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Small Business Digest


Maximizing the Message in Public Speaking

With the economy still on a rocky road and jobs few and far between, how people communicate is more important than ever. Whether they’re trying to sell a product or land a job, chances are they’ll have only one chance.

Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan aren’t merely famous speakers; they’re great communicators. The art of public speaking is more than making eye contact, speaking clearly and “imagining your audience in their boxers.”

In his new book, The Seven Principles of Public Speaking, Richard Zeoli emphasizes that “public speaking is not limited to important presentations before audiences of thousands. Rather, it encompasses the art and practice of communicating ideas effectively, and this is a skill that can benefit people every day in their dealings with co-workers, friends, clients and even their own children.”  Zeoli believes it is crucial to success that a speaker understand the listener and tailor words accordingly. The listener, not the speaker, is the most important person in the room, he says.

Zeoli is the founder of RZC Impact Executive Communications Training. He is a speaker and trainer, and has advised members of Congress and gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates as well as Fortune 500 executives on effective messaging and communication.

Zeoli offers seven common principles:
* Stop thinking of public speaking as a formal venture.
* Connect with your audience.
* Focus on your listeners.
* Get over your mistakes quickly.
* Practice makes good.
* Visualize yourself giving a fantastic speech.
* Be a storyteller, not a preacher.

The book offers step-by-step instructions and practical application tips and includes a workbook to help the reader discover the source of fears and how to address them.

Zeoli says that he believes each person possesses the tools to be an effective communicator and that he sees his seven principles as a key for unlocking that potential.

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