Practical tips to prepare a public speech

Practical tips to prepare a public speech


  • DO not learn your speech by heart!!!
    • Contrary to common belief, learning a speech by heart is highly stressful because you lock yourself into one way of saying things you have to say... If on the D-day of your speech, you forget a word or a sentence, it will create a bug in your brain that can very easily lead to having a blank
    • Prefer writing down bullet points of general ideas you want to get through, do not redact the answers, you can learn those ideas by heart but not a specific way of saying them, do you see the difference?
    • Train yourself to develop these general ideas in different ways, using different sentences, that way, the day of your speech you will not be locked into one way of saying things and you will not be destabilized if you forget a word or a sentence. You will be flexible in your style and more natural using words that naturally come to mind
  • When you train for your speech
    • DO NOT spend too much time preparing the content of your speech!! studies show that the impact you have on people is largely linked to your body language and tome of voice, your general behaviour on stage rather than what you are actually saying 👇🏽
    • Body language :55% Tone of voice: 38% Content of the speech: 7%

  • Spend at least half of the time of preparation to actually rehearse your speech
  • Do it out loud! Not in your head! You need to hear yourself to be able to modify things if necessary
  • Do it in front of someone you trust or in front of the mirror: don’t record and look at yourself in video. Some people get very self-aware and insecure when they see themselves and hear their voices. It can be really paralysing and counter-productive. Seeing yourself in the mirror is a very different experience as you cannot watch it over and over to criticize and judge yourself

Don’t forget you speak with your body not your brain , so before any public speech, you have to warm up the tool with which you speak :your body and more specifically your voice, your breath, relax your face muscles, your body muscles etc.


  • Be stable on the ground (standing up), neutral state (no expression neither on body nor on face)
  • Warm-up your body :
    • Little jumps, turn around (half turn and full turn)
    • Relax upper body (arms, shoulders, neck, head)
    • Breathe abdominally ! Focus on your breathing not on your speech
      • Breathe in through the nose / Breathe out through the mouth (without making any sounds, go very slowly)
    • Relax your face’s muscles
      • Massage cheeks, cheekbones, temples and chin
      • Chew some gum and do the horse’s trot with the tongue
      • Yawning can help relax the face as well
      • Project your voice. Look at the other side of the room and send a deep, low « HO »
    • Focus on your intention before entering on stage, in the meeting room.


  • Listen !

(Attitude open to the audience and other people instead of being alone in your bubble)

  • Always be aware of what is going on for the audience and adapt physically, speech
  • Don’t try to always do something, it’s ok not to move, silence is ok also
  • Don’t listen or judge yourself, focus on your audience
  • Listening will allow you to improvise without panicking because you will be in synch with your audience
  • Take your time !
    • Accept silence and play with it, you will be that much more eloquent!
    • Remember to take time to breathe, it will help the flow of your thought as well as your enunciation
    • Leave time for the audience to connect with you at the beginning, don’t rush in your speech
    • Being quiet is not stopping one’s public speech! On the contrary!
    • Take your time with your entrance and your exit as they largely condition the audience’s attention and what they will remember of your intervention
  • Anchorage

To be anchored means

  • A voice better placed, that projects, more nuanced and more powerful
  • A better presence
  • An economy of parasite moves
  • Clearer for the spectator : moving in a frank manner by finishing every move that you initiate
  • Managing space
    • Distance with others or the audience, make the audience feel involved without pressuring it
    • Remaining attentive to variations of the stage and of the room, adapting all along one’s public speech