Sometimes we need clear directions to prepare for our next public speaking engagement. You have seen the "Ten Tips" on other sites. They miss important steps.

Here are my Ten Practical "P's" for effective public speaking. Print them. Post them. Carry them everywhere. Practice them to make the most of your next speech.

1. PURPOSE: Decide on the purpose of your speech. It can be: to inform (let us know about something); to entertain (make us laugh, cry, get excited); to motivate (encourage us to take some action); or, to inspire (get us to say YES). These are not mutually exclusive; you can have more than one purpose.

2. PEOPLE: your audience. Understand them, their interests and their mood. Tailor the information in your speech, your style, tone, and manner of delivery for them. Don't forget - they want you to do well. They are happy that you are here and speaking. Make your speech special for them.

3. POINT: The most important "P." Every speech must have a point, a theme, a message, a lesson. If not you are rambling. Make the point appropriate to your audience. Know your point before you start writing your speech.

4. PERSPECTIVE: Your audience wants to hear your viewpoint on a topic, an event, or your own personal experiences. When you hear, "talk about what you know," that is what they mean.

5. PLACE: The room. Become familiar with the stage (any squeaks?). Look for obstacles and hazards Are there any steps? Does the sound system work for you? Know the room so that you won't be surprised.

6. PERSONALITY: specifically - your personality. Be yourself. Speak like you are having a conversation. Your personality is unique. It also is what allows you to relate to your audience.

7. PICTURE: Have a vision of yourself giving your speech. It is like looking at a photo; the longer you look at it, the more details you notice. In the same way, build a video of you presenting. Hear your voice. Watch your movements. Listen to your words.

8. PREPARE: Invest the time to have a good presentation. Write your speech. Re-read it often. Make changes. Think it through until you are satisfied.

9. PRACTICE: The second most important "P" (after POINT). You can't just read and memorize your speech. Even picturing it is not enough. Practice-practice-practice.

10. PERFORM: After all your efforts, it is time to DO IT. You may be nervous, but you can feel your excitement. You know you are ready.

When you take these ten practical steps, you will give a strong, memorable presentation.

That will lead to two more Practical "P's." You experience them after getting to the tenth. The eleventh "P" is PLEASURE. Yes, you will have fun. The twelfth "P" is PRIDE. You will be very proud of yourself and of your accomplishments. Follow those first ten "P's" and reap the rewards you have earned.

Author's Bio: 

Fred Haley, published author and speaker, has been a member of Toastmasters for over 12 years. Fred has earned two Distinguished Toastmasters awards. His web site, is "Every Toastmaster's first stop for advice and resources." Fred publishes a weekly ToastMentor newsletter. Contact Fred at