HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsSpeak like a Pro! - Part 2

Speak like a Pro! – Part 2


Last week we started a series on public speaking. One important thing is that we influence decisions using expressed words.
The more you are able to converse and convince people through words, the better you are able to lead them. Last week I ended on tip 20, so let me continue from tip number 21.


Tip 21: Drink enough water

Water is one essential component in your body and in your career as a speaker. You use water to clear and wet your throat. As you speak you, one usually sweats and you lose water.

Make it a point that you are drink enough water, not just before you speak but all the time. Don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses or more per day. When you are about to speak make sure you drink water, which is at room temperature.

Tip 22: Keep your body fit

Keep your body by exercising. If you don’t keep your body healthy, very soon you will struggle in your speaking.

I have seen some speakers huff and puff of stage, because they have put on so much weight.

Tip 23: Your mouth must smell good

The very organ you use to speak, can be so smelly. Bad breath is distraction. Brush your teeth and tongue properly. Before speaking don’t eat foods that cause a smelly mouth.

Tip 24: Have a good body odour

Make sure you have a good bath, before you stand in front of people. You are the centre of attraction and most people would love to greet you after you speech. This is what I face all the time. Wear an expensive and good smelling perfume.

Tip 25: Engage a coach

Have a great coach or mentor to help you as a speaker. This person will guide and counsel you.

They will constantly check on the very small things that matter such as pronunciation of words, your speed, rhythm, rhyme, tone, grammar rules, expressions, eye contact, your vocal power and your gestures.

Tip 26: Learn from pros

We learn through taught and tacit skills. Tacit skills are leant though seeing other speaking. The simplest means for me is to watch BBC News readers, Bishop Noel Jones, Tony Robbins, Vusi Thembekwayo, Les Brown and John C. Maxwell.

Tip 27: Have quotable quotes

Craft or coin your personal quotes. Secondly, internalise great quotes from other people. This spices your speech and gives your listeners a thing or two, to take home.

Tip 28: Learn how to sell

One of my streams of income is from speaking and training.

If you don’t sell your service as a speaker no one will look for you. The best way to sell yourself is through exposing your voice, great customer excellence and marketing.

When I started, I would speak for free. But, as I grew, my referrals grew, my engagements are increasing and that comes with money.

Tip 29: Learn the language

Learn the language. The more you are able to co-ordinate your language with your mind you become better speaker.

Language without brains is not enough. Also it is not enough to have brains but not be able to express your views.

Remember, Lisa Nichols who is a speaking trainer and author once said: “The distance between you and what you need is your language”

Tip 30: Keep your time

Learn to speak within the time allocated. At times the longer you speak, the more you lose other people.

Use the KISS Model: Keep it short and sweet. Give people their times worth. If there is a lineup of speakers, if you take too long to finish, you eat into other people’s time.

Tip 31: Don’t tell us everything you know

What I have seen with most up-coming speakers is that they want to tell us everything they know in one speech.

Stick to the purpose of your talk and keep your topic.

Tip 32: Give out energy

Speak with passion. Energy can be felt and it’s infectious so bring life to your speeches.

This is through painting vivid stories using words and diction. Use body language through good and appropriate expressions.

Tip 33: Engage your audience

There is nothing as disheartening as speaking to a disengaged audience. So, as a speaker learn to engage your audience through captivating activities that involve them, using appropriate gestures.

Tip 34: Start well

Start positively, thankfully, Honuor the audience and those that have invited you speak.

Tip 35: Learn a few names

How do you feel when the speaker on stage mentions your name? You feel special and important. So, as a speaker, use the same art to win listeners to yourself. There is nothing sweeter like mentioning someone’s name.

Tip 36: Laughter is the best medicine

Use humour in your speech. Make people laugh by using proper and positive jokes and examples. This is an art. Never ever be offensive.

Tip 37: Know your facts and figures

When speaking at a business conference, one thing that makes you stand out is to know relevant and current facts. It shows that you are well read and informed. Not all your facts and figures must be on your power point. Know them by head.

Tip 38: Master your voice

Speak with composure, us vocal power, intonation, listen to your voice, and learn to pose. When you are too fast, you sound like you are afraid and want to get off the stage fast.

Tip 39: Your speech much be well structured

In my communication/ journalism training, I learnt that you should tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.

Simply, make sure everything has a head (beginning), body (middle), and tail (end).

Tip 40: Master your gesticulation

Manage your nervousness (shaking, phlegm, wet hands, turning red). Don’t look down/back of room.

Speak at varying volumes (intonation/ rhythm). Use gestures that feel natural.

Be mindful of your hands at all times. Movement helps but decide how much you will move well in advance.

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.

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