How I prepared for my TEDx Fort Wayne talk

I’ve received a lot of great feedback on my TEDx Fort Wayne talk, “Accessibility: Fort Wayne’s Competitive Advantage”. It seems to have struck a nerve, and hearing that has been very rewarding. I put a lot of work and thought into it, and it’s always nice when that gets noticed.

As someone who teaches public speaking, I think it’s important to share why I think it worked. While my presentation wasn’t even close to perfect, there’s one thing I think I did right, one secret that pulled the whole thing together, one tip I have for others looking to improve their presentations. So, why do I think my TEDx talk went well?

I practiced. A lot.

If you make presentations, this is the one thing you can’t ignore. Nothing will ensure your success more than practice, and nothing will ensure your failure more than a lack of practice (I know that from experience, too).

For more about the importance of practice, read Lisa Braithwaite’s comments on the Speak Schmeak blog.

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3 Responses to How I prepared for my TEDx Fort Wayne talk

  1. I appreciate this bit of advice; however, I do things a bit differently. I find that knowing the material is my best bet for success- so a different kind of practicing. I cannot practice a composed speech or presentation- that’s when I stumble… I do much better without a script, and instead a bullet pt list of things I must cover.

  2. ajjuliano says:

    Great point Amber, and it leads to a clarification: I NEVER use a script. Or notes. My goal in practicing is simply what you stated: to know the material. To know it so well that I don’t need a script, but leaving enough leeway to adapt as the audience dictates. I let my slides guide me, but it’s never the same presentation twice.

  3. Thanks for the clarification. Great advice!

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