Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Presentation Tips & Tools: Stand & Deliver!

10 tips for Public Speaking

From Toastmasters International

10 Tips for Public Speaking

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even beneficial, but too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here are some proven tips on how to control your butterflies and give better presentations:

1. Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.

2. Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.

3. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.

4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

5. Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. ("One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.

6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.

7. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.

8. Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.

9. Concentrate on the message – not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.

10. Gain experience. Mainly, your speech should represent you — as an authority and as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need in a safe and friendly environment.

Problems with PowerPoint

slide:ology The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

Available in the library!

You can do it!

Don't be afraid to ask for help!


For effective presentations:

Don't read the slides to your audience!

Don't overload your slides with text!

The slides or tool you use are visual aids NOT the presentation! You, the presenter, make or break the presentation.


3L = Laugh, Learn, Life

Remember that audiences want speakers to succeed. From the moment you take the stage, audiences are thinking “I sure hope this is a good use of my time,” and they’re rooting for you. Many people believe that the audience is against them and looking for any slip-up. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What makes a great presentation? The same elements that make a great story:

  • Great stories take surprising turns.
  • Great stories compel us to action.
  • Great stories illustrate a universal truth.
  • Great stories evoke genuine emotion.
  • Great stories get us cheering for the characters.

More Zen: before and after