Five Basic Public Speaking Tips

Public speaking can cause fear for many. It’s actually something I’ve been personally challenged to conquer over the years. I recently took on a job opportunity in which public speaking would be required and I had quite the challenge pushing my comfort level. In this article, I’d like to share five simple Public Speaking tips that can help you become a better public speaker.

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Practice makes perfect. If you think you are ready to give the speech without rehearsing it, do it. Then ask a few friends or coworkers to give you their honest opinions.

Let them know that you want constructive criticism, not flattery. It’s better to hear what they have to say before your presentation than afterward.

Your body language is crucial in public speaking.

Even if you have fantastic content, if people can tell that you’re uncomfortable or nervous by the way that you stand or move, they will lose interest quickly.

Practice your speech in front of a mirror so that you can see how much movement is too much and adjust it accordingly.

Work on your eye contact

Eye contact is how successful people make a connection with their audience, and it’s the key to building rapport and trust. When you speak while looking at the audience, they’ll know that you are speaking to all of them.

Eye contact will also help give you confidence as a speaker because it’s reassuring to see other people looking at you as if they’re interested in what you have to say.

How do speakers practice eye contact?

Many speakers practice by rehearsing in front of a mirror or video recording themselves.

While this can be helpful for seeing how your body language comes across, it’s not an optimal method for practicing eye contact because there are no human eyes to look back at yours.

Another way is to ask a friend or family member to watch while you speak on camera and then use the playback afterward to evaluate your eye contact.

If possible, choose someone who will give constructive feedback about when your eyes shift too much or too little — otherwise, this method can potentially reinforce bad habits.

With either method, remember that practice makes perfect!

How do speakers avoid looking shifty?

One common mistake when practicing eye contact is staring into space rather than keeping one’s gaze focused on individual members of the audience; this can make your eyes look shifty or unfocused (and distract from what you’re saying).

To prevent this from happening during rehearsals or live performances:

1) try not to stare into space;

2) don’t move around too much unless necessary (if standing then minimize any unnecessary shifts between feet);

3) keep hands down at the sides so they don’t distract audience members who may notice them fidgeting nervously instead of listening attentively;

4) keep head up (do not tilt head downward which looks like boredom);

5) do not touch face except when necessary such as wiping sweat off forehead which might cause a distraction if done repeatedly without any breaks between actions).

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Record yourself

Another important part of speech preparation is video recording. Nowadays, video cameras are cheap and easy to use—every cell phone has a camera built in. You can even find inexpensive webcams at office supply stores.

Why record yourself? Watching a recording allows us to see some of the same problems that our listeners observe—such as nervous behavior (head shaking or hand wringing) and distracting mannerisms (twirling hair or touching your face).

It also allows you to hear yourself speak so you can notice filler words (like “um”), excessive pausing, and other vocal problems.

Recording yourself can be intimidating, but it is an important step in your performance practice. Have a friend record you while you give your speech, and then view the results together.

Be sure to give plenty of positive feedback; when it comes time for constructive criticism, make sure both parties stay level-headed and don’t take things personally!

Being able to keep your nerves in check is another key factor that separates great public speakers from good ones. In our next section, we will discuss some helpful techniques that can ease anxiety and help us remain calm during our performance.

Take a deep breath

If you’re a nervous public speaker, you’ve probably heard the phrase: “take a deep breath.” What it means is that you should practice for at least two minutes before delivering your speech.

A deep breath will help reduce the amount of nervousness you feel and make the presentation go more smoothly. You’ll also build up your confidence.

As for other tips on how to become a better public speaker, here are a few we’ve learned from experience:

Have water nearby

The first of my five basic public speaking tips is to drink water. Drinking water before and during your speech will ensure that you don’t get a sore throat, and it will also help keep you from being distracted by thirst. It’s also a good idea to have a bottle of water on stage with you so that you can take sips between points.

If you find yourself getting nervous before speaking, try to focus on taking deep breaths and relaxing every part of your body one at a time.

This physical relaxation will calm your nerves and allow you to better communicate with your audience.

Additionally, make sure that you are well-rested on the day of your presentation, as fatigue can cause unnecessary stress or scatterbrained when speaking in front of an audience.


It’s all about preparation.

Moving onto the next step, how do you prepare? First of all, make sure to know your audience—this is critical. Your presentation must be tailored to each individual demographic. For example, if you are giving a presentation on saving money in New Yor City, you may wish to include information on saving money via public transportation. However, that same advice would not apply to someone living in rural Idaho.

Once you get the hang of knowing your audience and tailoring your speeches accordingly, the rest comes easily.

Now that we have discussed preparing for a presentation, let’s move on to actually giving a speech.

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All of the advice above, like most other aspects of public speaking, gets easier with practice. But there is no denying that it’s difficult to learn. It’s only through additional practice will the tips above become easier and more instinctual to implement on-the-fly. So if you speak in public often (and we hope you do), do your fellow coworkers a favor and share these tips with them! Remember: you too were once a novice public speaker, and you too would have appreciated receiving this advice.

Five Basic Public Speaking Tips, Ibrahim mustapha

Your number one Public Speaking Resource

One comment

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