As you advance your career, public speaking becomes more important. People listen to effective speakers. They also make a connection between an interesting and effective speaker and the speaker’s expertise. The better you are at addressing a topic, the more people think you “really know what you are talking about”. Colleagues in a business setting make the correlation as well, so if your boss and other executives are in the room, take advantage of the opportunity. These tips work for public speaking opportunities as well as internal business meetings.Create a story line – you need a beginning, middle, and an end. This works even if you are using charts, graphs and data. There is an old adage about public speaking you should consider when preparing the presentation: “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them”. The introduction (or beginning of the story) should state the importance of your topic. Why should listeners care? How do you and your topic affect them? What can they learn? Why are you qualified to speak? In the middle of your presentation, you support your topic with facts, figures, case studies or expert opinions. This is where you can present your own opinions or experience. Build your credibility. Be sure you cover the statements you made in the introduction.At the end, summarize most important points; draw on the introduction or particularly critical points you have made. Tell them how the topic affects them.These tips apply to internal business presentations as well. Establish how your topic impacts the business. In business meetings people want clarity of purpose. Creating a story line is a good way to think about what you say. Just put it in business terms.Know your audience – When you are speaking it is not about what you want to say; it is about what the audience needs to hear. You must be your own critic. Mentally build a description of who is in the audience. Look at your presentation from their point of view. You may find that points you are making are interesting to you but not your audience. Most of the time your critic will tell you what to cut.If this is an internal business meeting, know the people in the room who are really your audience? What do they need to hear from you? Make your points crystal clear. Most business meetings are about making decisions. Your presentation needs to help make the right decision.Look at your audience – Particularly in large public forums you need to speak to the audience, really look at them, and not your notes. It is common when you first do public speaking that you obsess over the notes. Notes are there for backup, they are not a script. Your eyes are what connections you to the audience. Scan the room right to left. Look at the back row and not just the faces in the front row. Even pick a few people around the room and make eye contact.The same applies at internal company meetings. You know which point you are make resonates with individuals in the room; talk to them when you make the point. Nods from your audience build credibility and show others in the room that people agree with you. Even if you have a microphone, walk around the room, engage your colleagues.Be confident – If you are up there speaking you are an expert. Act like it. Some people go overboard and look cocky. That comes across poorly. Other people are more reserved. On a public stage that can seem cold. Everyone engaged in public speaking needs to build a public presence that fits them. In some cases humor may be a good in the introduction. Personal “oops experiences” can be used to illustrate a key point by illustrating your mistake. This humanizes you and relaxes you audience. Make sure humor is appropriate. Confidence is visible to the audience when you have a story, know your audience and engage the room with your eyes.At business meetings your confidence is absolutely critical. In this environment people ask questions, make comments and are dissenting voices. Acknowledge them; maybe they are making a good point? Be confident in what you have said. It is good to add new information or recall something you have already presented. If you are not sure about anything you are presenting it will be obvious. Sometimes even acknowledging your uncertainty can be very powerful.–These tips can make a big difference in how you are perceived by your audience. Your career can be impacted by your public and internal presentations skills. Be In charge of your own public personality. Be a student of public speaking skills. It will serve you well.