When you have a job at hand, is your goal to do it perfectly or to the best of your ability? Be honest with yourself in answering that question because, in public speaking, it could mean the difference between a dynamic presentation and one that is so-so.

Without a doubt, there are some things I want done perfectly – like the surgery on my dog’s eye to remove a large cyst or the adding of numbers when I do my taxes. When I was a child, my mother taught me to sew and we made identical dresses with a striped pattern. I can’t tell you how many times she had me rip out the seams until I had matched the stripes perfectly. I know this was one of my best lessons in life.

There are other things, however, in which seeking perfection will thwart your success. Any type of live performance, be it on a stage, the football field or a baseball diamond, is subjective. Who is to say that the game, the concert, or the play is perfect? What I may think is perfect may not be what you think is perfect. In that sense, seeking perfection is a waste of time.

If you want to be able to speak and do it well, I suggest you:

    1. know your material inside and out (which you have practiced out loud over and over and over again);
    2. speak with emotion, with life, and with passion;
    3. make eye contact with your audience;
    4. breathe; and,
    5. believe in yourself.

When you can incorporate those 5 rules into your delivery, you will then be achieving the best you can do. What this means is that you will give an excellent speech or presentation. No, it will not be perfect. In fact, you will probably make a mistake or two. Remember, your audience is not looking for perfection from you: your audience is looking for a great message that inspires or motivates or persuades them.

Deliver your message just as if you were having a conversation in your living room and you will be creating an intimacy with them that is not possible if your material is memorized or read from a script. Watch those who are really skilled at public speaking and you will see that they all share that one characteristic in common. They treat their listeners as if in conversation and they don’t worry about a couple of mistakes.

Next time you are scheduled to speak, stop fretting over the unattainable and seek that which is easier to accomplish and much more dynamic in the long run.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Nancy's Voice Training Workshops.