In the internet world, the amount of information on public speaking or presentation skills is overwhelming – from choosing a topic and then preparing and creating your speech or presentation to the best means of delivering your material with enthusiasm and passion. What is often neglected, however, is the idea of integrity in public speaking, a subject that could be a book in itself. What is meant by integrity? Total honesty with your audience, which can only be accomplished if you know your topic extremely well, respect those in attendance and value their presence.

There is nothing worse than talking to an audience about a subject in which they have more information than you. Even if it is for a classroom assignment and you did not choose your topic, it is important that you do your research and learn as much as you possibly can about that which you will be speaking.

How embarrassed would you be if someone asked you a question that you could not answer but many in your audience could? Public speaking is not about you the speaker as much as it is about you imparting knowledge to your audience. Therefore, in order to successfully impart that knowledge, it is your responsibility to know your material and to be able to anticipate some of the questions you may be asked as well.

If you have done your homework, researched your topic, and practiced your outline, you will stand a much better chance of being able to answer questions than if you are not prepared. Let’s say for example that you have been selected by Toastmasters to give an informative presentation about the years John Adams spent abroad before becoming America’s 2nd President. While you may only be speaking about a brief time in this man’s life, knowing when and where he was born, the state he represented, and understanding his ideas and his principles for government is information that will bolster your confidence in speaking about him. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be.

What happens, however, when someone approaches you with a question that you cannot answer? Be honest. Tell them you are not sure of the answer but that you will find out and get back to them – and then do that. You will be surprised at how much more appreciative your audience will be when you treat them with honesty.

You can be a wonderfully dynamic speaker and have wonderful presentation skills, but without integrity, anything you say or do is a lie. A fundamental tenet in business is that success is built on being honest with your customers. The same holds true in public speaking. To be known as a speaker with this qualification will take you much further than to leave an audience questioning or doubting your integrity.

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 Voice Dynamic.

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