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6 Useful Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking
Written by
Stella Ryne
November 2019
Written by
Stella Ryne
November 2019

Public speaking is an invaluable skill for both your personal and professional life. Obviously, your professional life will benefit more from improving this skill if you happen to often have public speaking roles. Because of this, it’s important that you work on this skill to better help you get through presentations and meetings without issues. Here are some tips that might help you hone in your public speaking. 

  1. Never stop practising

They say that practice makes perfect, and nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to public speaking. Just like any other skill, you need to hone it to achieve any meaningful results. However, public speaking is specific in that you can’t really practice without doing the real thing. With instruments, sports, and most other activities, you can improve on your skills while you’re alone and in your element. Communicating with other people will always require at least two parties to allow for any meaningful practice.

Take every opportunity to get better at your craft. Whether you’re organizing a presentation in the office conference room or speaking to a group of friends, make sure you’re always focused on the task at hand. Let every opportunity that presents itself become a learning experience that will help you improve your skills.

While you can’t practice this alone, you can always work on your readiness. Preparation is half the work of public speaking. Knowing exactly what you’re going to say and how you’ll say it will help you be prepared for everything that comes your way. Plus, the added confidence of knowing that you’re ready will allow you to relax and better answer questions. Have your material ready at any time and it will help you become an expert in no time. 

  1. Record yourself

Nobody likes seeing themselves on video. It’s kind of like when you take a photograph and it doesn’t even come close to comparing to what you see in the mirror. Photographs can be deceptive, though. Focal length and lighting have enormous effects on how you look. Not to mention, the picture is inverted so you aren’t used to seeing yourself with this angle. Videos are pretty much spot on, however. They give you a pretty accurate depiction of what you’re like while you’re speaking.

This is why videos are an essential tool for public speakers. You want to see yourself in action. There are countless small details about yourself that you don’t notice, and these can help you get a better picture of yourself during your public speaking presentations. You can learn from your previous presentations and use them to figure out what can be improved on. 

Focus on the clarity of the video. Obviously, you can understand what you’re saying, but that doesn’t have to be true for everyone else that’s watching. If you stumble on certain words or use the wrong tone when speaking about something, use this opportunity to note these mistakes. It’s going to be a world of help for future presentations.

  1. Work on body language

Paradoxically as it may seem, using your voice is only a part of public speaking. People aren’t just listening to you, they’re also watching you very carefully. Every single move you make is being subconsciously read and interpreted in many different ways. The way your body moves is a language of itself, meaning you have to work on that as well.

Working on body language is a tad bit more difficult than improving your speaking abilities. It’s something that comes to you naturally when you feel confident and prepared for your speaking role.

Body language improvements will come with practice, but there are a couple of key parts you should focus on. Work on your posture and try your best to stand upright while speaking. It’s one of the most important things you can do while presenting. Make sure your facial expressions match what you’re trying to say. A mismatch could deliver the wrong message.

  1. Adapt to your environment

When you’re getting ready for your presentation, you’re probably not thinking about the things that could go wrong and make the presentation more difficult. However, this would be your first mistake. That’s exactly what you should be thinking about. If you’re set to speak in a conference room in front of thirty people while there’s construction being done outside, that’s something you need to be prepared for. If you aren’t ready to raise your voice a little to make it more intelligible, that’s going to affect people’s perception of you as a speaker. 

If you’re giving a presentation over the phone and it has a noticeable echo, you’re not going to stop the call. Any minor inconvenience isn’t something that should stop you from doing your job. Instead, you should see it as a challenge that you need to overcome. Better yet, prepare for these types of situations in advance. You're rarely going to have a perfect environment for your public speaking presentation. It’s a lot more likely that there will be some factors that make them somewhat challenging. To show any kind of meaningful progress, you need to adapt to these situations as they come.

  1. Work on pronunciation

For a lot of public speakers, English is not their first language. Considering it’s arguably the most important language in the world right now, this can have a negative influence on their ability to perform when speaking publicly. 

People want to hear the message of the presentation, but they also prefer hearing someone speak fluently and with absolute clarity. This is why a lot of public speakers constantly work on their pronunciation at places like the Sydney College Of English. Being able to enunciate every word properly earns them the respect of the presentation attendees and allows them to better convey their main message.

The flow of your sentences needs to be improved on constantly as well. It’s important that people understand your tone and where you’re going with a topic even before you finish a sentence. These are all things you can work on, no matter what your language background might be. Everyone can use a little bit of practice, even if they aren’t public speakers. 

  1. Accept failure

Let’s be real. Failure is a normal part of the learning process. More importantly, failure is a normal part of doing anything. This includes public speaking. There’s no public speaker out there that hasn’t misjudged their crowd at least once. No perfect track record exists among many professionals, especially not when it comes to something as subjective as public speaking. Sometimes, you’re going to mess up bad and there’s not much you can do about it.

Instead of letting this get you down, you should accept it as a fact of life. If you get caught with a question you can’t answer, own up to it and move on. Most importantly, make sure it doesn’t affect how you feel about public speaking. Separate yourself from the fear of failure and you’ll find that failing isn’t all that bad. To master a skill, you’re going to have to fail many, many times. It’s part and parcel of learning how to speak publicly.


Public speaking is a skill like any other. Improving it requires a lot of patience and dedication. Not to mention, you also need nerves of steel to just manage to practice. To truly become a master of public speaking, you're going to need all the help you can get. Consider these tips before your next practice session and you will slowly start seeing improvements every time you give your presentation in front of a crowd.


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