engaged audience

Seven Public Speaking Tips to Make Any Audience Sit Up and Listen

Interested in public speaking for pleasure or business? Here are seven public speaking tips and techniques you should learn to help you win over any audience.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Public speaking tips

Perhaps Maya Angelou, the great author, said it best:

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

If you think you’re in need of some public speaking tips, I think this is the key thing to remember about any engagement.

Have you ever felt that your audience looked a little disengaged or passive when you’re giving a presentation?

Or are you afraid of that coming to pass?

Here are seven quick but highly effective public speaking tips and techniques that have been proven to work time and time again.

Public Speaking Tips, 1. The Three-Point List

By structuring a message into a three-point list, you both strengthen and amplify a message. A three-point list (also known as “the rule of three”) gives the audience time to recognize and react appropriately.

An audience can easily remember lists of three.

For example, everyone remembers “a Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”, right?

Barack Obama and Steve Jobs are examples of excellent speakers who regularly used the three-point list device.

Public Speaking Tips, 2. Use metaphor, analogy and story

Using these throughout a presentation will evoke people’s imagination.

For example, in one of David Cameron’s speeches as Conservative Party leader before he became British Prime Minister, he said:

Yes, there is a steep climb ahead … but the view from the summit will be worth it.

By embedding honest personal stories (but don’t make them up, it sounds fake) into the presentation, you will bring a human touch which people connect with immediately.

Public Speaking Tips, 3. Use of contrast

Using contrast in your presentation provides a puzzle, arouses curiosity and opens the way for a punch line.

Public Speaking Tips, 4. Ask Rhetorical Questions

Using rhetorical questions will stimulate thinking, it will evoke curiosity.

It also qualifies the point you wish to make.

Public Speaking Tips, 5. Get Personal

Use a conversational style – an audience connects much better when they feel they are being talked to as opposed to talked at.

Use of the words “I”, “we” and “our” involves the audience as if they are on the journey also.

Public Speaking Tips, 6. Connect and Commit to Every Word

It sounds like an obvious presentation skill, but just thinking about what you are saying and how you would like the audience to feel is very powerful.

Many presenters present like they are “going through the motions”.

If you give each word appropriate time and weight your audience will feel like you have really thought about your message. Don’t rush, there is no urgency. This will always draw the audience in.

Public Speaking Tips, 7. Let Physical Presence Add to Your Vocal Power

Thinking about how you look and sound is a presentation skill that is often underestimated.

Standing composed and grounded adds weight to any presenter and gives the audience confidence in the speaker. Emphasis and energy well used at the appropriate times will carry an audience along with you.

So, go on give these techniques a go and see what happens in your next presentation.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

(Main picture credit: Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash)

ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of  corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.


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