April 10, 2018

Learning the Art of Public Speaking

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Learning never stops. If you want to perform at the highest level of public speaking, you have to accept this fact. There are several online and offline options you can take advantage of to acquire the knowledge you need for public speaking success.

Online learning

Type ‘public speaking tips’ into your favorite browser and check out thousands of articles, courses and videos which pop up. The quality of advice dispensed is only as good as the dispensers so check the credentials of those giving the tips. You might consider printing out articles you find useful and keeping them in a special file or folder for quick reference.

There is a plethora of online public speaking courses. Sign up for a free one initially and if you can afford it, try one of the reputable paid ones. Online videos are a valuable learning tool. You get the opportunity to see speakers in action or tutors demonstrating how to tackle specific problems like dealing with nerves or ending a speech on a high note.

Offline learning

Once you decide to excel as a public speaker, you need to expose yourself to as many public speaking situations as possible. Start paying attention to what professional communicators do. The best leaders in politics, business, and religion often have excellent communication skills. They are your teachers. Grab the opportunity to watch them speak – you will be amazed at what you can learn from them

When you attend a political event for example, listen to the speakers not as supporter but as a student. Do the speakers project confidence? Are they engaging their audiences effectively? How do they deal with hecklers? When you attend a corporate event, what strikes you about the speakers? Are they sensitive to their audiences’ needs? Is it obvious where they make errors in their delivery? How do they use humor to get their messages through? When you go to a religious event, what doyou observe about the speakers? Are they able to hold the attention of their audiences? How persuasive are they in getting their messages across? Can you identify what makes one speaker appear to be a better communicator than another? Make every speaking event your classroom. Observe what works for a particular speaker and copy it the next time you make a speech. Take note of the failures too so you know what to avoid in future. If you cannot attend speaking events, try to buy books on communication and public speaking. And they don’t have to be new books. You can find useful books by spending some time browsing through the selections of your favorite secondhand bookseller. If you can afford it, consider enrolling for a public speaking class. You can find voice coaches by searching online or by checking with the communication or drama departments of your local university.


To be a master, you must first be a student. Use the tools that are available to you, both offline or online, and keep practicing what you learn.