First there was sleaze. Then there was spin. Finally there was Iraq.
The result has been a disintegration of trust in the spoken utterances of politicians, which has morphed slowly but surely into kneejerk distrust of any public pronouncement.
Your audience has developed a preternatural ability to detect fakery. There is zero tolerance for corporate ventriloquism these days. So if you have the temerity to speak words which you don't fully own - ones formulated for you by your PR agency or HR team - then pack a parachute. You are certain to be shot down.
You must write your own presentations, regardless of whether you are the world's greatest wordsmith. Richard Branson certainly isn't - in fact I don't think his presentation skills have improved one jot in all his years in business. This is central to his appeal - he's not slick, but then the age is signally sick of slick.
Own the words you speak, and the way you speak them. One way of doing this is to make them up on the spot. If you have no script then you clearly haven't hired a scriptwriter. Notes - of any kind - denote an amateur communicator or, worse, an inauthentic one.
If that is too scary, then find other ways to introduce some spontaneity. Read and respond to your audience's reactions. Speculate. Go off-piste.
By conveying that this is a work in progress, not a finished product, you will be letting the audience know that the material is authentically yours.
Next time: Design Matters