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Many people assume that in order to be a politician, you have to be an extroverted type of person who finds it very easy to make off-the-cuff speeches in front of an audience. However, this is not true. Plenty of people who experience anxiety when asked to pitch their product in front of investors can go on to become excellent public speakers or even politicians. The secret to their success is to create an outline for every speech that they give.

Anxiety or stage fright has an unfortunate tendency to wipe out the thoughts in your brain just when you need them most - when you're standing in front of an group who are waiting for you to begin the lesson, or when you're being interviewed about your political platform on the TV news. Therefore, it's important for people who experience this type of performance anxiety to have some external source, such as index cards or an outline, when things get bad and they freeze up.

This is not to say you should write your speeches out word by word. The key to great public speaking is being able to adapt your style and topics to audience response. Therefore, following plan that is too tightly itemized will also hurt you. Plus, audiences tend not to respond well to a person who will not look them in the eye while they are speaking, doing their whole speech with their head down and reading off a paper.

The best option, then, is to outline the topics you want to cover, such as the use of a personal chef, the types of food to serve at parties, and how to find a catering company on short notice. Include bulleted lists of facts or stories you want to be sure to include during your speech and allow yourself to touch on them organically as the speech progresses. If at any point you get lost, you can simply glance down at your outline and find out what your next point is supposed to be.

Questions from the audience can derail your speech, but it's important to respond helpfully to each question and not to stick so close to your outline that you fail to provide any answers, which often happens in political speeches. Audiences resent being fed "talking points" so when a question on food products comes up, don't stay married to your outline. Allow yourself to go where the answer must lead you.

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