Public Speaking: What To Do & What Not To Do


Speaking in front of a group of people can be a nerve-wracking experience. The nerves may result in you being unable to think clearly or convey your ideas effectively. But there are ways to reduce the stress and make sure your audience understands what you’re saying. Here are some guidelines for giving a great speech:

Do make eye contact

  • Eye contact is important for connecting with your audience and keeping them interested in what you have to say.
  • Avoid looking at the screen or the person who is speaking.
  • Look at the person who asked you a question, if applicable.
  • Try looking around the room at different people to make sure all parts of your audience are engaged but don’t forget about those sitting closer to you than others!

Do use stories to illustrate your points

Use stories to illustrate your points. This is a great way for an audience to relate to you and understand what you are trying to convey. For example, if you were speaking about the benefits of recycling, tell them a story about how your family has been doing this for years because it’s important to protect our planet. Stories also help people remember what they hear; this makes it easier for them to retain information and apply it in their daily lives after the presentation ends.

A good rule of thumb is that if something isn’t concrete enough or relevant enough, then don’t include it!

Do show that you’re excited about what you’re saying

  • Use your body language to show that you’re excited. This can include using your hands, arms and legs, or any other part of the body that might be moving as a result of what you’re saying.
  • Use your voice tone and volume to show that you’re excited. If it’s a big deal then it’s important to speak at a higher volume so everyone can hear it, but if it’s not very important then go for a lower tone so only those who are paying attention will hear it.
  • Use facial expressions such as smiling or laughing if appropriate in response to the audience questions or comments – this would also demonstrate enthusiasm for their responses (which is good).

Do use silence effectively

Use silence effectively. Silence is an important part of any speech, as it can be used to build suspense or emphasize a point. However, if you don’t know when to stop talking, your audience will lose interest in what you are saying.

Use silence to make a joke or give the audience time to digest the information provided before continuing with the next section of your speech.

Don’t be afraid of a little nervousness

You should know that feeling nervous is normal. In fact, it’s a good thing! Nervousness can be interpreted as passion and shows that you’re passionate about what you are talking about. It’s important to acknowledge this feeling but not let it get in the way of your message. If you’re nervous, tell yourself that everyone else will probably be too—and even if they aren’t, no one will notice because they’ll be so focused on what you have to say.

Don’t apologize for anything that seems to have gone wrong

  • Don’t apologize for anything that seems to have gone wrong.
  • Apologies are a sign of weakness, and people will think that you don’t know what you’re doing. As far as your audience is concerned, everything went off without a hitch—so why do you feel like apologizing?
  • Saying “I’m sorry” makes it seem like you’re not confident in your message or your ability to deliver it effectively. If something goes wrong (and things will go wrong), don’t apologize—just keep talking and pretend nothing happened.

Don’t worry too much about props, but don’t be afraid of them either.

Props are a great way to engage your audience and bring your point home. But they can also be distracting if they’re not used correctly. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t go overboard with props. You should only use a prop if it will help you emphasize your point or make it easier for the audience to understand what you’re saying. If you’re going over something complicated, like how a product works or how something works in general, props can really help get the message across much faster than just speaking about them would do alone.
  • Keep it simple! When using props in public speaking, it’s important not to go overboard with them—just use one or two at most per speech (unless there’s an entire section dedicated specifically toward explaining each). Any more than that and people may tune out because they think they already know all there is about your topic by now; less is more when it comes down to this type of thing!

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Do vary your pace

  • Vary your pace: You should never speak so quickly that listeners can’t keep up with you, or so slowly that they lose interest. Your pacing should be just right.
  • Don’t talk quickly: As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid talking too fast. The same goes for talking quietly; it’s better if people have a hard time hearing you than if they can barely understand what you’re saying because you’re speaking too slowly.
  • Don’t talk loudly: Speaking loudly is not always better because it can come off as aggressive—it might even make some people feel uncomfortable! If possible, try speaking at an average volume level instead of shouting everything out loud (or whispering).

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Do keep moving around

Move around.

As a speaker, you want to be as engaging with your audience as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is by moving around. Movement helps keep your audience engaged with what you are saying, it helps you stay focused on the presentation and even think more clearly (as opposed to staying still), and it makes you more relaxed so that you don’t become a boring speaker.

Speaking in front of others can be nerve-wracking but you can do it.

  • Don’t be afraid of a little nervousness. You’re not the only one who gets nervous, so don’t feel bad about it. Just remember that the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel in front of an audience and the easier it will be to handle nerves when they do arise.
  • Don’t worry too much about props. Props can often be helpful but they don’t always need to be used, especially if they are difficult to handle or get in your way while speaking (e.g., clickers). It’s better to use something that helps illustrate your point than not have anything at all; however, use caution when selecting what to bring with you onstage!
  • Do vary your pace while speaking—not just in terms of volume but also speed and tone of voice. Using different tones helps keep listeners engaged because they aren’t constantly hearing the same thing over again at full volume all throughout every sentence…and no one likes that!

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Speaking in front of others can be nerve-wracking, but it’s something that we all have to do from time to time. In this article, we looked at some best practices for public speaking and how you can make sure that your audience is engaged with what you’re saying. We hope that these tips will help you feel more confident in yourself as a speaker by helping you remember what works best for each person based on their personality type!

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