How to Not Suck at Speaking in 2016

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Next week, I'll start to hear from folks who have vowed that 2016 will be the year they finally conquer their fear of public speaking or their dependence on PowerPoint or their habit of just winging it every time they're asked to give a talk. Remember these three things to keep that resolution: Point, Personality and Practice.

Point: Have one or two or three. When you're asked to give a talk, you're not being asked to tell your listeners everything you know about your subject, just what they need to know. 

Personality: Have one. Show it. No one will come up to you after a talk and tell you how much they loved your pie charts. But they will connect with how you show your enthusiasm for your subject.

Practice: Out loud. Instead of saying, "On this slide, I'll summarize this table," really say out loud your summary of the table. Your first try will suck, but that's what practice is for. You'll get better with each take, which boosts your confidence and reduces your anxiety. And your listeners will be grateful!