11 paradoxes of being a better public speaker offer a near-dozen examples of ways you can turn around public-speaking dificulties in ways that aren't obvious. But the author missed my all-time-favorite paradox of public speaking: It's the speakers who have practiced the most who look the most unrehearsed. They're also the speakers who are the most focused on their audiences and not on themselves; the least nervous; and the most successful, in my experience. Knowing their framework, approach and anticipated things-that-can-go-wrong, they're free to go off the plan or to focus on grace notes to put their points across. The practiced speaker has a secure base, and a sense of where she is and where she's going by the end of the presentation.
Practice always seems like an extra, or something you can't fit into your schedule, or a way to get embarrassed in front of an even smaller audience. But without it, you won't be able to take that speech or presentation from mediocre to magic or good to great. Try my 5 stealth ways to find time to practice as a starting point.
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