on projectmanagement source there is a nice post on how to become a better public speaker. they list up 27 hints in form of best practices which can help to improve one’s presentation performance. i think there are two more important aspects:
28. try to get feedback: once you’ve finished your speech try to get feedback from your audience in form of a standardised questionnaire that you can hand out before. you can ask about
- the form or quality of your presentation,
- the innovativeness regarding the topic,
- the auditors’ gain of experience,
- the auditors’ readiness to recommend your speech to friends,
- the auditors’ overall opinion,
- and suggestions for improvement.
this gives you some important information about the things you still have to work on, and an impression on how successful your presentation really was.
29. be prepared for equipment failure: let’s assume you want to use some state-of-the-art presentation equipment like a mike, a notebook, a beamer, powerpoint and a wireless presenter mouse. the first thing is that you should allow for some extra time before you start your speech in order to get all this stuff working. if you encounter problems, you must be ready for an alternative solution (i.e. slices for an overhead projector).
there’s also a website which deals with “the art of speaking” and has some more nice hints.