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Preparation time can save time

Preparation is generally essential to making a good speech, whether it be a wedding speech, an anniversary party speech or any other speech for a special occasion, and without it the result is likely to be rambling and disjointed. However, there are a few gifted individuals who can perform with minimum preparation. I came across one during a normal routine working day as a lawyer. A colleague met his client for the first time early in the morning in a cell in the local police station. He was with him for about ten minutes, during which time he made a few brief notes on the back of a cigarette packet. He then went straight to the Magistrates Court where he represented the client who pleaded guilty to a shoplifting charge. His ten minute speech in mitigation was fluent, professional and persuasive. I was suitably impressed but, more important, the Magistrates were sufficiently impressed to give the accused a sentence at the bottom end of the tariff. But most of us can’t perform like that, and time spent on preparation will invariably pay dividends.

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