My wife was asked last month to give a speech at an important women's retreat in November, and at the risk of sounding like a proud hubby, I know she's going to make a dynamic presentation. So why is she going to succeed when most people fail.
First, most people who are asked to give a big speech put off working on it right away. They rationalize that they've given speeches before and done OK so they figure they'll just wing it. My wife is a naturally gifted speaker, but she knows how much work it takes, so she started preparing months out.
Second, most business people write a speech based on a specific topic--my wife is crafting a speech based on her audience. She's interviewed a number of the people involved in this retreat and will have a personalized presentation that will make the audience feel much more involved.
Finally, while the majority of speakers run through their talks just enough times to have the main points memorized, Sally has talked through her speech a number of times with all kinds of people and is now polishing it to perfection. (She's heard me say a thousand times, "Practice doesn't make perfect--PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect!")
My wife is going to be a big hit because she's not taking her presentation or her audience for granted. Take a tip from my blushing bride--mastering these performance basics will give you a solid speaking base to build on for the rest of your career.