Free Resources for Kick-Starting your Public Speaking

  1. Be prepared. Your audience is giving you their time and consideration, so rehearse enough to be confident you’ll leave a good impression.
  2. Organise your speech in a logical sequence: opening, main points, summary.
  3. Start strong. Begin your speech with a powerful opening that will grab your audience’s attention, such as a startling fact or statistic, an interesting story or a funny joke.
  4. Be conversational. Avoid reading your speech word for word. Instead, refer to notes or points from an outline to help your speech have a more free-flowing, conversational tone.
  5. Speak slower, pause more. Speak at a somewhat slower rate than usual, with pauses to underscore important points.
  6. Speak with passion. If you’re truly invested in what you’re saying, you’ll be better able to keep your audience’s attention. Use your voice colourfully.
  7. Eye contact establishes an immediate bond with an audience, especially when a speaker focuses in on individual listeners rather than just gazing over the audience as a whole.
  8. Use gestures, body & facial expression. Practise using your hands naturally on important words. Try putting some verbs in to action by physically acting them out with the hands, face or entire body.
  9. Be patient. It’s easy to get frustrated if you make a mistake. But remember that public speaking is not easy and it takes time to hone your skills. Keep practising and you will reach your goals.
  10. Practice and rehearse a speech frequently prior to delivering it. Ask friends to be your audience, or practice in front of a mirror. Be sure to use a timer to help you pace your speech.