The key points to remember from this chapter are as follows:
- Clarity first. The most important thing in delivery is verbal clarity. This is what the audience overwhelmingly wants: to simply understand you. As much as possible, try to avoid “bureaucratese” and industry jargon. Instead, use everyday words and keep your sentences short. Talk like you're speaking to a friend, not to a whole room of people.
- Don't worry about the time too much. Try to finish on time, but don't worry too much if you don't. It is largely the organizer's responsibility. Your job is to be good; it is much more important. Of course, you should not forget about the time entirely. If your time is up, be the first to admit it. If the audience likes you and is interested in what you still have to say, you will be allowed to finish.
- Whatever happens, keep talking to the audience. Ask questions, look them in the eye, challenge them, and engage them. Watch for their feedback, both verbal and nonverbal. When you're in doubt about how they feel, just ask. The moment you stop talking to them, they reach for their cell phones. Don't talk to your laptop or your screen; there's no one there. Talk to the audience. A confidence monitor and remote controller will set you free.
- Don't try to be funny. Humor isn't all that important and it's risky. However, while improvising, you cannot survive without laughing at yourself. Get ready to do just that.