Quick Tips for Public Speaking

Major-General Ridgway and Major-General Gavin

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Recently I had the opportunity to attend a leadership communications class where the first day focused on public speaking. I usually speak once per quarter at an event, so it isn’t too frequent but it is frequent enough that I want to get better. The all-day course was really well done and involved video-taping each student multiple times with feedback.

Here are some quick tips for public speaking:

  • Plant your feet without locking your knees and don’t sway
  • Make eye contact with a different person in the audience for each point you want to make
  • Take time to breathe through your mouth
  • Pause, pause, and pause some more. Most people talk too fast with too few breaks when in front of an audience.
  • Put your hands by your side when you pause. Use your hands when you talk.

Public speaking is tough to do, but with practice and following these simple tips it becomes much easier.

What else? What are some other public speaking tips?

4 thoughts on “Quick Tips for Public Speaking

  1. David,

    Above all, in my opinion, you must practice. Content and delivery should become second nature and that only happens through practice. Then, the speaker is much more flexible, engaging, confident, the list goes on.

    I’ve seen great speaker bomb because that didn’t practice. On the other hand, I’ve seen novice speakers truly shine because they were incredibly comfortable with the materials.

    Practice with a spouse, friend, mirror, stuffed animal, doll…whatever. Public speaking is not about talking to a group, it’s about engaging a number of individuals at the same time.

    Just my 2 cents.

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