25 tips to help you speak better in public


Are you speaking in public soon? Here’s 25 of my time-tested tips. I had to learn most of these the “hard” way…i.e. via FAILURE.

To equip you better, I put this content in audio form too. Listen to the “New & Noteworthy” Igniting Souls iTunes podcast, via Stitcher,  Audioboom, or at the bottom of this post.


  1. Anxiety is just your body’s way of getting prepared. Invite it. Don’t fight it.

  2. People don’t know your script. Therefore, there is no such thing as “messing up.” (Share on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn, Google+)

  3. You are now the perceived expert on your topic. Don’t try and prove it. Show it.

  4. Make your audience the star of the show, not yourself.

  5. Don’t waste words (Ex. “Hi, it’s great to be here…” OR “Hello ladies and…” OR “My name is…”)

  6. Jump right in with a story or anecdote. Take us to a place in your book or life, just like a scene in a movie. (Ex. “Bewildered, I sat on the cold floor wondering what would happen next…” OR “So this is what freedom tastes like,” I whispered. That day the sun seemed brighter. The sky looked bigger. The world felt warmer…”)

  7. Use a sharp close and a sharp finish. The first 15 words and last 15 are the most memorable.

  8. Preparation is the key to success. Don’t leave anything to chance.

  9. Don’t wing it. Practice shows.

  10. Plan on spending 1 hour prepping for every 1 minute on stage.

  11. You never know who is sitting in the audience—future clients and maybe future partners.

  12. Enjoy yourself and smile. Your confidence and warmth will show.

  13. Be yourself. Audiences can sniff out imposters in nanoseconds.

  14. Use a style that works for you. (Ex. I like to over prepare and then rely upon a mental outline instead of a script.)

  15. If you go with a written script or outline, print it out as a backup. Don’t read it off your smart phone. Use a comfortable font size.

  16. Remove any words that don’t match your personality and style.

  17. Make eye contact. Always speak to one person at a time instead of trying to speak to the entire audience at once.

  18. Amp up your energy. The audience will tend to mirror your frequency.

  19. Don’t be afraid to use humor, if it’s practiced, proven, and low risk.

  20. Test your microphone before you get on stage.

  21. If you move your hands when making gestures, remember the microphone moves away from you and the audience can’t hear you.

  22. Speak from the heart.

  23. Dress in a way that complements your message. Don’t distract and shoot for a style slightly above your audience. (Too casual and they don’t take you seriously. Too formal and they can’t relate.)

  24. Pray. (If you know the Truth, you already know you’re simply the messenger.)

  25. Bottom line…be present, have fun, and embody a soul on fire.

What would you add as tip #26?

Your suggestion might make the list I’ve created to help Author Academy Elite students when they speak at the Igniting Souls Conference next month. (Thanks Gill Scott and Brian Wagner for tip #23 and #24.)

listen to ‘#020 – 25 tips to help you speak better publicly ’ on audioBoom