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Public Speaking

What is Public Speaking?

Public speaking is a soft skill that requires excellent communication skills, enthusiasm, and the ability to engage with an audience. Public speakers make presentations to a group.

Presentations range from speaking to a small group of students to presenting to a large audience at a national conference or event. The same skillset and ability to be comfortable speaking in public are required regardless of the size of the group.

The art of public speaking comes into play not only in the delivery of speeches and public talks, but also in professional presentations, training events, and motivational speaking. Consultants, training, managers, clergy, sales representatives, and teachers, for example, all have a reason at times to speak in front of others.

More Public Speaking Skills

  • Articulating clearly
  • Assessing the needs and priorities of a potential audience of conference attendees
  • Consultants presenting the findings for a reorganization plan to a group of executives at a client firm
  • Controlling performance anxiety
  • Creating attractive PowerPoint slides with the right amount of detail
  • Drafting an evaluation form that attendees are likely to complete
  • Grabbing the attention of the audience with a powerful opening
  • Handing out copies of slides in advance to minimize note-taking demands on the audience
  • Maintaining eye contact with the audience and providing an energetic, animated physical presence
  • Memorizing enough content so that the speech does not come off as a reading of notes
  • Modulating vocal tone to emphasize important points and avoid monotonous presentation
  • Organizing a logical flow to a speech
  • Preparing examples that are relevant to the experience of the expected audience
  • Providing compelling evidence to support themes
  • Rehearsing the presentation and revising rough spots
  • Researching information about the latest trends in an industry before presenting at a professional seminar
  • Restating critical points at the end of a speech to cement key concepts
  • Reviewing feedback and modifying the approach for talks in the future
  • Sales Representatives delivering a pitch for human resources software
  • Summarizing the topics to be covered at the beginning of a lecture to provide context for attendees
  • Telling stories to illustrate points
  • Timing the speech in advance to make sure it meets the allotted time
  • Using humor to enliven a talk