Business Public Speaking Agony Uncle

Great Public Speaking

Develop Your Public Speaking Skills

When I started  public speaking I read and received lots of useless advice.  Most of it reduced my confidence.

Advice: Get a good night’s sleep.
Louis: How on earth do I get a good night’s sleep when I’m nervous?

Advice: Take a sleeping pill to get good nights sleep.
Louis: I am not a junkie. How do I perform well when I feel like a Zombie the day after I’ve taken one?

Advice: Do not talk as soon as you get on the stage?
Louis: It takes confidence to stand there and say nothing. I’ll be nervous. I’ll get more nervous as I wait to start. Not good.

Advice:Make eye contact with the audience members one by one.
Louis: How am I going to make eye contact when I need to look at my notes?

Advice: Speak unusually slowly
Louis: Anything with the word unusual is nearly impossible when I am nervous.

confidence building advice

There is a single piece of advice confidence building advice I give that always works.

Most business speakers are rubbish.  You have to force yourself to concentrate to stop from drifting off. True?

If you’re seeking advice, you have prepared well. If you have prepared well, you have good content.

The benchmark you are competing with is poor.  Nature will make you better as you are well prepared and have sought advice.


Except for the sleeping pills, all of the above are valid. Rather than advice they are skills and habits I can help you develop over time.  Not an instant fix.

  • Speaking to a group, either at a departmental meeting or to a larger gathering, is most peoples worst nightmare. During the early part of my career I taught Science to largely unwilling teenagers and that baptism of fire equips me with the public speaking tools that I need today.

    But you do not need to spend years learning how to communicate effectively with large groups. However limited you feel that your speaking skills are, you can be made so much more effective by Louis’ proven methodology. Like riding a bicycle, good speaking skills, once learned, will give you a long term professional advantage.

    November 10, 2016 at 7:56 am
  • Hi Louis,

    Neat post 😉 My last public speaking engagement was 35 years ago LOL. Forced into a contest. Practiced like mad. Was scared, stressed and nervous but almost reached the state final. I did well but didn’t feel well. If I dove back in, I’d only speak if I had fun with it. Because my passions override my fears, nervousness and tensions/stresses, every time. The nerves and fears tend to dissolve into your joy. Thanks for sharing!


    November 10, 2016 at 4:58 pm
  • Boris Jacquin

    Sound advice. Every time I watch a TED Talk I wonder if they also give the speakers public speaking advice – I don’t think they do. Public speaking takes practice – there is the act of public speaking and also the quality of your speech itself. Rehearsing is key and it takes time and efforts. As you say, these are all habits that need to develop over time and be practiced over and over again.

    November 11, 2016 at 8:35 am
  • Manjunath

    Very good and neat post and my public speak engagement was just 2 years ago…keep sharing

    April 4, 2017 at 10:47 am

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