Being an exceptional public speaker is about much more than making an attention-getting introduction, giving great eye contact, and knowing what to do with your hands. It’s about addressing what your listeners want and need to hear — not what you want to say. To do this, you need to first find out what’s in the heads and hearts of your audience, so you can design your presentation to address those topics first and foremost. Find out in advance what motivates your audience — what gets them out of bed in the morning, and what keeps them up at night. You’ll need to understand the depth of knowledge that your audience has on the topic, and how to meet them where they are. In this article, the author discusses best practices for earning your audience’s attention and buy-in in order to deliver an effective speech that’s worthy of their time.