27 Tips on Public Speaking

  1. Prepare a talk well with easy to read notes to refer to.

  2. Do not leave the preparation until the last minute.

  3. On deep issues, there are fewer stories. Too many stories or too long stories weaken the theme of the talk.

  4. Make an announcement in the hall before a talk rather than afterwards to protect the silent atmosphere for reflection.

  5. Before the talk stay silent for several minutes or more, stay focussed, calm and clear.

  6. Enter the hall when people have settled down, so the hall is silent.

  7. Give a clear title to your talk.

  8. Make sure that you use the title in several ways through the talk; otherwise the talk may seem to lack co-ordination or seem unrelated to the title.

  9. It is sometimes tempting to give a simple talk for beginners. Please try to avoid this. Speak equally to those with experience and knowledge of the subject matter.

  10. Always remember to speak to the person furthest from you in the hall. If unsure if they can hear you, then ask them to raise their hand if they cannot hear.

  11. If you speak too slowly, you may induce sleepiness upon the listeners.

  12. If you speak too quickly, you will block the opportunity for others to understand what you say.

  13. If you speak too loudly, you will make it difficult for people to listen to you!

  14. If you speak too quietly, people will have to try to hear and their attention will fade

  15. Relaxed listening with an upright posture generates inner receptivity for the listener

  16. Your words and your feelings must flow together.

  17. If your feelings and tone of voice come across as intense and absolute, you will sound intolerant, no matter how clearly you express your words.

  18. Dogmatic views put people in the audience on the defensive or they feel judged

  19. If you are nervous, pick out three people – one to your left, one in the middle and one to your right, and talk to them. Notice one or two people who appear interested.

  20. Remember to pause for a two or three second every few minutes to allow listeners to absorb your words.

  21. Try to give as deep a talk on the issue as possible especially in the last three minutes of the talk.

  22. Try to make as much eye contact with as many people as possible during the talk. Your voice can lead others to deep their understanding

  23. Your voice can lead others to deep their understanding and expand their knowledge.

  24. Never repeat the same talk in the same place. Never give the give the same talk more than twice a year.

  25. Remember you cannot develop as a speaker through repetition of the same talk.

  26. If you have a question and answer session at the end, make sure it connects to the talk. Some people prefer the silence to Q and A, so it is useful to keep Q and A down to a few minutes.

  27. It is useful to finish a talk with a minute or two of silence.

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