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Public Speaking Beginners: 7 Tips

#1 Look your best

For public speaking beginners, the smarter you look the more professional and confident you will feel. Ensure your clothes are comfortable so that you can freely move. Don’t wear clothes that may be distracting for your audience. Too much bling or wearing a fabric that rustles is best avoided.

#2 Know the room

If possible, check out the room where you will be speaking before the event. I find that I am much more relaxed if I know exactly how the room is laid out. I had a bad experience when I failed to do this one time. I had an important speech to give and I was dressed to impress including high heels. The heels click-clacked on the wooden floor every time I moved – very distracting for my audience! If I was familiar with the room prior to my speech I would have worn rubber soled heels. Lesson learned!

#3 Know your material

Do your research and know your topic inside out. The trick is to come across as spontaneous even though you have spent a lot of time preparing. If you know your material really well you will also be more prepared for the Q & A session. Public speaking beginners, don’t wing it as this will ultimately cause you more stress! On the topic of material, ensure you acknowledge the source of material that is not your own such as quotes.

#4 Know your audience

Who will you be speaking to? Work colleagues, friends and family or a paid audience. It is important to know your audience and what they are expecting to hear from you. Do they want to be entertained, to learn something new or to be motivated to take action? If you know your audience you are more likely to satisfy their needs.

#5 Practise…and practise more

You can not have too much practise. The more familiar and comfortable you are with your material, the more you can relax while you are speaking. This will allow you to come across as an authority on your topic. You are less likely to forget your words or clam up if you have taken the time to practise. Always perform your speech out loud and deliver it just like you plan to at the event. You may like to make a recording of your speech so you can see how you look.

#6 Maintain eye contact with the audience

Eye contact builds rapport and if you use effective eye contact you are able to connect with individuals in the audience. If you do need to use notes, try to do so sparingly and make sure you are looking up at the audience as you are speaking. When you need to glance at your notes, pause in your speech, grab your next speaking point from the notes and look at the audience again before you speak.

#7 And finally…..visualise your fantastic presentation

Visualise yourself standing in the room in front of an audience delivering a fantastic speech that they love. Try to think of this if you get nervous, it helps to remain focused if the negative thoughts start to creep in. Above all, enjoy!


About the author

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you

Whether you have a hidden story of your feet, or you want to nail your next presentation, I can help you.

My services include:

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference or event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.