Lincoln's Public Speaking Secret

Inaugural speeches come and go and most of them are quickly forgotten. But we all seem to remember Lincoln's Gettysburg address. What did Lincoln know and do in his speech that the other presidents didn't consider in their speeches? One word-Brevity. When the listeners glance at their watches and their eyes glaze over you know you've lost them. The best way to keep your listener's attention is get to the point-and do it quickly. Here are some quick tips to help you sound presidential and get to the point.

Set it up. One of the biggest speaking mistakes is starting with details. Technical speakers often fall into this trap. Begin with a purpose statement.

Point of view plus two. Give them a road map by providing a two or three point agenda. Why two or three points? They're easier to remember. An agenda is a road map. It tells them where you're taking them.

Spell it out clearly and concisely. Flesh our each agenda item with examples and data but keep it brief.

Bring it home. Summarize your main points. Don't leave them hanging. Review where you've been. Bring back your main message points and end with a call to action or an inspiring statement.

When you follow these steps your listeners will enjoy the destination AND the journey.