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How to be a public speaker

Updated on October 14, 2012
Being an effective public speaker takes time and practice
Being an effective public speaker takes time and practice | Source

There is a castle in Ireland called Blarney Castle and there is a stone there called the Blarney stone that people visit to kiss.It is said that kissing the Blarney stone will make one more talkative and better at communicating. Tourists still flock there but it is unlikely that they all believe that kissing a stone can make any difference to their communication skills. As an alternative to kissing the Blarney stone, here are some basic ideas to help you to become a more skilled communicator.

There is so much to know and say about communication in it’s various forms that the list of talking forums and situations is endless. For example, people communicate on television talk shows, in conversations,on radio talk shows and there are even public speaking or debating clubs around where people can put their point of view across in a formal way. Obviously,except when you are delivering a prepared speech, your brain is usually working faster than your mouth to maintain the fluency of your output.

Therefore, the best way to learn to communicate effectively is to start considering your own communication skills as they are and try to improve them.

The following tips apply mainly to those speaking in a public forum but may be adapted to apply to aspects of everyday conversation.

Share what you know.

You can educate yourself about a particular skill for example but your credibility will be increased if you practice what you preach. In this way you can share your experience about something rather than having a textbook approach to it.


This covers listening to others as well as listening to ourselves. Monitoring what we are saying by listening to ourselves while we are speaking can instill confidence and help us express ourselves more forcefully.


Tending to hesitate on our words or speak in a slurred fashion will not have a very positive effect on our listeners. If this happens to you when you are nervous for example, try to make a joke about it to break the ice so you can then proceed with more fluency.


Maintaining eye contact with your audience is also important. Even when you are speaking to a large group of people, alternate your focus around different members ogf the group to make what you are saying more meaningful to your audience.


Humour is a great ice-breaker and can alleviate the boredom if people are not really interested in what you have to say in your speech. It is a way of maintaining the attention span of the group you are addressing.

Say it with a smile.

Like eye-contact and humour, your presentation can become a lot more personal and enjoyable for your listeners if you remember to smile while you are talking. This does not mean a constant false smile but a natural smile at appropriate times during your speech makes all the difference.

Take example

Consider public speakers you admire and make use of some of the techniques you have seen them use in a positive way during your own presentation.

Prepare well

Take the time to familiarize yourself with what you are going to say and how you are going to present it. To maintain your credibility, it is best not to over-use notes during a presentation. If you are comfortable with the knowledge you have, some preparation will go a long way in facilitating the delivery of your information


The above suggestions should give you some tips for empowering your communication in a public speaking forum and can be adapted to some extent for other speaking situations. One can constantly learn from interacting with others and following their example if they have communication skills that one aspires to.


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    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Pracice and experience I suppose are the best way to overcome fear of public speaking. Hope that helps.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Glad you like it. Thanks for voting up

    • pringoooals profile image

      Karina 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      A great hub. Lot of useful advice. Voted up.