How to Deliver a Knockout Speech

Knowing how to deliver a knockout speech is a prerequisite for any top exec. We asked Spanx founder Sara Blakely, who delivers on average 20 speeches a year, for her no-fail tips on how to command the room and wow a crowd.

ARRIVE EARLY If you're speaking at a conference, you're likely an important person with a busy schedule. Don't rush in to an important speech — take a quiet moment to calm nerves and gather thoughts.

PULL YOUR HAIR BACK Nothing's more distracting then constantly brushing away bangs or — gasp! — twirling your hair.

SPEECHES ARE LIKE THEATER Your job is to inform, inspire, and entertain. So whether you're addressing buttoned-up execs or a more relaxed crowd, use clever quips to hold their attention.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE STAGE When addressing a large group for longer than a few minutes, don't just stand behind the podium. Walk around — it keeps the energy high and allows you to connect with the entire audience.

WEAR A BOLD COLOR These days, large conference rooms are usually outfitted with video screens, which project the speaker's image to the room's far reaches. So what you wear matters. Pick a color that pops on camera, and apply makeup more heavily than normal to avoid looking washed-out.

Career
Share
8 Signs You're Accidentally the Mean Girl at Work
Created for UnREAL
Career
Share
Who Makes More Money—Women Who Wear Makeup or Women Who Don't?
Career
Share
The Totally Counterintuitive Thing Science Says You Should Do to Your Résumé
Career
Share
4 Sh*tty Work Situations That Get Better When You Speak Up
Created for UnREAL
Career
Share
The Biggest Mistake I Made At Work: Sarah McCarry
Career
Share
How This Female Cardiac Surgeon Remains Cool As Ice in the OR
Career
Share
Inside the Life of Poker Queen Helen Ellis
Career
Share
The 9 Types of Obnoxious Personalities at Every Single Office
Career
Share
A Day in the Life of the Ultimate Girl Boss
Created for UnREAL
GIF
Career
Share
*How* Much Do You Get Paid for a Post? A Beginner's Guide to the Business of Blogging