by Robert J. Geline
Spring means renewal and new beginnings. What better time than the season of Easter and Passover to offer a refresher on what it takes to succeed when it’s your time to get up and present? I don’t have a hotline to the Lord, but if I did, he might pass along a list of The Ten Commandments of Public Speaking that reads like this:
I KNOW THINE AUDIENCE AND REMEMBER THAT THINE MESSAGE MUST AT ALL TIMES RESPOND TO THINE AUDIENCE’S INTERESTS, NEEDS AND CONCERNS.
II THOU SHALT ACTUALLY PRACTICE THINE PRESENTATION BY SPEAKING IT OUT LOUD MANY TIMES.
III THOU SHALT PREPARE AN EFFECTIVE OPENING “GRABBER” TO GALVANIZE THINE AUDIENCE’S ALWAYS FRAGILE ATTENTION.
IV BE CONCISE.
V THOU SHALT TRANSLATE JARGON INTO WORDS OF COMMON UNDERSTANDING.
VI THOU SHALT MAKE AND MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT WITH INDIVIDUALS IN THINE AUDIENCE THROUGHOUT THINE PRESENTATION.
VII THOU SHALT VARY THE PACE, VOLUME AND EMPHASIS OF THINE SPEECH, REMEMBERING ALWAYS THAT NOTHING PUTTETH AN AUDIENCE TO SLEEP AS DOTH THE MONOTONY OF A REPETITIVE VOICE PATTERN.
VIII THOU SHALT REMEMBER TO MAKE EFFECTIVE USE OF GESTURES BECAUSE, WHEN THE DAY ENDETH, “WE ARE ALL ITALIAN.”
IX FINISH EARLY AND LEAVE TIME FOR QUESTIONS THAT THOU HAST ANTICIPATED AND PREPARED TO ANSWER. (See Commandment II)
X ABOVE ALL, THOU SHALT SMILE.