There is one and only one golden rule of speaking: Know your audience. Are they old, young, employed, unemployed, liberal, conservative? What are their greatest fears? What are they expecting from you? What is the one thing the organizer would like them to do as a result of your speech? How long are you expected to speak? Who is speaking before and after you? What is the purpose of your speech and the event? The best way to get this golden information is to send a detailed questionnaire to the organizer asking for it.

The silver rule of speaking: Speak from your heart. Be genuine.

The bronze: Rehearse. Rehearse your presentation at least once the day of - but don't memorize it. Be sure the presentation is focused on the audience and not what you want to speak on.

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