4 Powerful Public Speaking Tips

Are you looking for powerful public speaking tips to improve your presentation skills?

Maybe you would like to learn the art of public speaking to be more confident, present well in front of clients, or maybe you just want to be able to deliver a great speech anywhere and at any time without notes?

Here are four effective public speaking tips you can use pretty much right away.

Public Speaking Tip #1: Phrasing

When you think about it, 93% of all communication is nonverbal.

While amateurs are out there focusing on what to say, it's the professionals that are focusing on how to say it.

A large part of this is something that we refer to as "phrasing" - where you put different inflections and tonal patterns on specific words to reinforce the point you're attempting to make.

For instance, if I was to say the sentence "I didn't say he stole the money", just phrasing one word differently can actually change the entire meaning of the sentence.

If you say the sentence in your head or out loud emphasising just the first word, "I didn't say he stole the money." What does that mean? It means that I didn't say it. It means he may have stolen the money, but I just didn't say it.

advice on public speaking

An effective speaking technique is to emphasise the third word to see if it makes a difference. "I didn't say he stole the money." Well, what does that mean? It means that he may have stolen the money, but I didn't say it. Maybe I wrote it, maybe I emailed it, or maybe I mimed it, etc.

If you keep doing this with each of the words, you will soon see that it changes the entire meaning of the sentence.

This is important because people feel your intention when you speak, way more than they actually listen to the words you're using.

So a good exercise is to practice this out loud, or even record yourself, and say the sentence multiple ways until you can clearly hear the difference between the phrasing of the different words.

Public Speaking Tip #2: Tell Stories

The second of our best public speaking tips and one of the most important is this...

Amateurs share facts while professionals tell stories.

Every civilization since the dawn of time has passed down information using stories.

Why do they do this? It's pretty simple. It's because it actually works.

The great thing about stories is they're visual, they're emotional, and they're much more powerful than just facts and figures alone.

There is something special that happens when you begin telling a story.

It's like people go into a trance-like state, and they start to enjoy themselves, and they are certainly way more focused on what you have to say.

In fact, you have their full attention when you begin telling a story.

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If you've ever told a story to a young child before, you'll know that as soon as you finish the story the kids say, "Tell it again", "Say it again", or "I want to hear the story again!"

Your audience is just a bunch of little kids dressed up in adult bodies. Unless of course, you're speaking to schools, well then they ARE just a bunch of kids!

I want you to think about a personal story that you have, or a client's story, or someone else's story that relates to your topic. A story is easier to remember than a bunch of abstract logical points.

The trick is instead of trying to remember a story, relive it. That's what the best speakers do.

They're inside the story imagining that it's happening either to you right now, or that you're witnessing it right now.

Then basically all you got to do is describe what's actually going on.

Now, when you relive a story as opposed to remembering it, something quite magical happens in the room.

What actually happens is time stands still.

I know you've had a story told to you before, and when that story was told, everything just stopped.

Here's the cool thing. When you actually relive a story, your audience will actually feel like it's happening to them right now as well.

Learn to tell stories because it warps time, and it draws everybody into what you're saying.

Public Speaking Tip #3: Turn Fear Into Excitement

When I run public speaking workshops, many of our students start off with a little bit of nervousness, or they're a little bit scared and that's perfectly normal.

The fact is when you're about to deliver a talk, you are going to create two different feelings inside the body.

The feeling of confusion, because you're probably doing it for the first time, and the feeling of excitement, because you're also doing it for the first time.

However, did you know that the feeling of nervousness and the feeling of excitement are actually quite similar?

Both are tingling feelings of expansiveness in your chest, and it's just a one-millimetre shift in our thinking that turns that fear into excitement.

public speaking tips for students

So instead of telling yourself, "I'm nervous" or, "I'm scared", why not try saying, "I'm excited!" or, "I feel alive!" about this talk?

Once you do this the first few times, you'll actually see just how effective it can be.

What I've learned to do over the years is when I get that feeling in my body of what other people might label as “public speaking anxiety", I call that "expansion", and I like to expand on a regular basis. So when I get that feeling of expansion, I know that I'm alive because I'm expanding out of my comfort zone.

If you think about it, if two people are about to jump on a roller coaster and one of those people are scared of the roller coaster, and the other one is excited, what is the core difference between those two people?

Well, the core difference is simply what they're telling themselves.

At the end of the day, if you still feel the fear, just remember that F.E.A.R. stands for: Face Everything And Rise!

Public Speaking Tip #4: Practice

The last of our public speaking tips may not be what you want to hear, but it is most important and that is to practice.

Practice, practice, practice!

If you don't practice enough, it's going to show. That's just the facts of how it works. You need to practice.

It's just like playing a sport. Public speaking is a doing thing. It's not a thinking thing.

Champions are not made on the field. They're made in training. They're made with a lot of practice.

The difference between an amateur and a professional speaker is that amateurs practice until they get it right, and professionals practice until they can't get it wrong.

So my advice as a professional public speaking coach is practicing until you can't get it wrong.

public speaking tips

The trick to this is to enjoy the practice. Make it fun, make it playful and make it light.

If you enjoy the practice, the fact is you're going to practice more often, and the more often you practice, then the more successful you are bound to become.

And if you would like to learn how to master the art of public speaking, enquire about our Present Like A Pro presentation skills training program here where I and the rest of the Authentic Education Team will personally become your public speaking coach!

So, to recap, what makes a great public speaker?

A professional public speaker focuses on how they say things (phrasing), they tell stories, they turn their fear and nervousness into excitement, and they practice a lot.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone new at public speaking?

Practice the art of storytelling and practice your presentation until you can’t get it wrong.

Read more about: Speaking

Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post and News.com.au.