AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

Speak like a Pro!

Opinion & Analysis
For the past decade, my life has been spent on stage speaking. I have been in front of corporate professionals, young people, congregants, on television and radio.

For the past decade, my life has been spent on stage speaking. I have been in front of corporate professionals, young people, congregants, on television and radio.


The first time I was on live ZBCTV news, I don’t know, if I talked any sense, if anything at all.

Fright literally deleted everything that was in my head and what I know is that I mumbled all the way.

The very thought of knowing that family, and diverse crowds are watching me not only locally, but globally through DSTV, literally electrocuted my nerves. But did that make me stop and give up? No, I am still in the game.

This article brings you tips on how to master public speaking. These tips are taken from my coming book on public speaking.

I bring personal experiences, both successes, and failures that have moulded me to become who I am today.

Speaking is not just about churning out words, but creatively painting a great story in the mind of the listener. These are daily tips that will help you become a paid and professional speaker.

Tip 1: Love speaking

The first, most important thing is that you must love public speaking. Passion makes everything you do fun, fulfilling, and worth investing in.

Tip 2: Know your flair

Know you uniqueness, strength, and ability. Learning from others is good, but you must never try to be someone else, be yourself and love your unique voice

Tip 3: Know your offer

What is your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)? When people are listening to you, they are looking for value from you. So give propositions that provoke a process to get a solution or solve a problem.

People are too busy to listen to a lousy, and flimsy speaker, who is clueless about people’s needs.

Tip 4: Have your unique story

People love great stories. Have a great story to tell people so that they derive a lesson from it.

Remember, the greatest story that no one can copy is your personal story.

Tip 5: Know thyself

Self-awareness makes you know your power, pose, and pizzazz. You know what to do and what not to do.

Tip 6: Know thy stuff

Know your subject matter and know what you must speak about. As a paid speaker myself, what I have come to realise is that companies or people don’t pay you for all you know or what you love to talk about, but for what they have paid you to talk about.

Tip 7: Know thy thrust

As a speaker, you can’t speak on anything or everything, but you must focus on a specific subject.

As such, you must invest in that subject and be broad in your scope, articulation, and exemplification of that same subject. Tip 8: Know thy world

Know what you are made for. Know what you are made of. Be comfortable in your own skin.

Hone your skills to improve the aforesaid. Remember, competence results in confidence.

Tip 9: Know thy audience

The most important person to must serve is the one you are speaking to, or with.

Learn to listen to your audience and learn to transition with them to a world you are painting with your words. Simply, ready your audience.

Tip 10: Dress up

Your first impression is your expression. It’s said never dress like a suspect, but like an expert.

The first thing that people use to judge us is our dress code. People might argue that, we must not judge a book by its cover, but that what most of us do. Dress up and look sharp.

Your dressing should match the tone of speech. Dress in clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident.

Tip 11: Love the mirror

The main function of the mirror is that it helps you to speak and spruce-up the person you are seeing. Before you step on the stage, make sure you pass via a mirror.

Tip 12: Smile

This is one communication tool. This is the language that all people is the world love and even understand.

Practise your best smile. If you want to know the magic of smiling, do it on your mirror every day.

Secondly, give it out. A smile is priceless. It’s one thing you can use without losing anything. People that you are speaking before, love it when you smile. Just smile!

Tip 13: Master your posture

Your posture means a lot. Its either you are saying, “I am afraid” or “I am here! It’s me and I rock!”.

So learn postures that exude confidence. Always pose like it!

Tip 14: Eye contact

Your eyes speak before you say anything. Your eyes could be inquisitive, intuitive, appealing, compelling, cunning, et cetera. Great eye contact makes you look confident. A direct look gives you control over the room and keeps everyone invested and involved. Pay equal attention to everyone in the room.

Tip 15: Have a positive attitude

Attitude is one intangible thing, just like perfume it permeates into the atmosphere without your effort.

So, learn to have a positive attitude. If you have a negative or cocky attitude, it will be mirrored back to you.

Tip 16: Let your brand stand out

You are a brand whether you make a conscious effort or not. It is the unique trademark that you stand for as an individual.

Tip 17: Learn your Powerpoint

Learn Microsoft PowerPoint. It is one computer program that a public speaker has to use.

It’s a big program with so much which make it easy to auto-suggest points to you and also to aid the audience in your explanations.

Tip 18: Conquer your fears

Fear is one inevitable thing, so you must learn to master and manage it.

Make sure before you say a word, you have enough oxygen in your lungs.

Before you say a word, usually the heart beats at breakneck speed. Your throat develops phlegm and forms sweat of your brow, and hands.

Even top speakers go through that, but they have mastered how to conquer that.

Tip 19: First cut is the deepest

Rod Stewart has a song, “First Cut is the deepest”.

This song is true. Coin the best way to stick and win the audience to yourself.

If you fail to convince your audience at first, usually you struggle all the way by trying to bring them into your talk.

Tip 20: Eat well

What you eat before your talk determines your vocal projection, how you mouth smells. Some foods cause your mouth to be dry. Let’s meet next week. I will give you more tips on how to be a top speaker.

lJonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/business trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach. Contact details: Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: jonah@classicmail.co.za. Twitter@jonahnyoni.