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Public speaking can be a terrific way to showcase your expertise and expand your network of contacts. Just don’t forget to have a mechanism for collecting the attendee’s contact information, such as asking the attendees to turn in their business cards for a drawing or to add their names to your newsletter distribution list.  

By the way, I have a few great presentations that have been a big hit with local small business owners. Give me a call if you’d like to book a talk for an upcoming meeting of your Orange County, California group.


Public speaking is an excellent way to establish yourself as the “go-to” expert in your field. But if you’re like most people, the mere thought of public speaking makes your stomach do flip-flops.

Perhaps you worry that you’ll get up to the podium and have nothing to say…or that you’ll run on and on without ever making your most important points. Either way, advance preparation always makes for a more professional presentation than just “winging it.”

Here are some tips for making your next presentation a success:

  • Learn about the Audience – Find out all you can about the audience, venue, and expectations. What is most important to these people? What is the time limit? Will audio/visual equipment be available (or appropriate)?
  • Narrow Down Your Subject – What are the five or six issues that someone in this group would want to know about your subject? When selecting which information to present, ask yourself how knowing this particular information will benefit the individuals in the audience.
  • Make an Outline – List the most important points you want to make, and then organize these points into the most logical order. Start your speech with an attention-getting opening, use real-life or humorous examples to illustrate your points, and then end with a recap and, if appropriate, a call to action.
  • Practice Your Presentation – There is just no substitute for out-loud rehearsals. Sitting at your desk and “going over” your notes won’t do it! Prepare far enough in advance to allow time to practice – and time – your presentation. Out loud. More than once.
  • Mentally Prepare – See yourself being successful. Imagine yourself in the room with your audience, with everything going extremely well. See it. Hear it. Feel it.

Remember, success is “10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” If you’ve done your homework, relax and trust that things will go well.


StrengthBUILDERS is a coaching and training firm focused on leadership development and performance management. Rather than trying to fix what is “wrong” with people, Coach Valerie Plis uses positive psychology to help clients discover, understand and leverage their unique strengths.

In addition to one-on-one strengths-based coaching, Valerie also offers a variety of workshops. As an experienced public speaker, she knows how to present information for maximum effect. You can visit the website I wrote for her at to learn more.

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"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

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Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon