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10 ways to improve your public speaking skills

10 ways to improve your public speaking skills
10 ways to improve your public speaking skills

By integrating various techniques of effective public speaking in your everyday routine, you can gradually enhance your abilities and feel more at ease while delivering speeches and presentations. These recommended methods involve being mindful of your nonverbal communication, observing successful public speakers, honing your breathing techniques, and adequately preparing for your talk beforehand.

Relax your body language

If you have a fear of public speaking, it can cause tension in your body language. Skilled public speakers, however, exhibit proper posture, make eye contact with their audience, and move in a natural way.

By maintaining good body language, you can improve your performance and help your audience better absorb and remember your presentation.

To achieve this, avoid crossing your arms or putting your hands in your pockets. Instead, start with your arms at your sides and use purposeful hand gestures to emphasize your points.

It’s also important to avoid looking down at the ground or your notes for extended periods of time. As your confidence grows, you may even begin to make individual eye contact with people in the audience.

Practice voice and breath control

Public speaking can distort one’s sense of time, causing them to speak more quickly than usual. It is essential to be mindful of this and maintain a steady pace during presentations. This will not only help to alleviate anxiety but also enable the audience to comprehend the message more effectively.

To maintain a consistent pace, breath control can be beneficial. Practice using your diaphragm to inhale and exhale air. Before starting your speech, take ten deep breaths in a slow and deliberate manner.

Study great public speakers

One of the best ways to enhance your public speaking abilities is by observing and learning from accomplished speakers. You can begin by browsing YouTube for videos of renowned public speakers.

When watching these speakers, take note of their body language. They usually maintain a welcoming and open posture, and utilize hand and arm movements to emphasize their main points. Additionally, they avoid unnecessary movements or fidgeting, and skillfully utilize the available space to captivate the audience.

It is essential to observe how these speakers pace themselves. They generally take their time and speak deliberately, utilizing pauses to keep the audience engaged. They may also use humor or personal anecdotes in appropriate and effective ways.

You can start your search for impressive public speakers by exploring the TED Talks library or checking out Toastmasters International for examples of the world’s best public speakers.

Know your audience

To effectively deliver a speech, it’s crucial to understand your audience and their interests. Take some time to analyze their needs and preferences and consider what they might find valuable and relevant.

Furthermore, the type of occasion or event where you’ll be presenting should also be taken into consideration. A formal event like a black-tie gala may require a more serious and polished approach, while a more casual setting such as a classroom or a community gathering may allow for a more relaxed and informal style of delivery.

Prepare talking points

To ensure that your speech effectively conveys your message, it’s important to plan a set of talking points in advance. Begin by identifying 3-5 overarching messages you want to communicate, and then break them down into supporting points.

Arrange your talking points in a logical sequence, starting with the most important message first. By having a clear outline of your points, you can avoid deviating from your main ideas and ensure that you cover all the key topics you intended to discuss.


Practicing your public speaking is an effective way to enhance your skills. By practicing your speech multiple times, you can refine your message and discover better ways to express certain parts of your presentation. Rehearsing repeatedly will increase your confidence, making it easier for you to deliver your speech in front of a live audience.

Add a visual aid

To make your presentation more engaging, consider using a visual aid such as a PowerPoint presentation. However, ensure that the aid complements and does not detract from your speech.

Do not overload your slides with too much text or read from them word for word. Instead, incorporate relevant images and graphs that support your points. If you need to include text, keep it to a minimum and use bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs.

Record your speeches

Capturing yourself on video while giving a speech can be a valuable tool for improving your public speaking skills. By reviewing the footage, you can observe your body language, vocal tone, and pace to identify areas for improvement. Even skilled public speakers regularly use this technique to fine-tune their abilities.

Take a public speaking class

Enrolling in public speaking classes is an effective way to quickly develop critical skills for speaking and presenting to audiences. As students learn from experts and receive support from their peers, they also gain confidence. For those who have a fear of public speaking, connecting with fellow students facing the same challenge can be beneficial.

For individuals interested in improving their virtual presentation skills, an online public speaking course may be a suitable option. However, for those who prefer to learn how to speak in front of a live audience, an in-person class could be a better choice. Student clubs may also be available to help you practice your public speaking abilities.

By taking public speaking courses in college, particularly early on, you can increase your chances of success throughout your academic journey and give yourself an edge when beginning your professional career.

Phone a friend

Invite a trusted friend to observe your presentation and provide you with feedback. Inform them that you’re seeking constructive criticism and that they can give honest feedback. Also, give them specific instructions on what to pay attention to during the presentation, such as your pace, gestures, or delivery in specific parts.

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