Public Speaking


Plenty of good advice in this thread. Another good idea is to have your talk drafted a week before and record it as a voice memo on your phone. Listen to it as often as you can. Have the talk printed in front of you while delivering it but you will find that a lot of it has sunk in and you can freestyle key passages/phrases etc. It really helps.


“it’s been an emotional funeral, even the cake’s in tiers”

*looks out to stoney silence*

*notices there is no cake on the buffet table*


Advice my uni lecturer dad once gave me was to never apologise for or talk down your speech in your intro, however tempting it might be if you’re shy about it, however tempting it is to make a joke about it. Don’t start by saying it’s piss.

Extends to jokingly-but-not-really-jokingly blaming your colleagues for not doing enough/your boss for making you do this.


Oh yeah, and really don’t sweat it. Everyone’s been to awful or boring presentations of one sort or another, nobody remembers them.


You know what, I would like to just take the time to blame my old English teacher who in first year at secondary school told me it looked like I had some weird disease I was shaking so much during my FIRST EVER talk. THANKS Mrs Mackay. Reaaally good teaching there :laughing:


sometimes i piss pronounciate my worms


I think the only real way to get better is to just keep on doing it. I was a shy kid but now I have no problem pretty much anywhere. I used to put on gigs. A support act was going on stage and the audience, who were almost all there for the headliner, were taking no notice. The next time I saw the crowd still chatting when the DJ stopped and the band was ready, I went on stage and said a few words, encouraging the audience to give the support band a chance. It worked. So I then found myself introducing the bands every time I did a gig. I did make a few notes so I didn’t have to think of what to say off the top of my head, which helped. But nowadays I can stand up in front of any sort of crowd and say what I need to.


Who’s the daddy now?


Thanks everyone for the advice :slight_smile: xxx


Any time you have a public speaking event coming up, practice in front of your friends. Make it feel like a normal thing. I had the opportunity to do it on a weekly basis until I got to the stage where I could crack jokes and make the crowd laugh. But it took time and practice.


Oh and another thing - even though I now enjoy public speaking, that doesn’t mean I don’t still get some nerves sometimes, that’s just natural.


This is always my advice @Witches - use prompt cards if you need them but practice and revise them so you don’t need them.

See if you can do some rehearsal sessions with friendly faces.


Try to think of there being a few different levels of engagement with the room. One being you and your internal thoughts. One being you focusing on one person e.g. who has just asked a question, and one being your focus on the room as a whole. You should be going between all three at various points ideally.

If you get stage fright or blushing there is nothing wrong with beta blockers as a tool to keep that away.

Love the thing you’re talking about and enjoy getting to speak about it.



Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking…


Loads of good advice in this thread

You mention that the planned stuff goes well but the Q&A’s always make you nervous

In my experience that tends to make me think that maybe you’re stuck between wanting to give an honest personal answer and maybe thinking about what answer the person asking the question wants to hear. Perhaps in some professional situations that might also mean a third alternative - giving the answer that is the official company line. I’ve found that clarifying your role to yourself in this regard before you do your presentation can really help with both q&a and the presentation as a whole and can perhaps even give you some distance from your inner personal anxieties if you’re speaking for the company or the team or w/e rather than for you. And if you are speaking for you then you can’t give any wrong answers anyway :slight_smile:

Hope that makes sense

Good luck


Once did it in Year 11 in front of about 150 people, half my year group, in an assembly thing. It was awful and I still cringe at it today. I actually chose to do it as well, which was stupid. I’ve learned my lesson not to do that ever again.

SOmetimes I get nervous just posting on here… :scream:


Despite what @andyvine says I am shit at it. I can do tours and talk to huge groups confidently IF we’re all stood up. Sit them down and put them in a room and I am a wreck and want to vomit and can’t stop shaking. So my only advice is make them all stand outside with you?

Actually it sounds a bit glib but this does work a bit for me - pretend you’re a confident person, like almost as if you’re playing a role, because none of those people know otherwise. If I pretend to be someone else like that it does help me hugely with the more standard addressing audiences thing.


Really don’t enjoy it. Used to have to do it fair bit for work. Presenting ideas and stuff in front of boardrooms of people - hated HATED it. Mostly the build up, fine when you’re in full flow, but I couldn’t relax for days before.

I went on a presentation course which sort of helped. Main things I learned that helped me…

  • Taking a pause if you suddenly lose your thread is fine. It feels like you’ve stopped for ages, but it rarely is and people don’t notice/care as it always looks totally natural.
  • Think of all the presentations you’ve sat in at work given by other people. Are you even listening? No. Nobody gives a shit really.
  • Obvious one - but just prepare well. If I was presenting something, I’d try to break the presentation into an intro (“whats the point of this presentation?”) and chapters. After each chapter i’d briefly touch back on the intro so people wouldn’t lose the thread
  • Because of the line of work, people knew I’d probably not be super slick and wordy, but I’d always have a Keynote/PowerPoint presentation to talk along to which was quite comforting as people are often looking at that and not just you.