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.