top of page

Five tips to help you prepare for public speaking or presentation by Diane Radford

What Everybody Ought to Know About How to Become Good at Public Speaking or Presenting


When was the last time you wanted to ‘run for cover’ when you were asked to present at work, or speak at a special occasion?


Have you experienced extreme nervousness, shortness of breath, a constricted voice, rigid body language or mind blanks when speaking or presenting?  These are some of the experiences described by my clients.


It may not surprise you to know that public speaking is considered to be the second most feared thing in life, besides death.


Rest assured, there is specialist coaching available that will help you overcome your fears, and give you techniques to become a confident and effective speaker.


At the heart of these techniques is preparation.


Fear is merely a feeling—the result of your brain letting you know there is something you have not prepared.


To perform at your best, preparation is necessary. Public speakers and presenters are performers. No performer (whether a dancer, actor or musician) goes on stage without preparation in the form of rehearsals.


So what preparation is involved?


Firstly, you need to prepare your speech or presentation content, basically:


  • Decide on the topic and specific purpose relevant to your audience—are you going to entertain, persuade or inform your audience?

  • Research and gather supporting materials.

  • Organise your speech—an attention grabbing introduction, develop your main points, and end with an interesting conclusion that reinforces the central idea.


Preparation time of the content depends upon the length and importance of the speaking engagement, and how much you already know on the subject. If you are knowledgeable, then you can trust your unconscious mind to produce what you need, and a quick mind map of an appropriate structure will probably suffice. However, if you need greater insight on the subject and wish to present effectively, time is the essence.


Secondly, you need to prepare yourself so you can be an engaging and effective speaker.


These 5 tips will help you prepare for your speaking engagement. The time you need to spend on each point depends upon your skills and abilities, and the demands of the occasion.


5 tips to help you prepare for public speaking or presentation


1. Warm-up your body to help release negative tensions and maintain energy levels throughout the speaking engagement
2. Warm-up your voice to access your range, energy and vocal stamina to assist with an engaging delivery that keeps the audience awake!
3. Exercise your speech organs for speech clarity so your audience hears every word.
4. Practice the art of effective speaking with the use of appropriate body language so your audience is convinced by your message.
5. Psychologically prepare so you are confident and resourceful.


Your voice and performance techniques need to support and enhance the delivery of your speech content, otherwise your message will be lost.


What you say = how you perform it!


Voice and Performance training in these 5 techniques can help you become a confident and engaging speaker, so that presenting and speaking can become a fun activity for you, and an enjoyable experience for your audience!


For more information on what is involved in Voice and Performance training, contact Diane Radford.


© Diane Radford, 1 August 2011

bottom of page