Public Speaker: Do Not Think on Your Feet

Your feet are for walking and standing not thinking, especially when in front of an audience.

Public speakers should not think on their feet. Presenters who try to wing it often fail, and fail miserably. Trying to deliver your presentation by thinking on your feet is an attempt to wing it. Winging anything is like spinning the roulette wheel and hoping for the best. That’s not a good approach to anything especially delivering a presentation that might be important to you.

An effective presentation is the result of a well planned, well rehearsed presentation and well developed presentation skills. Just ask any presenter who has just delivered an effective presentation. They’ll tell you how much effort they put into preparing. A successful presentation is seldom the result of luck.

Successful presentation is the result of a rehearsed skill set. Like any skill set you get there with study, practice and training. No one takes the gold or any of the medals at the Olympics by luck. They prepared. They practiced and they worked with a performance coach. And then they worked some more.

Imagine how you might feel if you took your loved one to an expensive restaurant and this time the chef decided not to follow his usual methods but decided to try something new and wing it. It might be okay or it could be a disaster. Would you wonder why the chef experimented on you? Would you demand your money back?

When it’s your turn to speak don’t try to think on your feet. It’s too dangerous. When you try to wing it you leave too much to chance. You might be sharp today. Or, you might be ill or even in a foul mood. Thinking on your feet is experimenting with your audience. Don’t gamble the success of your presentation on the throw of the dice.Public speaker: Don’t think on your feet. Your presentation might crash and it will get you into trouble soon.Instead, be prepared. The only thing you should do on your feet while delivering your presentation is to consider options.Before you speak analyze your presentation, the strengths, the weak points, and your audience. Consider the possible questions, objections and interruptions. Then prepare and rehearse your response to all of these possibilities.Why should you do that much work? Because the pros in any field do it. Are you a pro or are you a novice hoping to wing it? Plan the strategies and tactics that you will use to deal with the possible challenges in your presentations.Public Speaker: Don’t think on your feet. That is the formula for presentation suicide. Instead think and prepare before you get on your feet.

© George Torok is the Public Speaking Pro He helps public speakers deliver million dollar presentations. He offers presentation coaching and training. To get your free presentation tips visit To arrange for George to speak to your company, conference or association call 905-335-1997

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives

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