We can’t help it. We really love public speaking.

We are always reading, discovering and learning more about the topic. This public speaking blog section is where we share this knowledge with others. Ladies and gentlemen, we are delighted to introduce an ever increasing stream of public speaking tips, knowledge and advice in the posts below. Enjoy!

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March 18, 2014

The Vote of Thanks Template

I get a lot of inquiries asking for help with giving short vote of thanks speeches. A vote of thanks is often tough to do well […]
March 11, 2014

Are you an aggressive presenter?

The aggressive presenter never actually physically hits his audience, but by the time he’s finished speaking they feel like they have been 10 rounds with Mike […]
January 7, 2014

Smile lines – smiling when speaking

Sometimes we need to smile when speaking, and we don’t want to. Bad mood, nerves, our natural demeanour. They may all contribute to a unsmiley speech. […]
December 24, 2013

Using images in presentations

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it needs to pass only three simple tests to ensure it adds value to our presentation. At some […]
October 22, 2013

The Core Thought Check

When we’re sat alone in a room writing a speech or presentation, it’s sometimes tough to tell if we’re getting our point across. The quickest and […]
October 11, 2013

Use the microphone

If we’re offered a microphone to speak with it’s wise to use it. Generally if a microphone is present on stage, it has been setup by […]
October 9, 2013

Do unto other speakers…

According to Greg M. Epstein, ‘do unto others’ … is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely. Greg is a Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University […]
October 2, 2013

What makes you so special?

We all have a special quality – something that our friends remark on – “Oh, I love the way you always…” What’s your special quality? And […]
September 30, 2013

The power of the metaphor

Explaining things isn’t always easy. When Steve Jobs pitched the Apple Mac computer, he might as well have been trying to explain electricity to cavemen – […]
September 17, 2013

An incredibly proud Tuesday

I’m so proud to have been asked to attend my school prize giving ceremony this evening as the guest of honour, handing out prizes to the […]
March 13, 2013

Opening a speech: Step-by-step

This is it, the moment you've spent weeks writing, rehearsing and refining your speech for. The audience falls silent, every pair of eyes in the room turn expectantly to you. 5,4,3,2,1. Now what? Opening a speech isn't rocket science, but it is similar to a rocket launch in that if don't get it right, the rest of your speech won't get off of the ground. So what should the perfect opening of a speech include?
September 7, 2010

Practicing a humorous speech

Ok, so now all that’s left is to practice my chosen humorous speech. I’m going to try and practice it out loud twice daily and then hundreds of times in between in my head. I usually find that I know I have a strong opening if it is constantly rattling around in my head so much that it becomes automatic. If I’m nervous, I want to be able to deliver my first few lines perfectly whilst still in autopilot, so this is no bad thing.
September 5, 2010

Testing a humorous speech

Am I funny? Now there's a question. Would I be happy if people laughed at my humorous speech or do I want them to laugh with me? Could I think that I have the funniest speech in history only for it to fall flat? It's probably about time I tested my humorous speeches. At the very least it will help me to decide which one to use..
September 3, 2010

Writing a humorous speech

Ok, so I’m now down to the slightly harder graft, the speech writing. Some people find speech writing incredibly easy whilst others can struggle for hours and produce nothing that they feel happy with using. I’ve found from experience that the way in which we write speeches varies too, depending on who we are and how important we believe our upcoming speech to be.
September 1, 2010

Finding a humorous speech topic

Ok, so now I’m beginning to think about the topic I will speak on in the Toastmaster’s humorous speech contest and my thoughts are being led by the two points I made in my first post on the subject: * Humour and what is funny is essentially the choice of your audience * This has to be a speech with a story, not just random stand-up comedy
August 29, 2010

Preparing for the Toastmaster’s Humorous Speech Contest…

By the time you read this I should be led on a sunny beach in the South of France. If all goes to plan, I should also be thinking about and writing a humorous speech for the Toastmaster’s UK humorous speech contest which begins in September. Apparently I have a natural humour with my public speaking but this doesn’t seem to make the speech writing process any easier. Humour is after all extremely subjective and the nature of humour has been written about extensively by much greater, more informed writers than myself.
August 20, 2010

‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’ – Great speeches – Winston Churchill

It's 70 years to the day that Winston Churchill gave one of his most famous speeches to the House of Commons. His 'So Few' speech was given as an overview of why Britain was fighting, how the conflict was progressing and where he saw the conflict moving on to. A classic example of a well structured speech using the past, present, future method of organisation. It brings a smile to my face that a speech that was over 5000 words long is remembered 70 years later for one single line.
August 16, 2010

Finding balance in a speech – Public speaking contradictions

I recently worked with an individual that had a bad case of ‘hereiswhatIhavetosayImgoingtosayitandgetmymessageacrosstoyoureallyquicklyandthenIamgoingtositdownagain’. By this I mean he spoke to fast when delivering a speech. His audience could not understand him and as a result they disengaged and did not receive the message that he was trying to pass to them. At first I thought that this individual was nervous when speaking and this was why he spoke so quickly. However, I soon discovered that this speaker had been told in the past that he spoke too slowly.
July 26, 2010

What’s your story? My Prince’s Trust experience

Last weekend I spent the day with a group of young people between the ages of 17 and 23, who were all completing a 10 week Prince’s Trust challenge. These young people had all come from disadvantaged backgrounds and trouble homes, but have enrolled on the course to help them get their lives back on track and learn valuable skills that will help them to achieve their full potential.
July 22, 2010

Apologising for nerves during a speech

I’ve read a lot of articles and books that mention referring to any nerves you may have as a good way to make light of your fear during a speech. I’m not sure I agree entirely. I personally feel that this is acceptable for social speeches, such as toasts, wedding speeches.etc, but is not something you should do during a business or professional speech. Unfortunately our corporate culture does not look kindly on perceived weakness!
July 15, 2010

The night before a speech

Dave has a night out the day before the big presentation. He wakes up bleary eyed, hung over and goes and gives the presentation of his life. Dave’s lucky, a little cocky and gets away without the preparation and nerves that everyone else has about speaking. Lucky Dave. So what should the rest of us be doing the night before a big speech or presentation?
June 20, 2010

Leave the lectern and improve your speech

A lot of public speaking is carried out from behind a lectern, or stood behind a desk. More often than not there is some form of furniture between you and the audience. This is a great comfort for the nervous speaker, but is hiding behind a desk or lectern reducing the impact of your speech or presentation?