Tips for Effective Public Speaking

Attorney John Ramsbacher, a partner in the California firm of Ramsbacher Prokey LLP, belongs to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and several professional estate planning organizations, and has served in leadership positions in the California Bar’s section on taxation. The author of several articles on taxation, John Ramsbacher has also given numerous presentations to audiences of attorneys and CPAs on various elements of tax law and estate planning.

Effective public speaking is an art that anybody can master. Like other arts, it is generally mastered through practice. This does not mean a speaker should either memorize or read a speech, though. It is easy to lose one’s place in either type of presentation, which can have disastrous results. In addition, there is little spontaneity in a read or memorized speech, and no sense of conversation or interaction with the audience.

Speakers must know their material inside and out, and they should also know their audiences. They can then determine what points they want the audience to take away, jot them on an index card or two, and then refer to those notes during the presentation. Practice is essential, preferably in front of a mirror. While speaking, speakers should relax and concentrate on their message, and keep in mind that the audience wants them to succeed. Once the initial nervousness has passed, most speakers comfortably slip into the rhythm they have practiced and engage in a positive, enjoyable interaction with their audiences.

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About John Ramsbacher

As a Partner with Ramsbacher Prokey LLP in San Jose, California, John Ramsbacher practices tax and estate planning; probate; charitable planning; and representing taxpayers in controversy matters with IRS and FTB from audits to Tax Court. Along with overseeing five other lawyers at Ramsbacher Prokey, Mr. Ramsbacher primarily represents high net worth individuals and family businesses as a litigator and transactional attorney. Earlier in his career, John Ramsbacher performed as an Adjunct Faculty member in Golden Gate University's Masters of Taxation program. When not guiding clients through legal controversies at Ramsbacher Prokey, John Ramsbacher acts as co-founder and Director of Republic Bank, Inc., and participates with several professional organizations. The recipient of an American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Gift and Estate Taxation, he belongs to the Executive Committee of the Taxation Section of The State Bar of California; the Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council; the San Francisco Estate Planning Council; and the Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. Mr. Ramsbacher is a Fellow with the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He previously chaired the Estate and Gift Tax Committee of the Taxation Section of The State Bar of California. Also in addition to his work with Ramsbacher Prokey, John Ramsbacher speaks and writes about these issues for conferences and journals. Since earning his law degree from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Mr. Ramsbacher has published pieces on Crummey and Cristofani trusts as well as on family limited partnerships. During the past decade, he engaged audiences at the 59th Institute on Federal Taxation at New York University, the 12th Annual Estate and Gift Tax Conference in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, three Practising Law Institute's Annual Estate Planning Institutes, and other events. Chosen for the Best Lawyers in America, the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and Super Lawyers, John Ramsbacher enjoys scuba diving and traveling when away from the Ramsbacher Prokey firm.
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