How to Become a Good Public Speaker

Prepare Good Public Speech

A well- prepared, well-organized speech has the ability to captivate an audience, especially if the speaker is inspiring and commands audience attention. Length of speeches vary, requiring adherence to a time frame with speakers having difficulty with a 5-minute time frame.

Public speaking is a great way to build confidence in yourself. This article will cover preparing a speech, mindmapping, reasons for memorization, and tips to help you become a good public speaker.

A Good Public Speaker Projects Her Voice

Her voice will carry as she has a microphone. Courtesy of Morguefile.com
Her voice will carry as she has a microphone. Courtesy of Morguefile.com

1. Pick Your Topic

If you have a choice of topic, speaking about what you know works well; such as a story related to your family, your work, and your interests. You might be industrious and research a topic that interests you. Suggested topics for the 5-minute talk might be; vacation, most embarrassing moment, Internet, or public speaking itself.

2. Select a Title

List five titles on the subject and select one.

Map or outline the speech, only covering enough points for the 5 minutes.

Outline the main points and sub points or map the speech. Draw a circle in the middle of a page and insert the title. Draw lines like the spokes of a wheel ending at circles. Place the subtopics in these circles, each circle representing a paragraph.

3. Select an Introduction

Use a startling statement, an unusual statistic, a funny story, or an introduction using a prop. Memorize the first sentence of the speech.

Select a conclusion

Your conclusion should refer to the premise of the speech and end with a powerful sentence. Memorize the final sentence

4. Body of Speech

This part of the speech should contain the supporting points of your topic and should be brief for the 5-minute time frame.

Final draft

If you are unable to speak from notes, type the speech using large fonts for readability.

5. Rehearse

Practice the speech about three times and finally ask someone to observe and listen.

The observer can critique your use of gestures, inflections of your voice, eye contact, delivery and time of the speech.

The above points should provide you with the basics for a well-prepared, well-organized speech. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “Speech is power, speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel." Even a 5-minute speech should leave a lasting impression with your audience.

Speech Preparation

Pondering a topic for a speech  Courtesy of Morguefile.com
Pondering a topic for a speech Courtesy of Morguefile.com

Plan by Mapping Your Speech

Did you ever wish you could organize a speech in a matter of minutes? It is entirely possible by using the process of mind- mapping, a by-product of creative thinking.

The simplest form of mapping is to draw a circle in the middle of a paper for the title of the speech and then draw lines like spokes of a wheel to other circles, which represent ideas for paragraphs. Draw lines to other circles, which represent ideas in the paragraph, if necessary.

Eva Shaw, writer and author, describes this method as the “Bubble Method” and recommends this method for all types of creative thinking.. She suggests using a large sheet of paper, the size of a newspaper page, to ensure that numerous ideas will result. The public speaking corporation, Toastmasters International, recommends mapping as one method of organizing a speech. Mind-mapping is a part of the English curriculum as early as high school in some areas of the United States.

At end of article you will find a fantasy map with subtopics for a speech about the NBA championship. The title would be in the center, and the subtopics on outer circles. The following is a list of the subtopics.

Define game

History of game

Playoff system for NBA

Teams with most wins

Teams never in a championship

Site decision


When you pick the subtopics, think quickly and do not rule out a subtopic at this point. You can do the map any way you desire. Later, add or remove subtopics to meet your needs for the speech and time. Conduct the necessary research to secure the supporting material, if necessary.

You will be amazed at the time you will save using the above method. A speaker can almost immediately memorize, through visualization, the topics that are in the circles. In the meantime, the brain begins to work to remember what the speaker may already know about the topics. It is much better than an outline, but some speakers have other preferences. Do not rule this out, as it is fantastic, and you may love it.

By Audrey Selig copyright 2010

Mind Map for NBA Championship

A great way to organize a speech.
A great way to organize a speech. | Source

Speakers Stay Hydrated

Drinking water before and during speech is important for your voice.   Morguefile.com
Drinking water before and during speech is important for your voice. Morguefile.com | Source

To Memorize or Not

Do you write your speech and then memorize it? Some speakers prefer this procedure as the only way, but if memory fails, the speaker can get lost. The reason people use this method relates to the following issue.

As we get older, our memories begin to fail and many speakers cannot present a speech with or without notes. Some speakers write notes on their hands as Sarah Palin did, while others have notes that are so small, they cannot refer to them. So what is the answer?

Suggestions

1. Use notes when you are a novice and make them large enough to refer to comfortably by using large fonts. Practice and practice until you can perfect this method. Then later, try not using notes at all.

2. If the above method fails, and you must memorize, try to minimize any memory losses, by developing the ability to move on to the next part of the speech, making use of pauses. Keep the speech with you at the lectern...

3. If all else fails, read the speech, but know it well enough to maintain good eye contact with the audience.

If you speak from the heart, using good speech techniques, you will leave a lasting impression with the audience, no matter what method you use.

Video on Public Speaking

Comments 35 comments

Kyle Ann Beckers 6 years ago

Nice article. I enjoy public myself and appreciate your tips.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you for the comment. I will look for your hub.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

very good info and it works! I've spent most of my adult life in front of people, sometimes very big groups, or small groups, eventually classrooms. what you have presented with the mapping is very effective. it takes less time and it seems to cover the key points much easier than brainstorming a word for word speech. I'm bookmarking this for future reference. thanks for sharing such a helpful hub.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

To rebekahElle -Thank you for your kind words.They made my day. I have seen your excellent profile and will be following your hubs.


LarasMama profile image

LarasMama 6 years ago from a secret location, Australia

Great hub! I am terrible at public speaking (despite the fact that among friends I NEVER SHUT UP!). I keep meaning to join the local toastmasters group... someday!


Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

Great hub and very helpful suggestions


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Putz- Thank you for the nice comments. Maybe you have a pool. I will look for your hubs.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you LarasMama for the kind comments about public speaking hub. Do join a toastmasters' group. I love my group.

I read one of your new hubs and found it fascinating.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

Just a matter of confidence, and a laid back attitude.. Fear is generally what stops most people speaking, fear that someone will say something to embarrass you when you are talking or you yourself will say something wrong, but what does it matter, especially if you are in front of strangers?? I used to hate speaking in public, now I am difficult to shut up!!!


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Some people would rather die than speak publicly, they say. Until I took a speech course in college, I was also fearful, as you say. Now, it is better. Thank you for reading my hub and for your excellent comments.


Henry S. profile image

Henry S. 6 years ago

Public speaking is extremely difficult for most people, as you have outlined, preparation is key to performing well.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading my hub. There is a saying that people would rather die than speak publicly. When I was in college, I was required to take a speech course, and I was so fearful. I ended up loving it and took an extra semester. You are right about preparation being important. I will look for your hubs.


rahman21 6 years ago

brakel2 3 months ago

Thanks for reading my hub. There is a saying that people would rather die than speak publicly. When I was in college, I was required to take a speech course, and I was so fearful. I ended up loving it and took an extra semester. You are right about preparation being important. I will look for your hubs.


Monavie Momentum profile image

Monavie Momentum 6 years ago from Chicago

As with anything, the more you do it the better you get.

Thanks for the hub


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you Monavie for your kind comment and for reading my hub,. You are right - just keep at it and don't be fearful. I will look for your hubs. Good luck in your writing.


vickywebworld 5 years ago

Thanks the article is quite helpful. I do not have to cram too many things again with this mind map method


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi vickywebworld. I am so glad you found my hub and that mind mapping interests you. I love the process in writing and public speaking. It is easier than an outline and does not boggle the mind. Good luck with your writing. I will look for your hubs.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading my hub. Mind mapping is a great process.I learned it is a course on writing and used it for my speech club


how-to-make profile image

how-to-make 4 years ago from India

Really nice tips. It would have me a lot during my debate and other competitions which need these skills.


cyoung35 profile image

cyoung35 4 years ago from Corona, CA

When it comes to public speaking I always seem to tense up, my breathing becomes shallow and I feel like I have a big lump in my throat. If I could just overcome this I could control my speeches instead of bumbling through them. Any advice on how to control my nerves?


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

I wish. I could come to your university in Uganda as you requested. It's not possible , but I am glad you enjoyed my article.

Musi. Keep working on your public speaking. Practice constantly and record yourself. Look in the mirror and judge how you appear to others. Smile and vary your tone of voice. Use gestures. You probably have a lot of skills already. Feel good about yourself. Regards and I will think of you doing a super job.


sk 4 years ago

when i meet a friend i can t speake with her because i m fread of com close to her and at the end lose her.i have lose a friend befour and i don t wont to lose an other and i always travel from hight school to an other so what should i do in my situation?oh i m from morocco.


Hussnain Dodhy 4 years ago

I actually don't know what's wrong,I feel hesitated to speak in the public even in front of my class mates,some one please help ma and please give me some tips so that I should perform well in my class or even in front of the public,because I have to face the God damn public,I need tips so please any one help me out getting these..


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

You get better at speaking through practice. Practice by using a tape recorder and by looking at yourself In the mirror. The more you practice the better you get. Join a speech club if you can find one. Ask a friend to listen to you and make suggestions as needed. Speak with sincerity and keep eye contact. Remember that everyone is scared in the beginning and that adrenalin rush stays with speakers and eventually creates powerful performances. Tell yourself you are good, and you wlll be good.


fahad 4 years ago

thank you i am the future persident in my countery


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

sk Try to develop confidence in yourself. Write down your strong points, make yourself look good, take a speech course at your high school until you have the ability to make friends with others. Look for others like yourself in personality and get yourself a support group. Gradually, if you work hard, you should be able to eventually be able to feel better about yourself with the opposite sex. You might take some extra courses to get better grades- some make-up classes. If you could talk to the counselor at your school, you might get guidance. Good luck.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

These are very useful tips to be kept in mind to be a good public speaker. You are right, prior preparation is a must. A person who is speaking on a public platform must know the subject pretty well.

Being from a teaching background I can understand, how well one must know the topic, to be able to answer any query or even speak something spontaneously. And of course confidence is the key.

Very good and helpful article!

Thanks!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

The mapping technique we also used in elementary school It is an effective organizational tool. Reluctantly I share that public speaking is something I could do well if I did not have extreme anxiety disorder in front of crowds. I have always wished that I could stand in front of crowds and share things I am passionate about. But I am almost paralyzed with fear when I must get up even in front of small group and it is a group of people I know!!

Thank you for sharing these valuable tips for all who are speaking publicly. Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you Pstraubie for the very nice comments about my article. You are probably a good speaker It is always a bit stressful being in front of an audience I like the bubble method. It was a whole new concept for me. Stop by again. Peace and light to you. Audrey


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you Sharon for reading my hub and commenting. I am glad you have experience with speaking in public and you know about confidence and knowing your subject. It sometimes is scary to be in front of an audience, and even when you are experienced, a little nervousness is present. I am glad you stopped by to read my hub. Stop by again. Good luck with your writing and traffic. Audrey


Carola Finch profile image

Carola Finch 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Interesting tips. Voted up.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Carola - Thank you for reading my hub. and for your nice comments. Public speaking is fun but sometimes scary at first. After a while it gets a little easier, but it takes practice. Audrey


Always Optimist profile image

Always Optimist 3 years ago from India

Very useful tips. I have never spoken in public because I have always had a stage fright. Voting it up and awesome.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

I think we used this method in English Class as a mens to come up with a subject to write about, and then again to decide what to write about that subject.

Have known lots of people who fear public speaking. For some reason it doesn't bother me even if I don't know what I'm talking about. :) I just wing it, but there aren't that many times when I have to speak anyway. The last time was delivering the eulogy for my late husband's memorial. If I hadn't done it, it would have fallen to our daughter and I didn't think she could do it under the circumstances.

Very helpful advice and I'm going to share it with my followers!


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

I was in Toastmasters also and became a professional speaker (as a sideline, but I say pro because I get paid.) Your circle idea will work for hubs also. I work more organically. The speech or article springs from my head full-blown like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. This is because I think about it for days (or longer) before I actually write. But then I edit because the writing sometimes takes me in a ne direction.

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    Comments 7 comments

    Musimenta Deogracious- Makerere University Uganda 4 years ago

    that is fantastic, your hub is quiet good for me to continue with my polititcal career , i wish i could talk to you in specififc and you hold public lecture to makerere university. email me on mdeograceous@yahoo.com


    brakel2 profile image

    brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

    Hi how to make. Thanks for your nice comments about my hub. You must ge good if you were a debater. I did that a little also. Good luck with your writing and speaking


    muhibullah 4 years ago

    really nice hub


    brakel2 profile image

    brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

    cyoung35 Thank you for reading my hub. Practice is the important point here. If you become nervous, that is the only way to overcome it. Practice with a friend until you become confident. The friend can help you by giving you pointers. Practice in front of the mirror. That always helps. Remember that everyone was in your shoes once, and they just want you to succeed. Join a speech club if you can, and that will help you. Read some other hubs about public speaking. I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner, as I missed your comments. Good luck.


    Phillippe 3 years ago

    I kindly request some more light on how I may become a good public speaker. I like speaking publicly, especially when Am training or preaching. I come from Rwanda. I kindly wait for your response.

    By the way, I want to become your ambassador in my country


    vocalcoach profile image

    vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    What a brilliant and helpful resource this is! I'm a member of the National Speakers Association and what you have said here, beats anything I've heard. Sharing this and bookmarking for further review. Love the 'bubble' idea. ~ Audrey


    brakel2 profile image

    brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

    Hi VocalCoach. Wow what wonderful comments. Thank you so much. You should be proud to be in such a professional group and to have so many talents. I am happy you found tips in my hub to help you. You are one of my favorite people, and I wish you continued luck with your endeavors.

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      brakel2 profile image

      brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

      Hi Cyoung. I still Am nervous every time. Smile and take some deep breaths. Then use pauses to keep your breathing good. Pause and breathe and look at several audience members and in different areas of the room. You will find another hub on just what you need. Check it out. Good luck.


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      thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Great tips. I operate a freelance SEO business and I make commercials. Thought that I may be able to use different techniques since the field is similar in many ways. I'm also preparing to venture out and speak in front of high ranking corporate business to try and pitch Hale Associations, "My Company." I've never had experience speaking in front of others, but this is useful advice. I'm sure these tips and ideas will help, so thanks for sharing.


      brakel2 profile image

      brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

      Hi lyric writer Thank you for reading my hub and for your positive comments. You sound like you are a busy person and wear many hats, so to speak. Congratulations on your success operating a business. You should not have difficulty speaking before groups with such leadership skills. You could get a book or find an article on how to do a sales pitch. That was one of the speeches I had to give in my club. I remember a salesman said always keep the pitch and always work on getting to the closure. Anticipate the questions and stay positive. Smiling always gets them. Good luck. You sound like an interesting person. Audrey

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