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January 26, 2016

Tips From Pros: Take Your Public Speaking Skills to the Next Level

Image courtesy of (David Castillo Dominici) /

It may surprise you to know that even the best public speakers today were probably scared the first time they gave a speech. It doesn’t matter if it is to a room of school friends or a stadium of fans, speaking in public will cause a flutter of butterflies in anyone’s stomach. The good news is that public speaking is a skill and, just like any other skill, it can be learned and improved.  Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Prowling the Stage

It may help your nerves to walk around the stage when talking. You may well be doing it without even realizing you are. Unfortunately, moving around a lot will distract your audience; they will begin to focus on your movements rather than your speech. To overcome this issue, work out two or three places where you will stand when you are talking. One, central spot should be where you are giving the main speech from. The other two spots are for special information to be passed on.

Speaking Speed

When you are nervous you are likely to speak fast. This will make it very difficult for the audience to understand you and your points. Take a deep breath and slow down.  However, you must also be aware of the speed of your speech and vary it throughout your presentation. Sticking to one speed of speech has the same effect as talking in a monotone; your audience will switch off. To ensure you slow your speech down, take several deep breaths before you start talking and allow plenty of pauses throughout your speech. A pause gives you time to collect your thoughts while the audience processes the information.


Record the Speech and Rehearse It

Any speech should be practiced beforehand. The better you know your speech and your material, the less you will need your speech notes and the more confident you will feel that you are able to answer any question thrown at you. Recording your speech, prior to the actual occasion, will allow you to evaluate your stage presence and style. You will then be able to work on correcting any issues; such as saying “umm” a lot.

When reviewing your speaking, you may find it useful to picture yourself giving the speech to a class of children or a world leader. The speed and tone of your speech will vary according to who you are talking to; you need to assess your audience and adjust your speech style to fit their needs and expectations.

Attendant Public Speaking Events 

It is actually very important to attend other public speaking events and watch how other public speakers deal with their audience. You can learn a lot from studying their techniques and applying them to your own style of speaking.


It is important to ask others for feedback regarding how well you spoke and got the message across. They need to be honest with you if you are to use their tips and advice to improve your public speaking abilities. They may be reluctant to provide you with any negative comments but you can encourage them by not reacting badly when they do.

Controlling Nerves

No matter how many times you speak, you will never be completely calm when you go on stage. This is a mixture of nerves and adrenaline. Give your body something else to focus on by clenching and unclenching a specific set of muscles before you start your speech.

Pay Attention to Other Public Speakers

Meeting other after dinner speakers and talking about their tips and techniques will help.  It is important to remember that what works for someone else will not necessarily work for you.  However, chatting with others will provide you with support and possibly some fresh ideas.


Focus on the Audience

Finally, you must think about your audience and the needs of its members. Every member of the audience will want to know either how, why, what or what-if. Each segment of the audience will be looking to take something different home from the presentation. You need to identify which types of people are in the audience and present your speech according to their needs.


Jason Phillips is a business writer and blogger. He has written several high quality articles. He also works for 247 Web Experts offering website designing and internet marketing services.