10 Essential Public Speaking Skills

Public speaking strikes fear into the heart of some people, but others embrace and even enjoy the challenge. Whether you need to make speeches regularly for work or have been asked to deliver a speech at a social event such as a wedding, there are some key skills which will help make your speech a success.

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Know Your Topic

Always do your research and know your subject matter. Check your facts and don’t try and bluff, as there will always be someone in the audience that tries to put you on the spot.

Quotes and Statistics

A motivational speaker will only use facts and figures if necessary. Numbers should be used as evidence to back up what you are saying but not included just to make the speaker sound intelligent or knowledgeable, as this will leave the audience feeling uninspired.


Audiences love hearing stories, and if they are funny or amazing, then even better. Using stories to explain a point or demonstrate empathy is a great way to engage the audience. A motivational speaker will often use personal experiences to connect with the audience and show their authenticity.

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Speakers should always try to use humour if appropriate, as it will make the audience relax and enjoy the speech and event that much more.

Last week, the Express Newspaper published details of the heart-warming speeches made by the Queen and Prince Philip on their wedding day 72 years ago.

Voice and Volume

Speakers should work at putting some expression and enthusiasm into their voice as well as alter the volume throughout. Using hands and body language will also help keep the audience’s attention.

Connect with the Audience

When speaking, motivational speakers will always look at their audience and work out what type of speech will work best with them.


Speeches should always be within the allocated time slot so as not to annoy the audience or host.

Be Prepared

If there is a power cut or a mobile phone which interrupts a speech mid flow, this should always be handled professionally and calmly.

Don’t Read

Written speeches should be memorised as much as possible and used as cue cards to prompt the speaker instead of simply being read out to the audience.


A professional speaker should always ask for feedback and accept it gracefully.

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