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12 tips on public speaking

Opinion & Analysis
File Pic: 12 tips that will help you prepare yourself to be on stage and deliver a speech effectively.

LAST week we talked about mastering the art of effective speaking. This week we look at 12 tips that will help you prepare yourself to be on stage and deliver a speech effectively. It is indubitable that you should work on yourself more than anything else.

Love the game

The first and most important thing is that you must love and be passionate about public speaking. Passion makes everything you do to be fun, fulfilling and worth investing in. You might not be born with an outstanding speaking gift, but passion, learning and doing are the key and prerequisite ingredients to success and significance.

Know your flair

Know your uniqueness, strengths and abilities. Learning from others is good, but you must never try to be someone else; be yourself and love the uniqueness of your voice and personal appeal.

Know your offer

What is your unique value proposition? When people are listening to you, they are looking for value from you. Therefore, give propositions that provoke a process to a solution. People are too busy to listen to a lousy and flimsy speaker who does not offer any unique value.

Have your unique story

People love great stories. Have a captivating 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.

Know thyself

Self-awareness makes you know your power, pose, purpose and pizzazz. When you know yourself, it is easy to know what to do and what not to do.

Know thy stuff

Know your subject matter and know what you must speak about. As a professional speaker, I have since come to realise that companies or individuals do not want to hear all that you know, or what you love to talk about, but what they have paid you to talk about.

Know thy thrust

As a speaker, you cannot speak on anything or everything, but you must focus on a specific subject. As such, you must invest in that subject and be broad as well as deep in your scope. Also ensure articulation and use clear examples to highlight your topic.

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 your strengths. Remember, competence breeds confidence.

Know thy audience

The most important person to serve is the one you are addressing. Learn to assess and listen to the audience; and learn to transition with them to that world which you are painting with your words. Pick-up the mood and the energy of your audience and address them accordingly. Simply put, read your audience.


Your first impression is your self-expression. It is said: “Never dress like a suspect, but like an expert.” The first thing that people use to judge you is your dress code. People might argue about not judging a book by its cover, but that is what most of us do. Dress well, and look sharp. Your dressing should match the tone of your speech. Dress in clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. Avoid tight-fitting or oversized attire.

Love the mirror

The main function of the mirror is to help you to speak to and spruce-up the person you are seeing. Before you step onto the stage, make sure you spend a few minutes by the mirror. This helps to ensure that nothing is out of place or shape!


This is a great communication tool. This is the language that all people in the world love and even understand easily.

Practise and rehearse your best smile. If you want to know the magic of smiling, do it by your mirror every day. Thereafter, give it out! A smile is priceless; it is one weapon you can use without losing anything. People that you are addressing love it when you smile. Just smile!

Excerpts from the book Speak Like a PRO!

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