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Continued: Mackay: The ABCs of public speaking

Q is for Q&A. Take questions five minutes before you are ready to close, so that you have the last word.

R is for room size. Insist the room seat only the planned size of the audience. A room that’s too big destroys rapport.

S is for smile. Let the audience see that you are pleased/happy/honored to be asked to speak.

T is for Toastmasters International, the organization that I recommend for anyone wanting to hone their speaking skills.

U is for unforgettable. Make your speech memorable, clever and well-organized.

V is for voice. Listen to yourself on tape so that you can adjust tempo, tone, timing and inflection.

W is for wisdom. You want to teach and inform.

X is for experience. (Yes, I know it starts with an “e.”) The best way to become a better speaker is to speak as often as you can.

Y is for you. Take pains to look your best.

Z is for zip it up. A smashing closing is as important as a gripping opening.

Another speaking tips handout, “Harvey Mackay’s 35 To Stay Alive,” is available at

Mackay’s Moral: The best way to sound like you know what you’re talking about is to know what you’re talking about.

Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or

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