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8 Ways to Become a Better Speaker

18 Jun, 2024 - By Hoang Duyen

Public speaking. Two words that can strike fear into the hearts of even the most confident among us. Yet, the ability to communicate effectively is a valuable skill in any personal or professional setting. Whether you're delivering a presentation at work, giving a toast at a wedding, or simply participating in a conversation, the power to express yourself clearly and confidently can make a world of difference.

This article equips you with a roadmap to becoming a better speaker. We'll delve into practical strategies for crafting compelling messages, mastering delivery techniques, and engaging your audience. By incorporating these steps and embracing the power of practice, you'll be well on your way to becoming a speaker who not only informs but also inspires.

Understand and Engage Your Audience

Uunderstand and engage your audience

Tailoring your content and delivery to meet the needs and expectations of your audience allows you to engage them more effectively and ensure your message resonates. 

Research Your Audience

Knowing the demographics of your audience, such as their age, gender, education level, cultural background, and profession is essential. This information helps you tailor your language, examples, and references. Additionally, understanding your audience’s interests and preferences can guide you in choosing relevant content and examples. Gauge their familiarity with the subject matter to decide whether to provide background information or delve into advanced details.

Analyze the Context

Consider the event or setting in which you are speaking. A corporate conference, a university lecture, and a community meeting each have different expectations and formalities. Understanding the purpose of your speech—whether to inform, persuade, entertain, or inspire—helps tailor your message to be more effective. The location and time of your speech can influence the audience’s mood and attentiveness, so adjust your delivery techniques accordingly.

Engage in Active Listening

Engaging with potential audience members before the event can provide valuable insights. Ask questions about their expectations and preferences to tailor your content more effectively. Use pre-event surveys or feedback forms to gather additional insights about your audience's interests and expectations.

Adapt Your Delivery Style

Match your tone and pace to the audience and setting. A formal, slow-paced delivery might be suitable for a professional conference, while a more energetic and conversational style might work better for a community event. Use rhetorical questions, audience participation, and interactive elements to keep the audience engaged and involved in your speech.

Observe and Adjust

Pay attention to the audience’s reactions during your speech. Are they engaged, nodding, and taking notes, or do they seem distracted and uninterested? Be prepared to adjust your content and delivery based on real-time feedback. If you notice that a particular point is resonating well, consider expanding on it. Conversely, if the audience seems lost, take a moment to clarify or simplify your message.

Engage with Questions

Asking questions throughout your presentation encourages audience participation and keeps them actively engaged. You can pose rhetorical questions to provoke thought or direct questions to elicit responses. Engaging with your audience this way makes your presentation more interactive and dynamic.

Make it Interactive

Interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, and group activities can make your presentation more engaging. These activities encourage audience participation and make the content more memorable. Interactive sessions also break up the presentation and keep the audience involved.

Show Enthusiasm

Your enthusiasm and passion for the topic are contagious. If you are genuinely excited about your content, your audience is more likely to share that enthusiasm. Show your passion through your voice, body language, and expressions to keep your audience engaged.

Use Humor

Appropriate humor can lighten the mood and make your presentation more enjoyable. Use relevant jokes, funny anecdotes, or light-hearted comments to keep the audience entertained. However, ensure that your humor is suitable for the audience and context.

Connect Emotionally

Connecting with your audience on an emotional level makes your message more powerful. Share stories or examples that evoke emotions such as empathy, excitement, or inspiration. Emotional connections make your content more memorable and engaging.

Connection with your audience fosters engagement, enhances comprehension, and ultimately makes you a more effective and respected speaker.

Organize Your Content

organize your content

Organizing your content effectively is a key step in becoming a good speaker. A well-structured presentation ensures that your message is clear, engaging, and memorable. 

Start with a Strong Introduction

Begin your speech with an attention-grabbing introduction to capture your audience's interest. It could be a relevant anecdote, a surprising fact, a provocative question, or a powerful quote. Clearly state the purpose of your speech and outline the main points you will cover. It helps set expectations and gives your audience a roadmap of what to expect.

Develop a Clear Structure

Organize your speech with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The introduction should set the stage and introduce the main theme. The body of your speech should be divided into several main points, each supported by evidence, examples, and anecdotes. Finally, the conclusion should summarize the key points, reinforce your main message, and provide a strong closing statement.

Use Signposts and Transitions

Use signposts and transitions to guide your audience through your speech. Signposts are phrases that indicate where you are in your speech, such as "first," "next," "finally," or "in conclusion." Transitions help connect your ideas smoothly, making it easier for your audience to follow along. Phrases like "building on that idea," "in contrast," or "as a result" help maintain the flow of your speech.

Prioritize Key Points

Focus on a few key points rather than overwhelming your audience with too much information. Identify the most important ideas you want to convey and ensure each point is articulated and well-supported. It makes your speech more impactful and easier for your audience to remember.

Support Your Points with Evidence

Back up your main points with evidence, such as statistics, quotes, examples, and anecdotes. Evidence not only adds credibility to your speech but also makes your arguments more convincing. Use a variety of evidence types to keep your audience engaged and to cater to different learning styles.

Use Visual Aids Effectively

Incorporate visual aids, such as slides, charts, and images, to enhance your message. Visual aids can help illustrate complex ideas, highlight important points, and keep your audience engaged. Ensure that your visuals are clear, relevant, and not overly cluttered. Use them to complement your speech, not to overshadow it.

Conclude with Impact

End your speech with a strong conclusion that reinforces your main message. Summarize the key points and restate the significance of your topic. Leave your audience with a memorable closing statement, such as a call to action, a thought-provoking quote, or a final compelling thought.

A well-structured presentation helps ensure that your message is conveyed effectively, keeps your audience engaged, and leaves a lasting impression.

Practice Regularly

practice regularly

Regular practice remains crucial for mastering the art of speaking effectively. If you practice frequently, you will refine your delivery, cultivate confidence, and guarantee that your content strikes a chord with your audience.

Rehearse Your Speech Multiple Times

Regularly rehearsing your speech helps you become familiar with the content and flow. Aim to practice your speech several times to commit it to memory and to smooth out any rough patches. This repetition allows you to focus on refining your delivery and adjusting your pacing.

Practice in Front of a Mirror

Practicing in front of a mirror lets you observe your body language, facial expressions, and gestures. This self-observation helps you become more aware of how you present yourself and enables you to make adjustments to appear more confident and engaging.

Record Yourself

Recording your practice sessions can provide valuable insights into your speech. Listen to or watch the recordings to evaluate your tone, pace, and clarity. Identify areas where you can improve, such as eliminating filler words, adjusting your volume, or enhancing your vocal variety.

Simulate the Speaking Environment

Try to practice in an environment similar to where you will be delivering your speech. So you become more comfortable with the space and reduce anxiety. If possible, practice with any visual aids or technology you will be using during your actual presentation.

Practice Handling Distractions

Prepare for potential distractions or interruptions by practicing how to handle them smoothly. Distractions include dealing with unexpected questions, technical issues, or background noise. Being prepared for these situations helps you stay composed and focused during your actual speech.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key to improving your speaking skills. Set aside regular time for practice, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Consistent practice helps reinforce good habits and gradually builds your confidence and competence as a speaker.

Visualize Success

In addition to practical rehearsal, visualize yourself delivering a successful speech. Imagine the positive reactions of your audience and how confident you will feel. Visualization can boost your confidence and help reduce anxiety before your actual presentation.

Develop Strong Body Language

develop strong body language

Good body language enhances your verbal message and fosters a strong connection with your audience, demonstrating confidence, credibility, and engagement.

Maintain Good Posture and Presence

Begin by ensuring you stand tall with your shoulders back and head held high. This posture exudes confidence and authority, creating a positive first impression. A balanced stance with feet shoulder-width apart helps you feel grounded and stable, enhancing your overall presence on stage.

Make Meaningful Eye Contact

Engage your audience by making eye contact with individuals throughout the room. Direct eye contact shows attentiveness and fosters a connection with your listeners. It’s important to vary your gaze naturally, avoiding prolonged stares while ensuring everyone feels included and involved in your presentation.

Utilize Natural Gestures

Employ hand gestures purposefully to emphasize key points and add dynamism to your speech. Gestures should complement your words and convey enthusiasm or seriousness as appropriate. Avoid excessive or repetitive gestures that may distract from your message, aiming instead for gestures that feel natural and authentic.

Expressive Facial Expressions

Your face is a powerful tool for conveying emotions and emphasizing the tone of your speech. Use facial expressions to reflect the mood of your message—smile to express warmth and friendliness, furrow your brow to indicate concern, or widen your eyes to show surprise.

Control Nervous Habits

Be mindful of nervous habits such as fidgeting, pacing, or touching your face or hair. Practicing relaxation techniques before speaking, such as deep breathing or visualization, can help reduce anxiety and minimize these distractions. Maintaining composure and stillness portrays confidence and ensures your audience remains focused on your message.

Move Purposefully on Stage

Use movement to your advantage by strategically navigating the stage or speaking area. Moving closer to the audience during key points can intensify engagement while stepping back allows for moments of reflection. Avoid aimless pacing and instead, make deliberate movements that enhance the flow and impact of your presentation.

Utilize the Space Effectively

Take ownership of the space you occupy on stage. Avoid standing behind a podium or lectern whenever possible, as it can create a barrier between you and your audience. Moving freely and using the entire stage helps convey openness and accessibility, inviting your audience to connect more deeply with your message.

Practice Mirroring and Adaptation

Adapt your body language to match your audience's energy and engagement level. Mirroring subtle cues like leaning forward when your audience is attentive can foster a sense of rapport and connection. 

Employ Strategic Pauses

Master the art of pausing to punctuate your message and allow important points to sink in. Pauses create natural breaks that help structure your speech and emphasize key ideas. Use pauses to gather your thoughts, maintain control over the pace of your delivery, and maintain audience interest throughout your presentation.

Dress Professionally and Appropriately

Choose attire that is suitable for the occasion and reflects your professionalism. Your clothing should be comfortable and allow for ease of movement, enhancing your confidence and overall presentation. Dressing appropriately also signals respect for your audience and the importance of the occasion.

Enhance Your Vocal Skills

enhance your vocal skills

Achieving mastery in voice control empowers you to effectively communicate your message, ensuring continuous audience engagement with power and persuasion.

Practice Proper Breathing Techniques

Breathing from your diaphragm instead of your chest allows for better control and projection of your voice. Practice deep breathing exercises to strengthen this technique. One effective exercise is diaphragmatic breathing: lie down and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Breathe deeply through your nose, making sure your abdomen rises more than your chest, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Another helpful exercise is counting breaths: inhale for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold for four again. Repeat this cycle several times to become accustomed to it.

Work on Articulation and Diction

Clear articulation ensures your words are understood. To improve this, practice tongue twisters like "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" to enhance clarity and speed. Over-exaggeration exercises are also beneficial: pronounce words slowly and exaggerate mouth movements to identify and correct lazy speech habits.

Vocal Warm-Ups

Before any speaking engagement, warming up your voice can prevent strain and enhance performance. Start with gentle humming up and down your vocal range to relax and prepare your vocal cords. Lip trills are also useful: blow air through closed lips to create a vibrating sound, which helps loosen your vocal cords and improve your breath control.

Modulate Your Pitch and Tone

Variety in pitch and tone keeps your audience engaged and emphasizes key points. To practice pitch variation, read a passage and consciously vary your pitch at different points. Emotion practice is also important: read sentences with different emotional tones (happy, sad, angry) to practice using tone to convey meaning.

Control Your Volume

Adjusting your volume to suit the environment and context is essential. Projection exercises can help: stand in an open space and practice projecting your voice as if you’re speaking to someone at a distance. Volume control exercises involve reading aloud and intentionally varying your volume from soft to loud and vice versa.

Improve Your Pace

Speaking too quickly can make it hard for your audience to follow while speaking too slowly can lose their interest. Record yourself speaking and play it back to assess your pace. Aim for a natural rhythm, with pauses for emphasis and breathing.

Continuous Learning and Practice

Like any skill, vocal improvement requires continuous effort. Dedicate time each day to vocal exercises and speaking practice. Utilize online resources, books, and courses to learn new techniques and improve existing ones. 

Build Confidence

build confidence

You should know that confidence forms the foundation of becoming a better speaker. 

Preparation is Key

Thorough preparation is fundamental to reducing anxiety and boosting confidence as a speaker. Preparation gives you a sense of control and equips you to manage any unexpected challenges that may come up during your speech.

Focus on the Message, Not the Fear

Concentrating on the message you want to convey, rather than worrying about how you are perceived, can significantly reduce anxiety. Shifting your focus from self-consciousness to the content of your speech helps you stay grounded and confident. When you are deeply engaged with your message, your delivery becomes more passionate and convincing.

Start with Smaller Audiences

Building confidence by speaking to smaller groups before addressing larger audiences can be very effective. Gradually increasing the size of your audience helps you gain experience and become more comfortable with public speaking. This step-by-step approach allows you to develop your skills and confidence incrementally.

Join Speaking Groups

Joining speaking groups like Toastmasters provides a supportive environment for practicing speaking skills and receiving constructive feedback. These groups offer regular opportunities to speak in front of others, which helps you gain confidence and improve your delivery. The feedback from group members can provide valuable insights and help you identify areas for improvement.

Embrace Mistakes

Accepting that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Instead of fearing mistakes, view them as opportunities for growth. Reflecting on what went wrong and how you can improve helps you develop resilience and become a more confident speaker.

Develop a Positive Mindset

Using affirmations and positive self-talk reinforces your belief in your abilities and helps counteract negative thoughts. A positive mindset prepares you to approach public speaking with enthusiasm and confidence.

Continuously Improve

continuously improve

Becoming an effective speaker is an ongoing process that involves constant learning and practice. 

Seek Feedback and Reflect

Regular feedback from your audience, peers, and mentors is an invaluable lesson for improvement. After each presentation, ask for constructive criticism and take note of areas where you can improve. Reflect on this feedback to understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Attend Workshops and Seminars

Participating in workshops and seminars on public speaking can expose you to new techniques and perspectives. Learning from experienced speakers and trainers can provide valuable insights and practical tips to enhance your skills.

Read and Learn Continuously

Reading books, articles, and blogs about public speaking can provide you with new strategies and ideas. Some recommended books include "Talk Like TED" by Carmine Gallo and "Speak With No Fear" by Mike Acker. Continuous learning keeps you updated with the latest trends and techniques in public speaking.

Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Managing stress and anxiety is crucial for effective speaking. Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help you stay calm and focused. This mental preparation can improve your performance and reduce nervousness.

Experiment with Different Styles

Don't be afraid to experiment with different speaking styles and techniques. Try varying your approach to see what works best for you and your audience. Experimenting with different methods can help you find your unique voice and style.

Set Personal Goals

Setting specific, achievable goals can help you stay focused and motivated. Whether it’s improving your body language, reducing filler words, or mastering a new presentation technique, having clear goals allows you to track your progress and celebrate your successes.

Expand Your Vocabulary and Language Skills

A rich vocabulary and strong language skills enhance your ability to articulate ideas clearly and persuasively. Read widely and practice using new words in your speeches. Expanding your vocabulary helps you express yourself more effectively and keeps your audience engaged.

Watch and Learn from Great Speakers

Observe and learn from accomplished speakers by watching TED Talks, keynote speeches, or public addresses. Pay attention to their techniques, how they engage the audience, and how they handle different situations. Emulating some of their methods can help improve your speaking skills.

Use Technology and Tools

Utilize technology and tools to aid your practice and performance. Speech analysis apps, teleprompters, and presentation software can provide feedback and enhance your delivery. Leveraging these tools can streamline your preparation and help you deliver more polished presentations.

Stay Updated with Trends

Public speaking, like any other field, evolves. Stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in public speaking by following industry blogs, attending webinars, and joining relevant online communities. Staying current ensures that your techniques and content remain relevant and engaging.

Stay Authentic

stay authentic

When you stay true to yourself, your message resonates more deeply with your audience, building trust and engagement. 

Be True to Yourself

Authenticity starts with being yourself. Don't try to mimic someone else's style or persona. Embrace your unique personality, voice, and perspective. Authenticity comes through when you speak from the heart and share your genuine thoughts and feelings.

Speak from Personal Experience

Share personal stories and experiences to illustrate your points. Personal anecdotes can evoke emotions and create a stronger bond with your audience.

Know Your Values and Beliefs

Understanding your core values and beliefs helps you stay consistent and sincere in your message. Align your speeches with these principles to ensure that your content is not only authentic but also resonates with your audience on a deeper level.

Be Honest and Transparent

Honesty is a key component of authenticity. Be upfront about your knowledge and experience levels. If you don't know the answer to a question, admit it and offer to find out more rather than pretend to know. Transparency builds credibility and trust.

Show Vulnerability

Showing vulnerability can make you more relatable and human. Don't be afraid to share your challenges and failures along with your successes. This honesty can inspire and connect with your audience on a deeper level, making your message more impactful.

Reflect on Your Performances

After each speaking engagement, reflect on your performance and assess how authentic you felt. Identify moments where you felt most connected to your audience and where you might have deviated from your true self. Use these reflections to improve your authenticity in future speeches.

Continuously Develop Self-Awareness

Regularly engage in self-reflection and personal development to deepen your understanding of yourself. This ongoing process helps you stay aligned with your true self and ensures that your authenticity remains consistent in your public speaking.

In general, authenticity fosters trust, engagement, and lasting impact, making your message more compelling and memorable.


The path to becoming a better speaker is an empowering journey of self-discovery and continuous learning. As you implement the strategies outlined in this article, you'll find yourself becoming more confident, persuasive, and effective in your communications. Whether you're speaking to a small group or addressing a large crowd, these skills will help you convey your message with clarity and impact. At the same time also, you'll witness a transformation in your confidence and communication abilities.

Remember, the most captivating speakers are not simply those who deliver flawless presentations but those who connect with their audience on a human level. Authenticity, passion, and a genuine desire to share your message are as important as the technical aspects of delivery. 

So, step out of your comfort zone, embrace the power of your voice, and embark on this exciting adventure. The stage awaits, and your audience is eager to hear what you have to say. After all, the most powerful speeches are not just delivered – they are experienced. Now go forth, captivate your audience, and earn that thunderous applause!

Becoming a good speaker is not easy. So you can register for Skilltrans courses today to start your journey. Let us be a part of your success!

Hoang Duyen

Meet Hoang Duyen, an experienced SEO Specialist with a proven track record in driving organic growth and boosting online visibility. She has honed her skills in keyword research, on-page optimization, and technical SEO. Her expertise lies in crafting data-driven strategies that not only improve search engine rankings but also deliver tangible results for businesses.