Bottom line: Be well prepared for public speaking.
Jason Fried recently wrote a tip for speakers that start off their presentations at conferences or any type of public speaking by saying "Sorry, I didn't have time to prepare better" or something along those lines. His tip? Don't say that.
Jason is right. You shouldn't say that. It makes people begin to wonder why they paid the ticket price. But I am going to take it one step further. Be well prepared for public speaking. That is the bottom line.
I don't care if you have slides, fancy transitions, some sort of video or audio portion of your presentation, or even bring props like Carrot Top. Your presentation style is completely up to you. The point is that you should be well prepared to speak on the topic that you said you'd speak on and that people paid for you to speak on. If that means that you simply wing it because you'll be discussing something that you live everyday, that's fine. But be well prepared to wing it.
I tried to prepare very well for my recent LessConf presentation (whether it was obvious or not) and I hope the audience never questioned their reasons for attending the conference. When the video comes out, you can be judge for yourself but you can't say I didn't try.
Via Dan Benjamin.