Soledad O'Brien knows how to speak to an audience.
As an award-winning journalist, she's drilled political leaders and covered hard-hitting subjects like racism in her CNN series "Black in America".
On Thursday, O'Brien gave advice to young professionals during an "Office Hours" session with Levo League, a professional network for Gen Y women.
Here's what she said about public speaking:
1. Look fabulous
“Dress in something fabulous that you know you look great in. You’re not going to be good if you don’t feel like a million dollars.”
If you look good, you'll feel good. That confidence will reflect in your speaking and will create a more natural flow to your presentation.
2. Speak from the heart
O'Brien emphasized believing in what you say, otherwise your script will be a "clunker."
"Learn to speak from the heart and write it down, " she said.
3. Practice, practice, practice
O'Brien lives by the old adage "practice makes perfect" and said she reads through her notes at least three times before giving a speech.
"So many people do a bad job public speaking because they haven’t walked through their notes. Once you’ve really read it, then you’ll be able to ad-lib and be comfortable, laugh, and pause for the joke.”
4. Keep it brief
"Brother, be brief." No one wants to listen to a speech that drags, so keep things tight, and bow out.
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