10 public speaking do’s and don’ts

If you’re nervous about giving an upcoming presentation, you’re not alone. Follow this advice to prepare, which can help you power through it.

Editor’s note: This article is a re-run as part of our countdown of top stories from the past year.

Fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, can be debilitating.

Those who have spoken publicly with success or viewed a well-given talk will tell you that preparation is the key to overcoming it.

If the thought of speaking in front of a room full of people doesn’t make you weak in the knees, being prepared can enhance your speech and make your words more powerful. Success can lead to an lasting impression that can influence audiences in profound ways.

What do nearly all TED Talks have in common? They’re well presented.

With that in mind, there are a few do’s and don’ts that every communicator should follow when prepping for a presentation. Consider these:

The Do’s

1. Grab your audience’s attention starting with your first sentence.

2. Pick the right words to impart your message.

3. Maintain positive eye contact.

4. Use props when appropriate.

5. Practice.

The Don’ts

1. Talk too fast or too slow.

2. Read from your slides.

3. Use “um” or other filler words.

4. Fidget.

5. Pace.



For more on public speaking best practices, along with a fantastic guide to presenting, check out the infographic below from Walkerstone:


2 Responses to “10 public speaking do’s and don’ts”

    Roseann says:

    All the tips are awesome, thanks! But in my opinion, the most important thing is that a person’s speech is natural. If you are used to speaking a little faster than usual, let it be. It is important to understand and feel what you are talking about, then the audience will certainly feel it. This is what I understood for myself after speaking at the university.

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