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Public Speaker: Do Not Think on your Feet

Public speakers should not think on their feet. Presenters who try to wing it tend to fail and fail miserably. Trying to deliver a 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.

An effective presentation is the result of a well planned,well rehearsed presentation and developed presentation skills. Just ask any presenter who has just delivered an effective presentation.

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.

Can you 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. Might be okay or could be a disaster.

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.

Don't think on your feet. It will get you into trouble soon.

Instead, be prepared. The only thing you should do on your feet is consider options.

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 them.

Why should you do that much work? Because the pros do it. Plan strategies and tactics to deal with the possible challenges.

But - don't think on your feet. That is pure presentation suicide.

© George Torok is the Public Speaking Pro. He helps business leaders deliver million-dollar presentations. For presentation skills training call 905-335-1997 or visit Get your free presentation skills tips at