Skip to content

Public Speaking

Objective

Public speaking is a key skill required to communicate information, ideas and arguments effectively to an audience. While different people have different styles of speaking, a good speech generally follows the universal communication techniques such as informing, persuading, humor and inspiring.


How To speak

  • Try not to start with a joke. Most people are still settling in, and they are adjusting to your vocal tendencies. Wait for your audience to warm up to you and hit them with a powerful punchline.
  • Offer an empowerment promise, provide a simple statement to explain what the audience could learn for you and why they should care.
  • Start off your speech with good verbal punctuation. Utilize pauses and intonation to illustrate key points. Avoid excessive use of filler phrases like "ummm" or "errrr".
  • Ask a question then pause, this will help people tune back into your speech. Don't make the question too easy to answer as people might be embaressed to answer it. Don't make it too hard otherwise it will be too difficult to respond to.
  • Avoid going to fast or too slow. Pace yourself, aim for a conversational pace. Work on pronouncing words clearly so people can understand what you are saying.

Body Language

  • Maintain eye contact. Maintaining consistent eye contact with different parts of the audience creates a personal connection.
  • use Facial expressions - Smile. Use facial expressions to convey specific emotions in your message. At baseline, use a natural smile to make yourself look more natural and enthusiastic.
  • Use open hand gestures. By that I mean avoid crossing your arms or fidgeting. Use open hand gestures to welcome the audience to your speech, crossing your arms will make you loop unproachable. Excessive movements can distract the audience from your message.

My Opinionated Tips

  • Prepare your speech. When you are prepared and know your material thoroughly, you will be able to communicate your information in a succinct fashion.
  • Don't ramble. Stay on topic, do not deviate into irrelevant topics that will confuse or even bore your audience.
  • Avoid "upspeak". This is the habit of ending your sentence with a rising tone. You will sound like you are asking a lot of questions.
  • Avoid using your nasal voice. It gives your speech a "nasal" quality. You can train yourself to speak from your diaphragm, this will give you a more assertive / powerful voice.

Resources