Think about your favorite topic right now. The thing that makes you giddy, excited, totally engaged and immersed. Maybe it’s football. Or knitting. Or honey bees. Doesn’t matter.

Now, tell me about it. Tell me a story about it. Then tell me how it works. Tell me what I can do with this information to make my life so much better – like yours is for knowing all about this thing.

Then listen to you.

Hear that energy and fire? Hear that clarity and confidence?

That, my friend, is the zone. That’s what you want when you are going to talk publicly on any topic. That is how you want to feel; the energy you want. And you can have it. Here’s how: get very educated on the topic. Learn everything you can about that which you are going to share publicly. Immerse yourself in the world of your topic and find inspiration. There’s a story out there that will pull on your heart or build a fire in your belly. There are statistics and trends that bring this concept to life. Gather it all up.

Then make it yours. Discover in you where this information matters. Does the fact that children’s toys may have toxic levels of lead endanger your own children? Does it make you angry that our government hasn’t protected your nephew from this atrocity? Are you curious if this explains your own neurological disorder? Or, does your company’s software create the cutting edge – take clients where no one has ever gone before? Does this software handle a problem you know has caused tons of angst and frustration in the industry? Because you get to bring peace and productivity to those agonized souls, if it does. So, own that power. And tell them all about the solution you can bring to their lives.

In the case of public speaking, it is what you know that counts.

Research your brains out. Exhaust the evidence. Then choose the most compelling statistics and the most thrilling stories to make your case. Pull them together clearly – with simplicity – and your audience will be absorbed, enthralled, intrigued. You will, too – and that’ll make you speak with energy and fire. They’ll love it. You’ll love it, too.

Now go tear it up.