3 Steps to Better Public Speaking

The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills a person can have. It often determines whether a leader is viewed as being effective or ineffective, a plan is considered successful or a failure, and whether or not a deal gets done.

For a leader, success, or failure, is often determined by one presentation, speech, debate or announcement. With a good performance, an unknown becomes somebody. However, with a poor performance, a promising future may sink into oblivion.

I have had the opportunity to work with leaders throughout the corporate and political worlds. It never ceases to amaze me difference that these three simple steps can make for most people, regardless of talent level, natural communication ability, or leadership position, when it comes to public speaking.

Step 1 – Slow Down!

We have all seen it. A business leader approaches the podium. This individual has a reputation for being knowledgeable, charismatic and informed. Sure enough, the leader makes his or her presentation, is engaging throughout, uses positive body language, yet when he or she glances at the crowd, everyone looks confused, and a little bewildered. The audience probably would have responded to the message being delivered, had they had time to process it.

Slow Down!

Slow Down!

Slow Down!

Public speaking is not a race. People want to hear what you have to say, but you have to give them the ability to. When you are addressing a crowd, whether 5 or 500, every second of silence feels like an eternity – to you. It does not feel like an eternity to your audience, it feels like – a second of silence!

Take brief pause, a breath, a sip of water, whatever you need to do to slow yourself down. Your audience will appreciate it.

Step 2 – Smile!

Smiling is contagious. Period. Smiling will improve your confidence, will improve the disposition of your audience, and will improve your speaking – dramatically. Smiling is the equivalent of body language 101. Nothing will get the audience on your side faster than an authentic, genuine smile.

So you have to give a presentation to your group today, and you didn’t exactly have a great morning. You had a fight with your significant other, your car wouldn’t start, the bus never came, and you feel a cold coming on. You are not exactly in a smiling mood.

Whatever you do, never, ever, fake it. You will not fool anyone, and nothing spells insincerity like a fake smile. Think about your morning. Think about your kids. Think about how funny Larry’s outfit looks. Think how funny you must look!

There is always something that will put a smile on your face, and you are the best person to know what that something is. So think of it, try to put whatever has you upset out of your mind (I know – easier said than done), laugh at how impossible that is, if you have to, but whatever you do – SMILE.

Step 3 – Stay Brief!

Stay brief. Keep it simple. Less is always more. Always.

“These three steps are not guaranteed to make you a great speaker. Becoming a great public speaker requires a significant amount of time, patience, and practice (and training) However, by employing these 3 simple secrets to stronger public speaking, your public speaking will improve, your ability to hold your audience’s attention will improve and you will feel more confident as you speak.

About Matt Eventoff:

The owner of Princeton Public Speaking, Matt Eventoff is a veteran strategist who has had tremendous success leading corporate and political campaigns. He has been intimately involved in all aspects of message development and delivery for more than 15 years.

Matt is highly regarded throughout corporate and political communities for his outside-the-box strategic thinking and communications strategy. He serves as and advisor and trusted confidant for numerous political and corporate leaders.

Matt specializes in preparing and advising corporate and political leaders prior to interaction with the media, corporate restructurings, speeches, negotiations, board meetings, presentations, interviews, conferences and every other speaking engagement or opportunity imaginable.

Link this article to your favorite Social Network! Thanks!
  • blogmarks
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • Simpy

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post Post to Digg Digg This Post Post to StumbleUpon Stumble This Post

4 Responses to “3 Steps to Better Public Speaking”

  1. Mike
    May 7, 2023 at 9:26 am #

    Good post Travis. I’ve been reading a few books about how important communication, verbal or written, is toward advancing your career. If anyone wants more advise on making good presentations, they should read Jacked Up by Bill Lane. It takes an in depth look on what it takes to make a great pitch every time from the perspective of one of the best: Jack Welch at GE.

    Another good book about improving your communication is On Writing Well by William K. Zinsser. It sounds boring, but it is very entertaining. Great ideas about organizing your thoughts and making it easy on your audience to pay attention.

  2. May 7, 2023 at 8:22 pm #

    You’re right on! I’ve just started speaking a lot and the more practice I get the better it goes (obviously). Thanks for the wisdom!

  3. May 13, 2023 at 12:28 am #

    This post is on target! When I coach new managers on public speaking, I stress the three steps above. As Matt writes — the three steps are not guaranteed to make someone a great speaker — however the steps will put you on the road to positive improvement.

    All the best!

    Ron’s last blog post..Don’t Blur Leadership and Friendship Lines

  4. February 12, 2023 at 12:28 am #

    Slow down your movements as well as your words - people that pace look nervous and put the audience off. Pacing speakers make me want to go to the toilet … ;-)

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled

Twitter links powered by Tweet This v1.6.1, a WordPress plugin for Twitter.