- knowing your space (really important, and so often overlooked)
- knowing your audience
- finding the balance between self-promotion and the content people came to hear
- breathing – which is to say, relax.
I’m going to suggest two more:
Know what you want: What do you want the audience to do as a direct result of your speech? Maybe it’s to march on the capitol. Or to adopt a new open standard in public health inspections. Or to stop using “perpetuate” when they mean “perpetrate”. Build your speech toward that, and then ask them directly to do it.
Know your story: If you know the spine of your story, if you can trace the unbroken logical flow of narrative in your sleep, then no matter what else happens on stage – speaking notes catching fire, mic melting into slag, PowerPoint inexplicably replaced with porn, Involuntary Sudden Onset Yodelling – you’ll be able to recover.