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Public Speaking 101: 10 Must-Reads Before Your Next Presentation

You know those people who can stand up at a team meeting or an industry conference and deliver a presentation like nobody's business? Who seem to effortlessly glide across the room, inspiring everyone with perfectly crafted prose and never pausing to look down at cue cards?

Yeah, I want to punch them, too.

Actually, though, the more I've talked to people I consider to be incredible speakers, the more I've learned that public speaking isn't the natural ability that many of us think it is. Sure, some people like it more than others, but the process of developing a compelling message and delivering it in a confident way is really a learned skill that takes time and practice to develop.

In other words, you can do it, too. Start here, with 10 readings that'll boost your presentation prowess today.

1. Speak Easy: Tips for Public Speaking Like a Pro

Getting invited to speak publicly should be an exciting opportunity, but for many of us, it just becomes a nerve-wracking necessity. Use these tips to conquer your fear and look like a pro in front of your audience—whether it's 15 or 1,500.

2. 4 Qualities of Amazing Public Speakers

Develop these four essential qualities, and you'll be able to influence, inspire, and make a meaningful impact on your audience.

3. Video Pick: The Secret to Incredible Speeches

Creating a memorable talk rather than just another yawn-inducing presentation isn’t easy. So how do amazing speakers, like Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, do it? Turns out, there's a formula.

4. The "It" Factor: How to Have Executive Presence in a Meeting

Want to command the room like Sheryl Sandberg or Richard Branson? This PR professional walks us through what it takes to gracefully command the room and leave everyone wanting to know more.

5. 5 Speechwriting Tips I Learned From Speaking to High Schoolers

This entrepreneur had spoken for an audience before, but appearing in front of students taught her a few new tricks.

6. Video Pick: 5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People

In this short (and well-presented) video, behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk explains five key ideas that will help make your next presentation perfectly people-friendly.

7. Giving a Presentation? Use These Secrets From Advertising

Advertisers are the masters of getting a message across in a quick and engaging way—which is exactly what you want to do when giving a presentation. Check out these slides for the lessons you can learn from advertising for your next PowerPoint.

8. 3 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Slides

It's true: People judge the look of your PowerPoint before they even read the first word. So as you're prepping your next presentation, try these simple but effective formatting tips.

9. 10 PowerPoint Templates That Will Make Your Life Easier

Crafting a PowerPoint that will get your point across without making everyone's eyes glaze over becomes a lot easier if you have a few great templates on hand. Check out these 10 basics, then download them to use in your next presentation.

10. How to Overcome a Weakness & Gain Confidence in Your Skills

Think you're a terrible public speaker? This professional did, too. See how she overcome that so-called weakness—and boosted her overall confidence in the meantime.

Photo of microphone courtesy of Shutterstock.

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