16 Speaking Hacks for Becoming A Good Public Speaker

Have you ever heard of Glossophobia? It’s a medical term for the fear of public speaking. 

We’ll be lying if we deny that everyone experiences the fear of public speaking at some point in life. About 75% of the world population has some sort of social phobia, making Glossophobia a pretty common one. In fact, the fear of public speaking is even greater than the fear of death.

So, as a public speaker, when this fear of speaking creeps upon you, you have no choice but to overcome it before your presentation. Following are a few speaking hacks that work for public speakers and enable them to perform confidently. 

16 Speaking Hacks for Public Speakers

If your profession leads you in front of a crowd frequently, there’s no avoiding public speaking. So, if you’re a public leader, motivational speaker, actor, salesperson, marketer, manager, etc. these speaking hacks will help you overcome the struggle of public speaking and allow your words to shine. 

Speaking Hacks for Public Speakers

 

1. Prepare – Extensively and Beforehand 

One of the sure-fire ways to overcome anxiety around public speaking is intense preparation. Even the great public speakers spend hours training and preparing themselves for the presentation. They don’t appear natural because they’re being candid but because they prepared their piece beforehand and practiced to look so.

Public Speaking Hacks

Make sure you are well prepared before your speaking event.

To practice, you can ask your family, friends, colleagues, or anyone in your circle to be a part of your process and rehearse in front of them. It will come close to the real thing and prepare you for the big day. You can even speak in front of them as if it’s the final presentation by wearing what you wish to wear on stage and giving the final performance. It will make you familiar with the different elements of your presentation and reduce your anxiety when the day comes. 

2. Content Over Everything  

Speaking Hacks

Make sure you focus on content of your speech as it is the most imp part.

Despite the endless variables in your public speaking engagement, remind yourself that the content of your speech is more valuable than anything. While you may be distracted by the way you sound, look, or walk, don’t let overpower you in front of your audience and maintain a laser focus on your material. Remind yourself that what you’re speaking about is worthy of your complete attention, and don’t allow your mind to wander into thoughts that make you feel self-conscious or even self-aware. Whenever you fear about or feel that your audience is judging you, focus extra hard on your material and do your best job. 

Also, don’t let small mistakes or a tiny stumble over your words here & there derail your speech. Train yourself for such a situation because this will absolutely happen, but it shouldn’t throw you off your game. 

3. Dress Accordingly 

Dressing appropriately is one of the most common speaking hacks because if you feel good with the way you look, you exude confidence which can set the tone right for your presentation. 

To dress accordingly, understand your audience persona. Find out whether the crowd will be dressed formally, business casual, or glam. Once you have a fair idea about your audience’s preference, you can tweak your outfit accordingly because humans trust humans who look like them. That’s what you should aim for when you step on the stage.

Dress For Public Speaking

Make sure you dress properly, it will boost your confidence.

You can also check What To Wear On Stage While Speaking

4. Perfection Is a Myth 

This is the biggest reason for stage anxiety. People try to chase perfection forgetting that the notion of perfection is a myth that negatively impacts their performance. The best speaking hack you can learn is to curb your urge to be perfect and focus on execution. 

When you focus on being a less perfect and more human version of yourself, you’ll establish a connection with your audience. So, instead of trying to say every word and sentence perfectly, be the person who may slip up once in a while but can correct themselves and move on. 

5. Learn a Few Relaxation Techniques

Speaking hacks

Learn few breathing exercises which will relax you during public speaking event.

If you tend to spiral or lose control before your cue to enter the stage, learn a few relaxation techniques that decrease the fear of public speaking. Following are a few techniques that are backed by research and are known to work for plenty of people. 

Each of these will take just a few minutes of your time and help you regain control of your senses before you speak in public. There are mostly breathing techniques that offer immediate relief. You can also try guided relaxation through apps or videos, as there are multiple ways to do a breathing exercise. Try the following breathing technique for immediate relaxation. 

– Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor. 

– Straighten your back and inhale counting to 4 or 5

– Engage your abdomen as you breathe in

– Hold your breath for about 5 seconds

– Exhale slowly counting 8 or10 seconds

– Repeat this exercise at least 10 times, or until your heart rate is back to normal

6. Prepare Cue Cards To Remember

The success of your performance should not be dependent on whether or not you can remember your speech by heart. So, you can eliminate the chances of blacking out in between by writing down your main points on cue cards. This is an accepted and renowned practice among public speakers as it helps them stay on track and not lose the plot of their presentation. 

These cue cards will offer you peace of mind as you know you have insurance against forgetting your content in your pocket. 

7. Maintain a Good Posture 

Hacks For Public Speaking

Focus on your body language when you are on stage.

A good speech is not just about the words you say but also the non-verbal communication your body has with your audience. About 55% of communication happens via body language that allows an audience to make judgments about you within the first few moments of interaction. They can form an opinion of you even before you have started to speak. 

So, you can try and hack your audience’s first impression of you by maintaining a good posture, standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, straight back, arms lose, away from your body, and your hands open.

8. Healthy Eye Contact Goes a Long Way 

Like posture, eyes also communicate with your audience. Learn to maintain healthy eye contact with your audience while speaking. Not making eye contact or mapping the room with your eyes while speaking can make you look submissive and insecure.

One way to do so is by locking eyes with the audience and holding it for 2-3 seconds before you move on to the next person. Healthy eye contact works as an ocular handshake that helps you connect with your audience. 

9. Don’t Fidget

Fidgeting is a common instance among nervous presenters. Speakers tend to sway, play with their jewelry, rub hands together, or repeatedly run fingers through their hair in response to nervousness. It’s an outlet for the excess energy in your body from the huge surges of chemicals that also cause stage fright. But fidgeting has a negative impact on the audience as it makes you look nervous and distracting.  

One hack that works against fidgeting is to film yourself as you rehearse your speech or get a mock audience to point out your fidgeting habits. A conscious reminder of what you’re doing is the first step toward stopping it.

 

Free Public Speaking Session

10. Compose Yourself On Stage

As a public speaker, everything you do from the moment you enter the stage till the moment you step down is a part of your performance. So, either you can try to hide on stage and look afraid or compose yourself and stand in the middle where everyone can see you. It will give you an instant confidence boost and pique your audience’s interest. 

11. Speak Slowly 

One of the underrated speaking hacks is speaking slowly. Being nervous or anxious may make you speak faster because of the adrenalin surging through your veins. But if you learn to curb that feeling and speak slowly instead, you’ll have better chances of conveying your message quickly. The audience will follow what you’re saying better and receive your message. 

12. Time Your Pauses

Words make an impact but so does a rightly timed pause. So, as a public speaker, you should know how to time your pauses correctly to emphasize the important bits of your speech. Successful speakers pause before and after every big point as it gives power to their presence. You should follow the same suit and pause at the beginning of your speech to connect with your audience with your eyes and set a tone. 

13. Make Your Peace With Vulnerability 

Here’s the thing, everyone gets nervous, but the people who give great presentations are the ones who embrace their vulnerability. Being nervous or anxious are traits that make you human, and sharing them with your audience will only make you look more humble and human. 

So, if you can’t figure out a way to tackle your nerves, be confident enough to admit how nervous you are. It will get the audience on your side, and build a connection. Plus, you’ll feel like a weight’s been lifted off your chest. 

14. Stay Hydrated

Another side effect of the adrenaline rush is a dry mouth. If you’re nervous, you’re going to struggle with it on stage. It will create friction in your speech delivery. As a result, you’ll probably speed up, won’t be able to enunciate, and just feel uncomfortable. 

Even if you’re not nervous, talking a lot on stage can have that effect on you. So, it’s better to stay prepared and hydrate before you speak. You can also have a glass of water on stage close to your hand to take a sip whenever necessary. 

15. Decide The Length Of Your Presentation 

Best Public speaking hacks

Make sure you work on duration of your presentation properly.

Being prepared involves deciding the length of your speech and timing it. Don’t include irrelevant content thinking that you have to fill up all the time. Rather, say exactly what you have to say and finish your speech properly. It will make your presentation look more crisp and refined. Your audience will also appreciate the brevity. 

16. Imagine The Worst and Prepare For It

Lastly, the biggest speaking hack for a public speaker is visualizing their fears and preparing for them. Ask yourself what you are afraid of? Is it the fear of being judged for your speech dialect or that you may forget your material? Once you know the root cause of your anxiety, you can spend time and address those issues. Once you know the worst-case scenario, you can have a backup plan and add a layer of precaution to your fear of public speaking.

Learn Secrets of Public Speaking from Experts 

It’s no less than an art to speak publicly and influence an audience with your words. While a few speaking hacks may help, what may truly make a difference is a lesson from experts. 

 

Online Public Speaking Course

Join our public speaking program to learn all the secrets of professional public speakers, which added to their journeys towards success. In this public speaking program, you’ll not only learn how to present yourself in front of an audience but also how to navigate anxiety and stage fright if it creeps up on you. So, if you want to embark on the journey to becoming a public speaker, join this public speaking course online now.

We hope this article would have helped you in learning “Speaking Hacks” which you can practice and use effectively to become a better public speaker.

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About Author

emergeblog
Jeremiah O`Brian
Master Teacher  | USC School of Dramatic Arts

Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.

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