Becoming an effective public speaker takes time and practice, yet is a great way to market yourself as an expert in your field while enhancing awareness of your business. No matter the size of your audience, below are a few simple pointers to keep in mind in public speaking.

1. Dress for Success

Dress in something that allows you to move around with ease and avoid wearing clothing or accessories that will distract your audience from what you are saying.

2. Get the audience’s attention from the start

WeSpeak Worldwide speakers, Robyn Hatcher suggests that speakers can involve their audience by using one of these five methods:

  • Ask a question or series of questions. i.e., “How many of you . . .?”
  • State something startling. i.e., “Do you realize . . . ?”
  • Use a powerful quote.
  • Tell a story.
  • Use an analogy or an example.


3. Use simple language and speak with confidence

As this feature points out, written language is different than spoken. Some ideas work well when written, but don’t work at all when you actually say the words. Remember to use simple language, speak clearly and thoughtfully. Allow for pauses so that the audience has time to reflect on what you’ve said.

4. Calm your jitters

It’s natural to feel nervous before public speaking in front of an audience. Gina Barnett, who coaches many TED speakers, suggests taking a few deep breaths, shaking your hands out or doing some isometric exercises to help release your nervous energy.

5. Be yourself

The more you act like yourself the more the audience will relate to what you are saying, care and listen.