The power or fluency of speech & ability to communicate expressively is the single most important characteristic a leader/manager has to have to be successful in today's business climate.

The ability to effectively articulate vision, business imperatives, corporate or project goals and objectives, as well as approach, decisions, actions and follow-up greatly impacts how successful a project is. 

A  leader's ability to articulate these things also depends on the ability to entice team members to provide feedback and interaction (communication is two - way street). Establishing a process to gather feedback is highly beneficial to projects and generates buy-in and improved efficiency.

Voice can make up to 40% of ones personality. Speaking in public is never easy. Some people seem to do it effortlessly and others have great difficulty, but generally, every person that speaks in a professional environment will admit it is a challenge.

Everyone will be required at some point or time to do presentations, public speaking, or impromptu speaking. One must learn as many tools and techniques as possible and more importantly find the time to prepare as much as possible before speaking.

We all know the basics, but a little bit of effort will go a lonnnnnnng way to reward you and increase your success if you take the time to REVISIT tips and techniques how to be a better communicator! 

Listed below are the top 20 Communication Best Practices to improve communication from our perspective:
  1. overcome your fear and believe in yourself (understand that every speaker is different, know your strengths and use them);
  2. eye contact;
  3. prepare ahead of time (document and review, formally present in front of a mirror, practice pronunciation);
  4. be aware of your time (finish within the set goal, know where to look for the time);
  5. match your vocabulary to your audience;
  6. have someone count your crutch words (um, ah, etc.);
  7. watch and adapt to your audience;
  8. plan your communication (objectives, approach to achieve objectives)
  9. organize your thoughts (interesting opening, flowing body, strong close);
  10. use your voice (loud/soft, fast/slow, up/down no monotone);
  11. use your body (facial and body gestures but don’t fidget or pace);
  12. manage emotions (sincere, energetic, enthusiastic);
  13. familiarize yourself with the physical location;
  14. familiarize yourself with as many audience members as possible;
  15. use appropriate visuals or props;
  16. embrace technology but don't let it be a distraction
  17. plan how to manage questions and be prepared to address them;
  18. don’t be afraid to be afraid (a little nervousness is very good);
  19. exercise your voice (hum or say tongue twisters then stretch your jaw/lips/tongue);
  20. smile and have fun. 

Some additional Links to improve your public speaking can be found at:

Psychology Today - 5 tips to reduce public speaking nervousness
Toastmasters - 10 tips for public speaking

NOTE: If you can, join a toastmasters club in your city (goto the website and find a chapter near your), this is one of the most value added investments you can make as a professional

Also below is a good video that covers some tips to physically relax you just before you need to present, plus a few others...