Throughout my career, I've been lucky enough to give talks all over the world. Recently I spoke on Cultural Intelligence (the subject of my most recent book) at TEDxEastEnd.

If you are looking to get better at delivering a speech, here are 12 tips that have served me well over the years.

Let me know what you think in comments.

  1. Prepare carefully what you are going to say and then capture it on small cards (paper makes noise). Only write on one side of the cards.
  2. Number the cards, so that if you get lost or drop them you can recover.
  3. Write your first sentence out in full, so when panic sets in, it’s waiting for you.
  4. Reduce all the rest to key words so that you are not tempted to read bits out.
  5. All except your last sentence, write that out in full, so that you don’t dribble out at the end.
  6. When you have delivered the final sentence - stop. Cope with the silence.
  7. Send messages to yourself on your cards like "slow down" at the points where you know you always start to go too fast or "smile" if you know you won’t.
  8. Before it starts, stand where you are going to be standing and get a feel for the space.
  9. Stand still. You can start moving when you’re getting good.
  10. Keep away from anyone who will give you very honest feedback at the end (you are too vulnerable then). But listen to them the next day.
  11. Learn to vary the pace of your speech (listen to Churchill and Luther King – they were the best at this).
  12. Keep going - you will get better and better.