Jerry Seinfeld's 3 steps for writing jokes—and what they can teach you about public speaking

People often feel uncomfortable and unnatural while speaking in front of an audience, especially when they compare themselves to famous communicators, writes Carmine Gallo for Inc.

But great performers like Steve Jobs and Jerry Seinfeld weren't born "naturals," notes Gallo, a communications coach. In reality, their seemingly effortless performances required a lot of hard work.

Inspired by Jerry Seinfeld's joke-writing method, Gallo identifies three steps to delivering a great presentation.

1: Start with the words

Before you create any slides, focus on the words you'll use, Gallo explains. Cut out words that don't move the presentation forward.

Um, filler words may not always be bad, and may do some good

2: Keep editing

Some of Seinfeld's jokes took years to develop, Gallo notes. Similarly, it may takes months of editing to hone a presentation down to maximum impact.

3: Practice

When Seinfeld practices his jokes, he labors over the pacing and intonation. Many leaders don't pay enough attention to their delivery, Gallo writes. But if your delivery doesn't engage the audience, it won't matter how great your content is, he explains.

Presentations take work, but if you follow Seinfeld's process, you too can deliver a show-stopping performance, he writes (Gallo, Inc., 10/2).

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