
an audience wanting more, not glancing at their watches and negotiating with
their bladders.

 

Valenti also memorized all of his speeches, just as stage
actors commit their scripts to memory, so he could enunciate them without using
notes.

 

He was full of many good ideas for turning people into
effective public speakers. Here are some of his core suggestions:

 

 

Implicit in all this advice is Jack ValentiÂ’s steadfast
belief that being thoroughly prepared is the best insurance policy against
stage fright and poor performance.

 

How do you prepare for public speaking engagements? How do
you delivery a punch to your audience? Let us know in the comment field below.

 

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