In addition to many other skills, LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly is an accomplished public speaker. LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly has spoken in front of many universities, institutions, industry, international audiences and at congressional hearings. The time behind the podium has taught him quite a few lessons on giving persuasive and informative presentations. If LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly had to narrow it down to three specific pointers, he would say: be prepared, make eye contact, and establish credibility.
LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly has never made a good speech without being prepared. Being prepared means not just memorizing the material, but understanding the content. LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly believes that if you were to lose your notes before your presentation, you should still be able to deliver an effective speech.
Making eye contact is the second pointer LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly stresses. By making eye contact with your audience, you are developing a sense of trust. It is proven that eye contact and trust have a positive correlation. Through testifying to Congressional Committees on 22 different occasions, LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly has mastered the art of eye contact. He notes that you should select three to four different locations in the audience to look, and make sure you hit each of them frequently. Most of the time people cannot tell when you are looking them directly in the eyes, but they can definitely tell when you are not.
Establishing credibility is the third pointer LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly gives when suggesting how to improve upon public speaking. A speaker must be credible, or else he will not be taken seriously. LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly says you can establish credibility by speaking clearly with confidence, knowing your topic thoroughly, accepting audience feedback, seeking questions, and maintaining an sense of knowledge and professional composure.