Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Blog

Resources to improve your public speaking and presentation skills.

Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work?

It's so easy for this to happen. Whether you’re giving a presentation or having a conversation, feeling intimidated by people with power over you at work - either higher up the food chain, or with some other power over you - it can be a real challenge. Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work? My experience I vividly recall working with my first CEO client, years ago now. We’d spoken on the phone, and I turned up for our first coaching session. I remember getting into the lift of this expansive, echoing marble foyer, heart pounding, as I tried desperately to...

9 Things I Wish I’d Known about Confidence When I was Younger and Struggling

I’ve struggled a lot with low self confidence at certain times in my life. Particularly when I suffered from the skin condition eczema as a student and then again in my 30s. Here are some things I wish I’d known about confidence when I was younger, as I battled myself and my misery. Nearly all of these 9 elements can apply to you if mindset and low confidence are getting in your way when you speak in public. So I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts with you on how I built my own levels. Self-talk. My endless...

FAQs about Public Speaking and Presentations

There are some questions which I'm often asked - FAQ's - about public speaking and presentations. So here’s a list of 5 of the most common ones – see if any of them are ones you'd be asking yourself. FAQ's About Public Speaking and Presentations Q1. What's one of the most common public speaking mistakes? A. Too much content. I used to have this problem all the time, and it came from a combination of enthusiasm about the topic, wanting to give a huge amount of value, and fear that I would run out of content and be left with nothing else...

How to Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others as a Speaker

How do you avoid comparing yourself to others as a speaker...and maintain your confidence? How do you stop comparing yourself to other people and thinking that they look like they're doing fine — just great in fact — when you’re feeling vulnerable, and not confident at all? The most common triggers are often our work colleagues, peers or our competition. Firstly, some thoughts on comparison: Avoid Comparing Yourself as a Speaker 1. We’re wired to compare ourselves to others We’re wired for comparison: particularly when we’re feeling insecure, which just makes it harder to deal with. In general, we compare for two main reasons: one positive, the other less so. We’re...

How to Improve your Talk in 10 Minutes

Want immediate, clear feedback on ways to improve your talk in 10 minutes? I have a suggestion for you. My only proviso is, don't do this if you're an anxious speaker or highly self-conscious, or you may end up feeling worse and it could really set you back. Video yourself Get your phone or camcorder ready to go Set yourself up in the space with your notes, or slides if you're using them Start filming, and deliver your talk for a few minutes: say up to 5 as a general rule Five minutes is a good length of time to settle into your content...

Do you Struggle with Public Speaking?

Do you struggle with public speaking? Do you struggle with public speaking? Does the battle with fear or dislike of presenting exhaust you, or stop you from achieving your career goals? In this article I’ll discuss four lenses through which to look at your challenge. My hope is that it will help you with a different perspective and some fresh ideas - or to see old ideas in a fresh way! First, a quick back-story on my own experience and struggle with public speaking. I used to be one of those incoherent, incapable "I'm only pretending to be here, don't look...

How to Show Warmth to Any Audience

How can we deliberately show warmth to any audience? Or to a person we're about to communicate with 1:1? No matter what sort of a mood we're in before we speak, or how we feel about that audience? And fast? I've been working with a client this week on exactly this concept. I asked him how he believed he came across in meetings with his team when he opened the conversation - was there any specific process that he followed at the start? His reply was basically "No process...and how do I come across? It depends on how I'm feeling". This is...

Setting a Presentation Rhythm

A good way to get your audience's attention at the start of your talk is by setting a presentation rhythm. Lay out for them a plan about how your talk is going to unfold, and then follow that rhythm. You're basically giving an agenda, with rhythmic pace built into it. And it sounds simple, but I don't often see it done. The case for setting a presentation rhythm Rhythm is primal. Our connection to it starts before birth with our mother's heartbeat, and it's an integral part of our voice, speech and communication. And we've been communicating using rhythm for thousands of...

Audience Connection: Your Truth or Universal Truth

Audience Connection - Your Truth or Universal Truth As audience members in a presentation, one of the things we look for is a connection with the speaker. And one of the things that impacts that connection is when the presenter throws out a generalisation about a topic, and confidently asserts something that isn't true for us: either literally, or that doesn't fit with our values or beliefs. You could think of it like this, seen through the lens of audience connection: 'your truth' or 'universal truth'. Whether the speaker's assertion is a literal or beliefs trigger for us, it can...

Public speaking for beginners: practice, belief and ability

Today let's think about public speaking for beginners. Practice, belief and ability: how do they work when you're learning something new? Public Speaking for Beginners: Practice, Belief and Ability We all know the uncertainty and challenges which can kick in when we try something new. I bet if you think for a moment, something you've attempted in the past few years will come up for you. It can be scary to try something different, can't it? Our sense of self can take a knock as we're pushed off-centre. Negative self-talk usually kicks in at times. And in something like public speaking particularly,...