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Public speaking tips

Me talking to 220 people at DisruptHR

I love Public Speaking.

10, 100 or 1000 people — I’m comfortable. That must be strange to read, that someone is ‘comfortable’ speaking in front of many others, on stage, in the limelight.

Most people I speak to, absolutely hate it. They get so nervous, they can’t focus and they are very anxious. It seems to be universally feared, and I can see why.

You’re about to walk out, sweating, taking shallow breaths, running every terrible scenario that may occur through your head. What if a Viking warrior breaks through riding a T-Rex, what if I get heckled, what if no one laughs at my jokes that my mum said were funny? Clearly, only the first one is actually rational. #JustKidding 

Putting yourself in a position to be disliked, scrutinised or criticised by others under pressure, isn't most people’s ideas of a good time, is it?

I think the problem lies in how we frame public speaking, if we see it as the above then of course we are going to be scared shitless. Let’s frame it positively; people want you to succeed, want to be interested by your topic and most will be polite enough to look engaged!

Speaking publicly is your sales pitch, people buy people so this is a chance to show who you are and what you’re passionate about. No pressure then right?

All the hot shot influencers you may follow are amazing speakers and know how to engage their audience. Read “Talk Like TED” by Carmine Gallo for practical tips. If you want to get on their level, then behave like their level.

Here’s a few of my simple practical tips:


  • Make sure you’ve drank enough water

  • Eat well on the day and before

  • Keep your hands apart and open up your body language 

  • Smile to yourself, wait for the hormone release, you’ll be surprised 

  • Don’t sit too much, stay limber

  • Cough/clear your throat

  • Wear comfy clothes


  • Stand tall, good posture, roll shoulders back

  • Drink water

  • Gesture Smile

  • Pause…….. to emphasise….. key points 

  • Give people eye contact

Post talk 

  • Celebrate and network!

When it comes to nerves — slow and control your breath, focus your mind on each and every breath, with real concentration. You’ll realise how calm you now are.

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