Chances are, you aren’t a professional public speaker. If you are, don’t bother reading this article. But if you’re one of us (aka public speaking hacks), consider the following tips for public speaking.

The most inspiring presentations rarely have slides. In finance and other technical industries with lots of numbers, many concepts are hard to communicate withOUT slides. Regardless, here are a few things that will help any presentation be more effective.

1. Start with a funny story to get your audience engaged…and connected.

2. Be passionate about what you’re presenting and your audience will follow suit.

3. Be clear about why the topic you’re presenting is important to your audience (“Here’s a good example of why this matters in your lives…”)

4. Keep. It. Simple. When you’re preparing, constantly ask: is this critical or just extra fluff? You should be able to write out the core message on the back of a business card. And keep Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule in mind (10 slides; shouldn’t last longer than 20 minutes, and fonts can’t be any smaller than 30 points).

5. Smile and make eye contact! Smiling, they say, is the gateway to human connections, and eyes are the windows to the soul.

6. Support your main points with stories and real examples.

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