Rapper Ice-T’s Ten Rules Of Public Speaking

If you’re a rap fan, you probably know Ice-T from his days making waves as the rapper of “Cop Killer.” If you’re a fan of Law and Order: SVU, you probably know him as Detective Tutuola. And if you’re a fan of reality television, you may have caught his E! network program Ice Loves Coco.

But did you know that Ice-T was also a sage public speaking coach?

The New York Post published “Ice-T’s 10 Rules of Public Speaking” over the weekend, and his advice is spot-on. Although he developed his public speaking chops as an on-stage emcee, you may be surprised to see how perfectly they translate to corporate life.

In this post, you’ll see five of those rules (you’ll find a link to The Post article below if you’d like to read the full list).

Photo Credit: Steve Rapport

1. Know your material.

Don’t flap your gums about partying with hot girls in the Hamptons if you’ve never even driven through Long Island. You can’t lie about real-life experiences, especially if you’re giving a speech. “A crowd can smell a fake from a mile away,” explains Ice T. “People relate to personal stories — it pulls them in and makes them feel special.”

2. Practice. Then, practice some more.

“Before concerts I would put on instrumental versions of songs and push the melodies to the front of my mind,” says Ice T. “Rehearsing out loud is key.”

3. Know the audience.

“Identify who you’re going to be addressing and tailor your words accordingly. You can’t address the Hells Angels the same way you would fans at a Garth Brooks concert,” says Ice T, laughing. “Greet the audience. Use humor. Do whatever you can to make a connection.”

5. Be descriptive.

“When you talk, paint vivid pictures with your words,” Ice T says. “When I rhyme about the hood, I want a white kid who lives in Omaha to feel like he’s living there.”

7. Never apologize.

“State your opinion and roll with it no matter what,” says Ice T. “Once you win over a room, they won’t turn their back on you. Saying I’m sorry over and over again makes you look nervous and weak.”


You can read the full list of Ice-T’s 10 rules of public speaking at The New York Post.

(a grateful h/t to Christina Mozaffari)

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