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Public Speaking Tips: 16 Top Tips For Good Public Speaking In 2019

Public Speaking Tips: 16 Top Tips For Good Public Speaking In 2019

This blog post is on public speaking and how to deliver a great presentation. We will discuss 16 Top Tips for good public speaking that should be helpful to anyone seeking to improve their public speaking skills. How do you overcome the nervousness and fear associated with public speaking? What matters when giving a presentation at school? How do you hook the audience? Find out more below.


Table of Contents

Public speaking tips and tricks

If you are reading this you may be in a position to give a public speech or talk soon and you may be looking to find the techniques and tricks you feel are missing.

Before going into these tips, let’s understand why public speaking is of such relevance.

Public speaking, especially when done well, is an extremely powerful tool allowing the speaker to connect to the audience, and the audience to become one group of receivers of the same idea.

Indeed, by applying great speaking techniques, you will be interacting with the audience, exchanging thoughts and ideas - and this is even before the feedback round or the following discussion.

The things you may be afraid about, such as your body language, posture, facial expressions - the way you’ll look when giving the talk - are actually the things that make public speaking so unique and relevant.

Sharing your idea, and the message becomes a two-way process in that way as the audience's expressions will give you immediate feedback.

In the below video, Chris Anderson highlights why public speaking is such a significant tool and what four major tips you want to keep in mind when preparing for such an inspirational talk.



The four top tips mentioned in the above video were:

1. Focus on one major idea

2. Give people a reason to care

3. Build your idea with familiar concepts

4. Make your idea worth sharing

These themes are indeed extremely relevant, especially when thinking about the context for which Chris Anderson created his video. TED talks’ motto is “Ideas worth spreading” and indeed if you want to truly reach your audience, that is the gist they should get from listening to you.

At this point, you may feel even more overwhelmed by feeling the pressure to deliver a truly inspirational talk.

In the next sections, we will, therefore, discuss how to apply these great four concepts in your personal talk and contexts.

Tips for public speaking nerves

If you are in school, uni or doing a job, chances are, that at some point you will have had to give a presentation.

The first time, you might have been nervous because you had never done it before.

Then, the next time comes around and you may have still been nervous. Is that normal?

Yes, it is. Even the most experienced public speakers may find themselves being nervous before giving a talk.

5. It is okay to be nervous

Therefore, the first tip is to remember that it is absolutely okay to be nervous.

Hopefully, this will prevent you to stress about being nervous, which would ultimately worsen the situation.

6. Breath and slow it down

Once you start talking, you may be at risk of talking too fast.

Slowing it down is easier said than done.

If you struggle with that, focus on your breathing. In and out. Then the next sentence.

You should find that this may feel like an anker when ‘getting lost’ in your word.

7. Focus on individuals in the audience

Talking to a big group of people can seem intimidating.

Try to focus on one individual at a time.

Rather than staring into the room and perceiving the group as a whole, look at one person after the other, direct your speech at them.

That works especially well if you have friends or colleagues in the audience. If you are struggling to focus on people, maybe there are objects in the distance you want to look at.

The door, the window, anything works.

8. Outline your talk

In the beginning, tell your audience the key points and structure you are going for today. That will not only guide their understanding and listening, but it will also remind you of what you are going for. If you are anxious about losing your train of thought, think back to these 3-5 main themes.

9. Positive thinking

Now, this one may seem naive at first.

Instead of obsessing about what can go wrong, try to think about all those positive outcomes that may come from your talk.

Maybe you’ll help someone understand the topic for the first time, or you have challenged someone in the audience to rethink a theory.

In any case, try to not push yourself into the mindset that things will go wrong, because quite frankly, they may not.

The below video has summarised some of these points well and is worth a watch if you’d like to find out a little more.

Public speaking tips for students

As a student, you may be required to give a presentation on the research you have done. Presentations in the academic setting are oftentimes a way of assessing your knowledge, and your skills at communicating this knowledge to an audience.

10. Know your content

Therefore, the first tip here is to do the research.

Know your topic well and be prepared to answer questions. This will allow you to focus on the techniques and presentation skills.

Before starting to prepare the presentation, the content should be clear and well understood.

11. Trust your knowledge

Once you have done your research and you have started working on the presentation, trust what you have learned.

At this point, you want to focus on how to communicate your content rather than worrying that it is the right message, to begin with.

Tips to overcome the fear of public speaking

At this point, you may still be dreading your presentation.

When being afraid of delivering a speech, many people are thinking about it in terms of how it will be perceived.

What will the audience think?

Will I get a good grade?

Will I be promoted?

Will they find me ridiculous?

Will they be interested?

To overcome the fear of public speaking, plan how you will hook your audience.


12. Hook the audience

When giving a presentation, you are doing it not only for your own sake but for the sake of the audience.

Think of what matters to the audience.

Why did they come today?

What are they expecting to learn?

To hook the audience in the first few seconds, bring an anecdote, a metaphor or a physical object.

A physical object is great because it will not only hook the audience, but it will also give you a cue and something to physically and mentally ‘hold onto’ if you need it.

Make your point as real and practical as possible and frame your talk.

This will guide the audience and give you security when speaking.

13. Think of it as a performance

If you are nervous or scared of giving a presentation, you might struggle to improvise on the spot.

Rather, think of your talk as a performance and plan what you want to say and how to say it.

14. Use support materials

If you are struggling to give a talk, don’t feel like you cannot bring notecards.

If that will make you speak more clearly, structured and slower, then that is okay.

Similarly, make use of the technology you feel comfortable with.

If giving a talk in a uni or school setting, using PowerPoint or a similar visualization technique may help you focus and guide the audience.

15. Practice

This is an obvious one.

Go over your presentation and practice it.

You may find it useful to practice in front of a mirror or even film yourself to see how you are performing.

In any case, say out loud what you will be presenting, don’t just go over it in your head.

16. Get feedback

Ask a friend or a colleague to give you honest and constructive feedback.

You might want to ask someone unfamiliar with your topic.

Sometimes we are not aware of the jargon we are using and cutting out on overcomplicating statements may prevent you from ‘losing’ your audience.

Tips for good public speaking

So, in order for your next presentation to go well, why not follow these 16 tips.

1. Focus on one major idea
2. Give people a reason to care
3. Build your idea with familiar concepts
4. Make your idea worth sharing
5. It is okay to be nervous
6. Breath and slow it down
7. Focus on individuals in the audience
8. Outline your talk
9. Positive thinking
10. Know your content
11. Trust your knowledge
12. Hook the audience
13. Think of it as a performance
14. Use support materials
15. Practice
16. Get feedback

One last extra tip: inspire yourself by watching presentations other people have given and by learning from other great public speakers.

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    References

    • Better Public SpeakingBecoming a Confident, Compelling Speaker. (n.d.). Retrieved 2 March 2019, from http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/PublicSpeaking.htm
    • Public Speaking Skills, & Tips, P. S. (2015, March 5). 27 Useful Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking | Brian Tracy. Retrieved 2 March 2019, from https://www.briantracy.com/blog/public-speaking/27-useful-tips-to-overcome-your-fear-of-public-speaking/
    • Toastmasters International -Public Speaking Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved 2 March 2019, from https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/public-speaking-tips

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