Top Ten Tips for Public Speaking

1. You’re not alone: It’s normal to feel nervous about public speaking. In fact, studies show that around 75% of people experience some level of anxiety when speaking in front of an audience. Remember, it’s okay to feel anxious, and with practice, you can learn to manage your nerves effectively.

2. Prepare and Rehearse: Practice your speech multiple times until you feel confident with the content. Knowing your material well can boost your confidence and reduce anxiety.

3. Practice Deep Breathing: Before you start, take a few moments to practice deep breathing. Try the 4-2-6 breathing technique: inhale slowly through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds. This can help calm your nerves and centre your focus.

4. Stretch and Roll Your Neck: Loosen up your body by stretching and rolling your neck gently from side to side. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and down a few times. This helps release tension and allows for better posture and vocal projection during your speech.


5. Focus on the Message, Not the Audience: Shift your focus from worrying about the audience’s reactions to delivering your message effectively. Remember, they are there to listen to what you have to say, not to judge you.

6. Start with a Strong Opening: Begin your speech with an interesting opening line to grab the audience’s attention. A strong start can set a positive tone for the rest of your presentation.


7. Make Eye Contact: Make eye contact with different members of the audience throughout your speech. This not only helps you connect with your listeners but also makes the experience more conversational and less intimidating.

8. Picture your audience: Apparently in China the advice is to imagine the audience are tomatoes or potatoes, not intimidating people. In English cultures the advice is usually to imagine your audience naked. Perhaps you will choose to imagine the audience as something else, but try making it funny and calming.

9. Embrace Mistakes: Understand that it’s okay to make mistakes during your speech. Instead of dwelling on them, simply acknowledge any slip-ups and continue with confidence. Remember, even the most experienced speakers make mistakes.

10. Celebrate Your Achievement: After completing your speech, take a moment to celebrate your achievement, regardless of how you think it went. Every public speaking experience is an opportunity for improvement: it will get easier every time you do it.