Top 7 Tips for Public Speaking

Public Speaking is one of the things in life that most of us dread! That feeling of panic inside, the sweaty palms, the voice that magically goes up an octave and the mind that will go blank when we are delivering our speech. Sounds familiar?? All of the feelings listed and a whole lot more, can be present for everyone delivering a public presentation. In the words of Allan Pease “Every speaker gets butterflies, the difference is that mine are flying in formation”. To see a master speaker at work is truly inspirational and can leave us feeling that we could never be as good as the person on stage. Well, everyone had to start somewhere. Anyone who is a public speaker will have their own “horror” stories of drying up on stage, falling over, minds going blank etc – so, what a great idea to give you the top tips of how to prepare and deliver an awesome presentaion:

1. Know your material. This  tip is really important, particularly if you are starting out. Think of a subject that you can talk about for hours – its a great starting point. You will know about the subject than you put into your presentation. This will increase your confidence when you are “on stage”

2. Practice, practice and then practice more. If possible, practice at home, initially in our a room speaking out loud and if you’re feeling brave enough, deliver it in front of a mirror. If you are using props or visual aids, include those in your practice – you can never practice enough. As you deliver it, make a note of where you need to revise and make the changes where necessary. Get a stopwatch and time yourself – you’ll be amazed how easy it is to run out of time and also how easy it is to finish too early.

3. Know the audience. One of the things I like to do, wherever I can, is to observe the audience on the way in – maybe even say hello to a few of them as well. This breaks the ice a little bit and I start to feel that I’m talking to my friends rather than to a room full of strangers. If you currently network, volunteer to deliver a 10 minute business spotlight – great place to practice new material

4. Know the room. Making sure that the room is right is really important – check the temperature, remembering that the temperature will increase with more bodies in it. Check that the microphones are working, your visual aids, projectors and flip charts are in place. Little bit frustrating when you have a flip chart and no pens!!

5. Relax. Take deep breaths before going on stage, when you are on stage, take another deep breath, and SMILE! Acknowledge your audience and thank them for coming and then take another deep breath and SMILE again

6. Realize that people want you to succeed. Nobody ever wants to go to a presentation to hear someone  fail – everyone in the room wants you to be successful – enjoy the moment
7. Avoid apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it. The old motto”the show must go on” is key – only you know what the script is, everyone will think its part of the presentation


If this has wet your appetite, click here now for the next Public Speaking event I am running soon – thanks for reading

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