Tyera asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 9 years ago

Tips on effective public speaking?

Hello all,

My name is Tyera, I am 13; moreover, I really would be indebted to any PROFESSIONAL and ACCURATE strategies/tips on how to captivate on audience when public speaking. For examples, gestures, eye movements, voice, volume, placement, etc.

Thank you!



Thank you to everybody who has answered so far; however, for future reference, I would like to let everybody know that I have been professionally public speaking for 2 years now (so I know how), and was looking for improvisations. Thanks again!

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi Tyera –

    The first thing to remember is that public speaking is not like conversation. You have to speak a lot more slowly and clearly than you do when you're just chatting with your friends. For example, our church building is large, and when people who are not accustomed to it go to speak, it just sounds like soft babble, even with a microphone.

    Also, there's a difference between meaningful gestures, and merely making facial expressions or waving your arms around. Stage actors are trained to move slowly, with every movement and gesture designed to convey an idea. Singers and speakers often briefly look right at different people in the audience, one at a time, in order to interact with their listeners.

    I have always appreciated some emotional content in what people say. It could be gentle humor, appreciation of beauty or courtesy, disapproval of something undesirable, or a description of your own reaction to something that happened. Spoken sentences are easier to understand when they're short. Organize your material so that people can remember your main points.

    Volume adjustments are tricky. It takes some practice to be able to speak naturally in a louder way than you usually do. It's a skill to project your voice "to the back row" without yelling or bellowing. It helps if you breathe deeply, lower the pitch of your voice, and as I said at the beginning, speak slowly.

    Perhaps you can get your folks to help you. Stand at some distance from the other person, and say something you normally do, but in a way that they can clearly understand you. "Mom, is it time for dinner yet?" – "Dave, do you know where my blue math book is?" – "Daddy, would you please give me a ride to Nancy's house?" To develop an even more effective speaking voice, try this outdoors.

    I know two young ladies who were brought up to use their "indoor voices". This was lovely when they were speaking to two or three people, but turned out to be a handicap they had to overcome. One became an elementary-school teacher, and the other became a military officer, so they both had to develop strong, clear voices that never sounded like they were shouting.

    I hope this helps!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You'll know all about the importance of personal stories - but too many speakers fail to pinpoint the 'critical moment' in a particular story. Identify and recreate for the audience the exact moment/point at which 'things changed'. That's where the drama comes.

    Best and most thought-provoking question I was ever asked re: my own professional speaking was this one from 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren LaCroix - 'how do you want to change the way your audience thinks, feels and/or acts?'

    My own experience is that this is far more important to nail down than any amount of time spent on tweaking delivery skills.

    Hope this helps!

    Simon Bucknall

    'The Public Speaking Coach'


  • 9 years ago

    1. Don't do story time. I bet you have seen people either reading off a paper or reading off a power point slide? I call it story time. It sucks. It doesn't get my attention. It pisses me off. Reading off a piece of paper is not a presentation. I don't need people to read off a power point slide, I can read.

    2. Start with an enthusiastic and interesting sentence. Its like a book. The first few sentences should get your audience's attention.

    3. Speaking slowly and breathe. People tend to talk fast when they are nervous and its hard for the audience to process all the information, plus it's obvious that you are nervous when you speak fast.

    4. Move around a bit. People get nervous and stand in one spot. Sometimes they shake. You can relieve all that if you move around. Move you arms if you have to.

    5. Always maintain eye contact.

    6. Be loud and clear. If you stumble on a word, relax and say it slowly. Don't let it trip you up. And if you forget what you are going to say next either look at your note card or stop, relax, breathe, and think. Don't say um it just sounds terrible.

    FINALLY: REHEARSE REHEARSE REHEARS. Trust me, if you rehearse and rehearse and rehearse you can give presentations to 1000000 people and it would be a walk in the park. Your mind already knows what to say and what comes next. Your speech will be smooth.

    I rehearse 3-4 times a day 2-3 days out before giving a presentation.

    Source(s): I've presented a lot and all were successful
  • 9 years ago

    For speaking you want sound very clear and talk at a medium pace. Use an appropriate ton for the subject and increase/lower your volume depending on the size of the room and audience. Stare straight in front of you and once you become comfortable make eye contact with you audience. If you are using a podium rest the pinky-sides of your hands down. If you don't have a podium keep your hands by your sides. At any time if you get nervous, return your eyes to straight in front of you and send yourself positive messages. Make sure to take good breaths during your speech but do not make them too deep. Most importantly, have fun with it and make sure your personality shows through. No one wants to see a wall give a presentation; they want to listen to an interesting personally who is really putting a lot of effort and emotion into what they are saying. Good luck!

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  • 4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Good question. Know your stuff, and if you get butterflies, that is normal. Try laughing to yourself just before you start. Sounds silly, but it works.

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