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Once a child begins to talk, they are “coached” to be polite, look the questioner in the eyes and speak clearly and loudly. Somehow as we grow older, this most natural of activities can become something that we dread.
Katie Karlovitz, an IABC web-caster and principal of On Speaking Terms, recently provided a wealth of knowledge on preparing yourself for public speaking (large and small groups) and interviews.

1. Know your audience. Ask questions to calibrate your message. Who exactly is out there?

  • How many are there?
  • What generation (age range) are they?
  • What’s the gender ratio?
  • What’s the average educational level?
  • Are they here because they want to be?
  • Her mantra is: It’s not about you; it’s about your message. 


2. Be prepared.

The better prepared you are, the better your delivery will be. Don’t fake the preparation or look at your notes for the first time on the way to the event. When you’ve done your homework, you’ll have the power of stage energy.  Without it, stage fright. It’s entirely up to you.

Don’t forget to ask about the room you’ll be presenting in. One of the biggest wild cards for speakers is the room and the audiovisual setup. Leave nothing to chance.  Ask to see photos of it so you know what to expect.

3. Have a secret.

Everyone has something already going for them that they can use to help them when speaking in public. When you know what yours is, you can anchor the heart of your message in that quality. For example, you’re good with facts and see how they fit into the overall picture; you can tell an entertaining story to get your points across; you look and dress well – you are healthy and it shows or you’re confident in your work or subject matter.

4. Men and women communicate differently.

We need to be aware of those differences and communicate accordingly.

5. Write for the spoken word, not the written one. They are similar yet entirely different.

Less is more.

One final note, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken!” – Oscar Wilde.

Karlovitz slides IABC-NJ – FINAL.

Look for Katie’s soon-to-be published book, Blaze Away; Dynamic Presenting & Speaking Skills for Everyone that details her coaching technique, and is highlighted by client stories of remarkable results.





On Speaking Terms with Katie Karlovitz

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