Guide to Learning Public Speaking, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
29 items | 226m read

The Ultimate Learning Guide To Excellent Public Speaking

6m read | Introduction
The Ultimate Learning Guide To Excellent Public Speaking

Ask a group of professionals and most will list public speaking as something that bothers them. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or running the company, public speaking is difficult for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s a vital part of most people’s job roles, and essential if you want to climb the career ladder.

There are many reasons people fear public speaking, but if you’re able to master it, you’ll possess an invaluable skill and be an attractive prospect to employers.

An Ancient Tradition

Public speaking is one of the oldest means of communicating ideas to a group of peers, and its origins date back to Ancient Greece. Many of the greatest philosophers valued public speaking and Aristotle taught it in Plato’s Academy. Both the Greeks and Romans used public speaking to further themselves in society. This was an essential part of gaining prominence within the Roman senate and prominent public figures taught citizens public speaking.

During the Medieval Period, public speaking became less prominent, due to the church’s influence on society. However, the Renaissance Period breathed new life into public speaking, as various sects began to rebel against the church’s control.

Today, public speaking is a way of life for politicians and people in business. Most schools teach children the skills to speak in public, and they often ask young children to give presentations to their classmates. The emphasis we place on public speaking shows how valued it is in society.

Why Is Public Speaking So Important?

For introverts, standing up in a room of people and delivering a speech is a daunting experience, but public speaking is so important. There are many reasons one of the scariest things we’ll ever do is a necessity.


One of the most significant skills in business is the ability to influence others. Being able to deliver a persuasive argument is vital for a range of situations, including making sales, pitching ideas and handling negotiations. While understanding the subject you’re talking about matters, if you’re unable to deliver a convincing argument then you’ll lose your audience.


Public speakers can empower and motivate people to make a change. Think about the worlds best speakers and how they emulate an air of confidence. The ability to speak about a subject, makes others believe in what you’re saying and motivates them to take action.


It’s easy to forget about the most important element of public speaking, but the main point of standing in front of others and delivering an epic speech is to give them information about a subject. Public speaking isn’t just about delivering a speech, it’s about presenting information.

There are many reasons you might need to give a presentation, including introducing a new company direction, instructing co-workers or showcasing your business to potential investors. Being able to speak confidently and break information down into digestible chunks is essential.


We know that public speaking skills can develop your career, but what about personal development? One of the biggest benefits public speaking offers, is it increases your confidence and self-esteem. Where would we be without believing in ourselves? That dream job would seem out of our reach, and we’d not feel motivated to pursue our goals. It’s a difficult situation, and people find they shake, sweat and panic before delivering a speech or presentation. However, once they’ve done it, their confidence improves!

The Fundamentals of Public Speaking

When World War II was over, public speaking became less formal and more conversational. However, research, planning and analysis are critical if you want to make a convincing argument. Your audience depends on your ability to combine facts and figures with a persuasive speaking tone. These are the fundamentals of public speaking.


Before writing your speech, it’s important to understand the topic you’re speaking about. For example, if you’re delivering a presentation about business growth you’ll need to offer statistics to back up your claims. Always ensure you can offer a reputable source for any information you give and present it so everyone will understand. PowerPoint and Google Slides offer a range of tools including graphs and charts.


Once you’ve gathered information, you can focus on writing a speech to influence your audience. A good speech should engage and be informative in equal amounts. Think of these two components as the Ying and Yang of your presentation. There are plenty of online resources to aid you in writing your speech.


Planning your speech is the easy part, but as soon as you think about delivering it fear can creep in like an unwelcome guest at a dinner party. We’re often our own worst enemies, and people have the extraordinary ability to create fear from nothing. The only way we can control that fear and overcome it is to not let it take over our minds. Reassuring yourself that you can speak will help you convince your audience you know what you’re talking about. If people see your hands trembling or voice shaking, they’re less likely to listen to you.


Before you deliver your speech to colleagues, practice with friends and family. They’ll be able to offer you advice, and you’ll feel more confident on the day. Ask people if your speech is understandable, and the visual tools you’re using make sense. Once you’ve practiced your speech, you’ll be able to deliver it with more confidence. Think about three vital aspects before the big day:

– Will you need to bring equipment?
– Will people hear you?
– Are there enough seats to accommodate people?

Preparing For The Future

As technology increases, people are adapting the way they work to accommodate younger generations. The Millennial crowd is defining workplace practices, and a simple PowerPoint presentation might not be enough to deliver a persuasive argument. In the coming years, we’ll see a shift to Augmented Reality, and technology will be a vital aspect in delivering any speech.

Public speaking is one of the most important skills someone can have, and as one of the oldest traditions, its unlikely technology will replace it. People like a personalized approach to business, but a combination of new technology and skilled speakers will improve speeches and presentations in the future.

About This Guide

This public speaking guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about public speaking from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

11 items | 67m read
7m read | Basics

Why Public Speaking is Important

Public speaking is so important that it could be the deciding factor in many things such as your career development, your business growth and even in the relationships you have with your friends and family. Public speaking is a skill worth learning. Here are 11 reasons why public speaking is important.
7m read | Basics

A Brief History of Public Speaking

Public speaking is an essential life skill in the modern world, full of meetings, conferences and networking events. In this article, we look at the history of public speaking, from Greece to the 21st century, as well as famous orators throughout history.
6m read | Basics

The Principles of Effective Public Speaking

While it is true that some individuals are born with this gift, many effective public speakers have trained themselves to be so. Either they have received formal media training or they have delivered so many presentations that over time they’ve learned what works for them. So, what is the true secret to effective public speaking?
5m read | Basics

Strategies to Prepare for Speaking Engagements

There are so many articles regarding how to prepare yourself for speaking engagements that it’s overwhelming. From the old school advice of picture everyone in the room without clothes. To the look at everyone directly in the eye when you are speaking.

Pieces of advice come and go, but there are a few strategies that remain, and these are the ones proven successful when addressing a group of people.
5m read | Basics

How to Prepare for a Stellar Public Speaking Performance

Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not used to it or are absolutely terrified of it. But as entrepreneurs and leaders, it’s virtually unavoidable. Knowing that, there are two ways to approach it: you can dread it and just barely get through it every time, or you can work to build up the skills needed to successfully execute a great presentation or lecture. Here are five tips for preparing for a public speaking gig.
5m read | Basics

Why Public Speaking Must be Audience Centered

You can always tell a good public speaker. You can tell when they are comfortable with people. When they like people. When they enjoy talking with people. It’s obvious. They’re the speakers that are out mixing with the audience before the speech. Talking and schmoozing. Meeting people and asking who they are and what they’re all about.

It’s all a case of being audience centered.
7m read | Basics

How to Hook an Audience Quickly

“When you advertise fire-extinguishers, open with the fire,” says advertising executive David Ogilvy. You have only 30 seconds in a TV commercial to grab attention. The same applies to a presentation. The first 30 seconds of your talk is crucial. This is the time your listeners form an impression of you, and of what’s to follow. Like a fine thoroughbred, you need to hit the ground running by starting strong
10m read | Basics

Techniques for Capturing People’s Attention

How, now, does one capture attention? There are a number of basic considerations. In the first place, suppose one tries to hold one’s attention immovably to a dot on the wall. It is quite impossible. The eyes insist upon wandering. In fact, if the attention is held for very long, there is every likelihood that one will induce in oneself a state of hypnosis. One will, in short, have put his waking, variously attending mind to sleep.
5m read | Basics

How to Open a Speech or Presentation

Your opening often determines how long the audience will “tune in” to your presentation. If you bore your audience right from the start, there is little chance that your message will effectively get across. How do you effectively open a speech or presentation to prevent this from happening? Here are seven effective methods to open a speech or presentation.
6m read | Basics

Ways To Start A Speech

You have heard the saying “First impressions are lasting; you never get a second chance to create a good first impression.”

The same is true when talking about how to start a speech. The truth is, when you start your speech, you must focus everything on making a positive first impression on your audience members.
4m read | Basics

Role of Communication in Effective Public Speaking

Communication plays an essential role in public speaking. There is a difference between speaking to someone in private and connecting to a large audience. Believe me; you fail as a speaker even if one individual in the audience goes back with the slightest doubt in his/her mind. Your job as a speaker is incomplete unless and until individuals return with a smile on their face. Effective communication in fact is the backbone of public speaking.
9 items | 74m read
9m read | Advanced

Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking

The average person ranks the fear of public speaking (also known as glossophobia) higher than the fear of death. The truth is, this fear could be hurting your professional and personal life.

The fear of public speaking is very real. However, there are techniques to help you overcome your fears. There are even ways to help harness your energy in a positive way.
6m read | Advanced

To Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking, Stop Thinking About Yourself

The key to calming the amygdala and disarming our organic panic button is to turn the focus away from ourselves — away from whether we will mess up or whether the audience will like us — and toward helping the audience. Studies have shown that an increase in generosity leads to a decrease in amygdala activity.
19m watch | Advanced

Secrets to Speaking With Confidence

In this fun and personal talk, Caroline Goyder shares a story of moving from stage-paralysis to expressive self. Accompanied by an unusual prop, she encourages us to use our voice as an instrument and really find the confidence within. Caroline Goyder is an author and voice coach, with a lifelong curiosity in the question of how we find the courage to think for ourselves: aloud.
4m read | Advanced

How Even Introverts Can Be Confident Public Speakers

I  know this from personal experience that it’s possible to develop confidence on stage. I went from being a painfully shy young woman who felt no one listened to me–to being the head of a public-speaking firm that teaches others to speak on stage. These are the four ways I managed to overcome my fear of public speaking.
6m read | Advanced

The Ethics in Public Speaking

Ethics in public speaking can either make or break your aspiration of becoming an effective speaker depending on how well you observe them! Ethics in public speaking are guidelines, unwritten rules, or code of conduct every ambitious public speaker should master and observe. Here are seven of them.
5m read | Advanced

How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Every week I field questions from people who want to break into the speaking business. Many of them are eager to get started, but they aren’t sure how to become a motivational speaker. The speaking business can be a little tough to break into. But once you get a few paid gigs under your belt, you’ll likely start fielding more lucrative opportunities.
4m read | Advanced

How to Give an Inspiring and Memorable Speech

Public speaking is one of the top 3 fears that people have in life, right up there with the fear of death and going to the dentist. My dad was a dentist, and I teach pubic speaking, so we always said that we like inflicting pain on people. But all joking aside, here are some ways you can deliver an inspiring and memorable speech even if you are nervous about it.
12m read | Advanced

Becoming Well-Spoken: How to Minimize Your Uh’s and Um’s

Becoming well-spoken is a task that should not be overlooked. How you speak is a huge component of the impression you make on others, and thus your potential influence on them. People will form judgments about your education, intelligence, background, and personality simply based on the sound of your voice and the language you use to express yourself.
9m read | Advanced

Types of Visual Aids in Public Speaking

In the past, transparencies displayed with overhead projectors, posters, and flip charts were common visual aids, but these have mostly been replaced with computer technology. For many people, the term “visual aids” for presentations or speeches is synonymous with PowerPoint (often long, dry, painful PowerPoint at that), but this is just one type of visual aid. You should consider all the available options to determine what will be most effective and appropriate for your presentation.
8 items | 79m read
4m read | Expert

Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect. However, putting in the requisite time to prepare will help you deliver a better speech. You may not be able to shake your nerves entirely, but you can learn to minimize them.
5m watch | Expert

Barack Obama's 3 Best Public Speaking Tips

In this 5-minute video, Carmine Gallo shows us how President Barack Obama uses three effective public-speaking techniques to captivate his audience.
6m read | Expert

Public-Speaking Lessons From The World's Greatest TED Talks

In fact, adopting the techniques that have brought some TED speakers global acclaim will make it much more likely that you will persuade your audience to act on your ideas. I’ve identified 9 common elements to all TED talks and each of these are scientifically proven to increase the likelihood that your pitch or presentation will be successful, whether you’re pitching to one person or speaking to thousands.
9m read | Expert

How Was Adolf Hitler So Persuasive?

Adolf Hitler is considered to be perhaps the most villainous man of the twentieth century. His vile and ruthless deeds are common knowledge. In fact, the name Hitler has now become synonymous with evil. What many often forget, however, is that Hitler was not only a coldblooded tyrant but that also a brilliant persuader of men.
18m watch | Expert

How Public Speaking Will Change Your Life

Communication Consultant and Professor Bridget Sampson urges you to embrace public speaking in order to share your unique gifts with the world. Learn why it’s so important to overcome this common fear and the paradigm shift it requires. As Bridget reveals her own transformative journey as a speaker and lessons from 25 years of experience as a teacher and trainer, you’ll be inspired to push yourself out of your comfort zone to speak your mind.
17m watch | Expert

The 110 Techniques of Communication and Public Speaking

David JP Phillips has spent 7 years studying 5000 speakers, amateurs and professionals in order for the first time in history to detail every single skill a communicator from stage or in a presentation uses in order to deliver their message. This TEDx talk gives you the very most important ones to bring with you to your next presentation or even everyday communication!
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Public Speaking Books

Speak With No Fear: Go from a nervous, nauseated, and sweaty speaker to an excited, energized, and passionate presenter. Through this book, you will learn 7 strategies you can begin today. These strategies will give you a new perspective, they will prepare you, and they will give you actions to practice. As you implement these strategies, your fear will begin to fade.

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. This “invaluable guide” (Publishers Weekly) explains how the miracle of powerful public speaking is achieved, and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no set formula, but there are tools that can empower any speaker.

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds. Public speaking coach and bestselling author Carmine Gallo has broken down hundreds of TED talks and interviewed the most popular TED presenters, as well as the top researchers in the fields of psychology, communications, and neuroscience to reveal the nine secrets of all successful TED presentations.

The Public Speaking Playbook. With a focus on actively building skills, Teri Kwal Gamble and Michael W. Gamble coach students in the fundamentals of the public speaking process, using brief interactive learning modules that allow students to practice―and improve―their public speaking.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Public Speaking Courses

Dynamic Public Speaking Course by the University of Washington. This four-course specialization will provide you with the instruction, experience, and practice to develop and deliver compelling presentations. Drawing from the established knowledge in communication, rhetoric, linguistics, and argumentation, each course balances proven ideas with lots of speech practice.

Storytelling and influencing: Communicate with impact, by Macquarie University. Via structured learning activities (video lectures, quizzes, discussion prompts and written assessments) this course will develop your capacity to communicate appropriately in different situational and cultural contexts, making you a highly influential leader.

Public Speaking Course by RITx. In this course, you will study methods that help to reduce anxiety, build confidence, and customize a process that will result in successful speaking experiences. This course is designed to equip you with knowledge of the principles necessary for formal public speaking with an emphasis on organization, evidence, language use, strategy, delivery, ethics, and effective use of media aids.

The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking Course. There are 12 parts (called “Acts”) in this comprehensive and enjoyable speech/presentation/public speaking course with many exercises, examples and templates to help you work smarter and not harder when making your speech.

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