Five public speaking tips

By Terzah Dyer

Public speaking is already a part of our everyday college routine and will continue to be more prevalent as we become PR professionals.

Sometimes people think of public speaking just as speeches and nothing else. However, public speaking takes place in a variety of situations including:

  • Small internal meetings

  • Meetings with clients

  • Presentations

  • Conversing with co-workers

  • Approaching upper-level management

  • Press conferences

  • Media pitching

  • Group work

The list goes on, but you can see public speaking is not a small avenue. Speaking well is only the beginning of handling yourself appropriately in public speaking situations.

Though you may feel you are a masterful communicator already, there will be times when you may need to revert back to the basics to help you shake off the nerves and communicate the best you can.

With these overarching tips, you won’t ever have to doubt your public speaking ability. .

Tip 1: Know your audience.

This is a critical PR and media rule. Be sure to know who you are talking to so you can get across the necessary information. For example, if you are among co-workers, the way you speak and conduct yourself could differ from when a client is present. Your language and persuasion methods will change. To know how to communicate with someone, you first have to know who you’re communicating with.

Tip 2: Be confident.

Positive nerves are actually great for public speaking. They allow you to be animated and energized across the board. However, nerves mixed with timidness are not productive. You have to be confident in what you are talking about. This can sometimes be difficult when dealing with upper-level management. Nerves will help you be excited about what you have to say and confidence will solidify what you’re saying. You won’t be taken seriously if you cannot be confident in what you are talking about.

Tip 3: Let your personality shine.

Whatever you are saying should promote both professionalism and who you are as a person. PR is all about making connections and if you sound like a robot, people won’t relate to you as much as if you’re being yourself. PR gives us a chance to be creative, so use it.

Tip 4: Word Choice.

Though public speaking isn’t writing, you still need to be conscious of your word choice. It must be both effective and efficient. You have to get your point across simply so you can affect as many people as you are intending. In PR especially, be objective.

Tip 5: Be organized.

You will not always have enough time to put together a full on powerpoint every time you need to get your point across. This is OK. Organize your thoughts on paper by making notecards or taking notes during a meeting to more easily remember what points you want to make.

These tips will benefit you in every step of your PR journey. They can be used from approaching management to media pitching, so you can be as effective as possible in a  public speaking role.

Posted on October 5, 2018 .