5 public speaking tips

What would your reaction be if you were asked to speak in front of an audience? Some people feel nervous or unsure how to speak in public, while others present as confident and natural in front of a crowd. What type of public speaker are you and which public speaking skills do you possess?

Whether thinking about public speaking gives you a rush of adrenaline or a shot of anxiety, there are always ways to refine your public speaking skills and bolster your confidence. When it comes down to it, public speaking skills are all about being able to communicate effectively with your audience. Here are Tony’s public speaking tips on how to master the art and get any group of people, no matter how small or large, on your side.

1. Believe that you cannot fail

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.” – Tony Robbins

Ask yourself this: What’s your biggest fear when it comes to public speaking? Determining your fears will help you decide which public speaking skills you need to work on the most. For most people, it’s the fear of embarrassing themselves in front of a crowd or finding out they really have nothing to say or no way to connect with others. These are limiting beliefs based on a combination of factors including past results, your environment and lack of knowledge.

When you get too hung up on these fears, you become incapable of delivering an incredible presentation. Instead of thinking of what could go wrong, start thinking about all the things that can go right. What would it be like if you could not fail? Step into that mindset and how to speak in public will suddenly become much easier. As Todd Herman recommends, create an “alter ego” that you feel possesses the skills you fear you lack. When you step in front of a crowd, channel that persona who is confident, knowledgeable and truly cannot fail. Not only will this help you learn how to improve public speaking, but it can also increase your confidence in many other areas of life.

public speaking tips

2. Master your physical state

man with public speaking skills

Public speaking skills need to include mastery of both mental and physical aspects. Think of a powerful presentation you’ve seen in the past. You might remember what the speaker talked about, but you definitely remember how they carried themselves. People with exceptional public speaking skills not only know their topic inside and out, but also take pride in their physical state. Those who are skilled in making instant connections with others know the power of nonverbal communication. When you show self-confidence and energy through standing up straight, making direct eye contact and breathing regularly, you show your audience they can have confidence in what you say. Remember, how to speak in public is not just about the speaking – it’s also about the way in which you deliver the words.

3. Visualize your outcome

There’s a reason why you’re presenting in front of a crowd. Are you selling something? Are you trying to get a group of investors to back your new company? Before you get up to make your presentation, take some time to think about your ideal outcome. This will help you develop SMART goals for your presentation. SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a time frame. Without them, you will not truly know how your speech went and if it was a success.

You want those in the crowd to be engaged with your message, and eventually want them to follow through with a specific action. Before you begin your presentation, visualize this outcome. What would it look like if your speech went incredibly well? Imagine not only your desired result, but also how you look presenting your speech. This visualization exercise will help affirm your purpose and give you a boost of confidence and is one of the public speaking skills Tony uses before he steps onto stage.

how to speak in public

4. Build rapport with your audience

how to improve public speaking to an audience

Those who know how to speak in public understand that it’s not just about them. Just as great leaders know it’s about their buyers and not about themselves, effective speakers always put their audience first.  A powerful speaker can leave after speaking to a room full of strangers and the entire audience feels like they have a personal relationship with that person. You can build rapport by sharing commonalities with your audience. This includes inquiring about their lives, sharing personal anecdotes and connecting nonverbally via eye contact and mirroring techniques. Just because you’re the one on stage doesn’t mean you can’t bring your audience into the conversation through asking questions, soliciting feedback and asking others to share stories. Public speaking skills can and should involve drawing your audience in and making them a large part of your presentation.

5. Be energetic and charismatic

Just as there are many types of leaders, there are all different types of effective public speakers. Part of the reason why Tony has been so successful is because of his distinct public speaking style. Though Tony is well versed in how to speak in public, he also puts his own individual touch on his appearances, ensuring that he will stand out and be remembered. Tony consistently provides high-energy presentations and is known for getting audiences to be simultaneously introspective while connecting with the people around them. You don’t have to mirror Tony’s style, but you do have to find an energetic and appealing way to connect with your audience. What are some of your greatest personality traits? How can you channel these characteristics into a moving, thought-provoking presentation? One of the best public speaking tips – and a surefire way to steal the show – is to bring your unique brand of authenticity to the stage.

how to improve public speaking

Of course, none of the above public speaking tips will be effective unless you are calm and relaxed before your presentation. The next time you have to speak in public and feel yourself getting nervous, take a moment to relax. Do some deep breathing and employ one of Tony’s tips on reconnecting with yourself. Ask yourself some meaningful questions or sing a relaxing or empowering song in your head. Once you’re relaxed, reaffirm that you are prepared and know how to speak in public. If you know your material and can present yourself in a confident manner, there’s no reason for you to worry. The people you’re presenting to are there because they want to hear what you have to say, so don’t hesitate when it’s time to share your message.  

Overcome your fear of public speaking by tackling your limiting beliefs

Overcome your fear of speaking to large audiences by learning how to conquer your limiting beliefs. Combat the thoughts holding you back by creating empowering ones with the help of Tony Robbins’ free digital Limiting Beliefs guide.