Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Blog

Resources to improve your public speaking and presentation skills.

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,...

Balancing Certainty with Curiosity As a Speaker

In this video, I discuss balancing certainty with curiosity as a speaker. There's so much opinionated certainty nowadays - particularly online. And I have strong opinions myself! So my thoughts are around the 'dance' of how we come across to an audience when we present. Of course we need to be certain about our data, facts and figures, and our key messages. But too much certainty and we can seem arrogant, dismissive, inflexible. The perfect antidote to this: balancing certainty with curiosity as a speaker. Being open to the topic as you prepare, and the audience in the moment, and...

Public Speaking Body Language Loop

Public Speaking Body Language Loop In this video, I discuss the public speaking body language loop and how yours can help you, as well as signal competence to your audience. So many speaking coaches talk about public speaking body language, and there's a lot of advice out there. Here's a small part on video about how positive body language at the start of your presentation can become self-reinforcing and help you to move confidently into the rest of your talk . Transcript: Hello! So today I would like to talk to you about body language - obviously a huge topic, and there are...

Public Speaking Resilience Using the 3 C’s

Public Speaking Resilience Using the 3 C's In this video I talk about how important it is to boost public speaking resilience using your mindset. There's great research about what works to make people resilient in life, and these "3 C's" from two researchers - done over nearly 40 years - can be applied really well to public speaking too. Transcript - Today we're going to take a look at gaining more resilience and re-framing our thinking around public speaking. So how we frame something in our mind has a really big impact on our body. And if we say to ourselves "oh...

Are Stories in Presentations Always Persuasive?

Using stories in presentations In today's video, I briefly discuss using stories in presentations to be more persuasive. The idea of using a story to help get your audience across the 'persuasion and influence' line is very common. Whether we're aiming to change people's mood, change their mind or get them to take real action. And when I talk about a story, I don't mean a cosy, fluffy tale, like someone reading to us in primary school or before we go to sleep! I simply mean using what I call 'humanity' to balance out facts, data, statistics. Most great presentations have...

To Be More Persuasive, Think About Power

Persuasion is a crucial part of our everyday communication, whether at work or socially. And have you ever considered that to be more persuasive, you need to think about power dynamics? How does feeling powerful play out, both for speaker and audience? To Persuade, Think about Power To uncover more about this, let's look at persuasion and power and how these interact with another key factor in our communication style: warmth and competence.  Psychologists consider warmth and competence to be universal principles. In social perception terms, they're key ways we evaluate people, particularly when we first meet them. So how does considering power...

How to Make Great Transitions in your Presentations

In this video, I discuss some ways you can make great transitions in your presentations. This can make a big difference to: how professional you seem how easily the audience can follow you [Video is below.] And without them, your talks can seem clunky and disjointed, as you move from one section to the next. I've found that many people aren't even aware of transitions as a professional tool. Yet good links - whether they're words, phrases or sentences - between your ideas will make your public speaking content flow smoothly and easily. They'll allow audience members to tune back in to...

Presentation Content Mistakes: Too Much Information

One of the most common presentation content mistakes I see is to give too much information. Depending on your perspective you might also call it too much value! It's very easy - even for experienced speakers - to equate information with value. And we can do this in every day interactions and meetings too – this sometimes urgent need we have, to show or share what we know. When we'd be better to step back and shut up! To allow space for the information to breathe and be absorbed...and maybe to let other people's voices be heard instead of ours. A...

5 Ways To Ask Questions That Your Audience Responds To

Do you give presentations, and worry about how to ask questions that your audience responds to? Have you ever sweated through silence, while a lot of faces stared blankly at you? It's probably happened at some point - it certainly has to me! Here are 5 ways to ask questions that your audience responds to: The opening of your talk I often encourage my clients to ask a question in their opening few sentences – because it is a good engagement technique. Some people nowadays say that it's cliched, but it's a cliche for a reason. So long as it's a...

Two Brain ‘Fuels’ You Need When Speaking in Public

Have you ever thought about what brain 'fuels' you need when speaking in public? In today's video post, I discuss the two brain fuels you need when speaking in public, why they matter, and how to get more of them. Without them, you'll be much more likely to blank out, or feel yourself slowing down. You probably know the feeling when you're hungry and your mind starts to slow - or where your brain actually feels like it freezes and you can't think what you meant to say next. It's just horrible when that happens in front of a group, and...