How To Speak In Public With Confidence

how to speak in public with confidence

Speaking in public is scary for most of us so let’s look at ways on how to speak in public with confidence.

Did you know that about 75% of people worldwide suffer from speech anxiety or glossophobia?

It’s a nerve-wracking, sweat-breaking, butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of panic. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be in front of an audience of a hundred people; it could even happen if you need to pitch an idea to three or four of your colleagues at a team meeting at work.

Here is a useful book to own that is bound to help you with the nerve-wracking task of how to speak in public with confidence. Simply click on the picture to find out how you can get yourself a copy.

With more than 65,000 copies sold in two editions and recommended by Forbes and U.S. News & World Report, this newly updated how-to guide offers sound advice on every aspect of researching, writing, and delivering an effective speech.

Filled with anecdotes, tips, examples, and practical advice, this accessible guide makes one of the most daunting tasks manageable-and even fun.

Speaking coach Joan Detz covers everything from the basics to the finer points of writing and delivering a speech with persuasion, style, and humor.

Topics include:

– Assessing your audience
– Researching your subject-and deciding what to leave out
– Keeping it simple
– Using imagery, quotations, repetition, and humor
– Special-occasion speeches
– Speaking to international audiences
– Using PowerPoint and other visual aids
– And many more

Updated to include new examples and the latest technology, as well as a section on social media, this is a must-have for anyone who writes and delivers speeches, whether novices or experienced veterans at the podium.

how to speak in public with confidenceThe reason public speaking terrifies us all is that we worry about what people will think of us which makes our brains freeze and we panic. Panic, in turn, shuts off the rational part of our brain (the frontal lobe) responsible for our thinking, organizing and planning, and word production. When this happens then chaos is sure to follow.

But did you know that glossophobia can be conquered? Public speaking doesn’t have to be frightening. It could actually be a lot of fun where you take part in a wonderful experience, meet new people and learn new things. To make sure you – and your listeners – enjoy your next public speaking event, try these simple tips on how to speak in public with confidence.

How To Speak In Public With Confidence

Know Your Audience

Before preparing your speech, you need to know exactly what you will be talking about and exactly who your audience will be.

Knowing what you will be talking about goes without saying, but knowing your audience will take a bit of research. Try to find out who will be there listening to what you have to say and focus the way that you deliver your content to their needs.

Find out:

  • Their age range
  • Level of expertise
  • The number of attendees.

Once you have this information, you can modify your speech accordingly.

In this way, you will appear friendly and relaxed which is a sure way to reduce your apprehension and make your speech a success. You’re giving them a reason to listen to you by providing them with the information they want and need. This is the first step to take when it comes to how to speak in public with confidence.

Prepare, Prepare, And Prepare Some More

You can make your material much more effective by using anecdotes, humor and a personal touch.

Start with an attention-grabbing introduction and end with a compelling finish.

Refrain from reading too much because it limits eye contact which is crucial if you want to keep your audience engaged and focused on your message. A good idea would be to draw up an outline or cue cards you can quickly look at to jog your memory and bring you back on track.

While it’s important to be thoroughly prepared, it’s also a great tactic to pay attention to your audience and gauge their reactions to your speech and adapt accordingly. Having that flexibility in your demeanor means your positive energy and enthusiasm will flow through to your audience and help them to enjoy your topic.

Use Audiovisuals Wisely

While they may seem like a nice touch, they can also break your audience’s attention. Choose your audiovisuals so they serve a direct purpose, like clarifying your message and maintaining your audienceís attention.

Use things like graphs or summaries to clarify what you are saying, or make your message clearer to your audience.

how to speak in public

Change Your Outlook

Instead of going out in front of everyone worrying about how you’ll do and how they’ll react in a negative light, think of it as being given a chance to talk about something you enjoy. Also, get comfortable being quiet in front of a group of people.

You don’t have to talk the entire time. Take a few seconds here and there to look out at your audience, catch your breath and gauge their reactions. Use this silence to add to your speech, not take away from it.

Be Confident In Your Own Skin

First off, as much as we hate to admit it, your appearance is what you’ll be judged on in those first few seconds. So, choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and self-assured. You can also get your hair done and a manicure to boost your confidence level because when you like how you feel and look, you’ll feel great and that will trickle down to your listeners.

Once your speech starts, there are things like smiling, eye-contact, relaxed body language, a powerful, friendly voice, that keep up that confidence level and keep your audience wanting to hear you until the end.

No one in the audience expects perfection. Just putting in the time to practice and go over your speech goes a long way in terms of calming your nerves, boosting your presentation skills and bolstering your confidence.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any other tips on how to speak in public with confidence.



Michel Maling


  1. Great tips for public speaking. Having the outline is something you said that I keyed in on.

    I personally figured that out but have been procrastinating doing it because I have been winging it for a long time. It is not always successful especially as I get older. lol

    So thanks for reminding me, keep up the good work

    • Yes, you are Right Dennis, we can’t always wing it, and we would be that much more successful with public speaking with a bit more planning.

      An interesting website that you have there and thanks for stopping by.

  2. You are right speaking in public is not an easy task for anyone. Especially when you are doing it for the first time it is really scary and makes you nervous. Your article has really taken the initiative to help people get rid of that first-time nervousness. 

    I read through your whole article and your guide is so organized. I’m going to share this with my friends and families, this will be definitely helpful for them.

    Thank you so much for sharing this insightful article. It is so organized and resourceful.

    • I am glad you enjoyed the read and thanks for stopping by to comment Sujandar.

  3. Great writing. Thanks for the article and the motivation. 

    Speaking in public is a very difficult issue for me. But is high time to work on getting better at it.

    These are great tips that I hope it could work for me and practicing it will make me more professional.

    Thanks for the inspirational article on public speaking. 

    Best regards 

  4. Thank you for this article it is something that I am really interested in as an extension of my online business. I have been asked to do some presentations regarding my business and the thought of getting up in front of people is very scary indeed.
    I am quite interested in your mentioned book by Joan Detz. I think reading from an experienced public speaker and learning the tips will help me overcome my fear of it.
    Also, I had no idea my fear has a name, “glosdophobia” lol.
    I cannot thank you enough for this information. How long have you done public speaking? And do you think that public speaking is a valuable skill to have with online marketing?

    • I am probably the worst public speaker in the world and only have to do it once or twice a year in my field, so I just shared the tips that worked for me with my readers.

  5. Well the only time in my life I’ve had to speak in this manner was when I was a best man at a wedding of a good friend. I have to be honest, it was a mess, but at least people laughed! 

    This is a great article on speaking in this public way, because most of us retreat into a shell whenever this type of thing comes up. The book itself sounds interesting, but I’m wondering if it manages the ‘fear’ people get when they stand up to talk, the nervousness, the could sweats etc?

    Does it teach you how to manage this?

    • I think fear is something that you need to work on overcoming yourself, but good preparation will go a long way to making you less nervous.

      If the fear really is a huge obstacle, maybe a professional will be able to help you here.

  6. Thanks for your informative when expected to speak. I am fortunately one of those people who does not get nervous or anxious when required to speak publicly, in fact, quite the opposite. I get quite excited. It is something that for some reason I have found quite natural and comfortable.

    Your tip regarding preparation is very useful, and one that I use when having to speak regarding a subject with which I oppose. I also approach the matter in a way that I am trying to convince myself, as well as the audience.

    • You are one of the lucky few Adrian. Maybe you could share a few more tips of yours with the readers.

  7. Truly, speaking in public can be very scary for most of us and this has happened to me in the past before I was able to gradually get over the fear. 

    One of the things I had to do to overcome was consistent preparation and practice. I would sometimes use a small group of my friends to practice on until I started gaining confidence. 

    I’m still getting this book either way as it can further help me and those around me. 


    • I agree, it takes practice and I find the more you do it the better it becomes.

  8. I really enjoyed your post. Speaking in public for me has always been a big challenge, something that if I could avoid I would.  

    I got better with the years and even though I am not a public speaker I still have a type of job that pushes me out to speak in front of people. 

    I love your tips and one of the things I used to do to make me feel better was always to pretend or better have the certainty that whoever I was talking to did not know anything about the subject (even if they did) but the thought gave me the confidence to speak without hesitation.

  9. Hi,
    I have a problem with speech, but confidently this article will be of most important to me. I am a shy guy. Please what can I do to be able to stand in front of congregation? Can you recommend me to any books I can read for my problem please. 
    But I can say your article is of importance to me. Sincerely I will bookmark the article for future reference. Thanks for the write up  

  10. I love these tips for public speaking and I will definitely be looking more into this book by Joan Detz. I have made small presentations in university and struggled with confidence doing it. Although over time I improved my skills I am looking to progress them further as I am heading into my career and I will be presenting in front of much larger audiences.

    Thank you for this information

  11. Thanks for this wonderful post. Actually I really love to be speaking in public but I always try to run away from such situations. However I found this article to be informative and helpful. I agree with all the points you explained in engaging in public speaking. I will send feedback to let you know how I am progressing. Thanks. 

  12. I suffered from glossophobia for many years and I just recently started breaking out of my shell. 

    The last time I gave a speech, I received a standing ovation and much positive feedback, even to my own surprise. And it was owing mostly to some of the suggestions you made here in your article. 

    I found out that using Audiovisuals, went a long way to make me feel more confident and taking breaks did a lot to calm my nerves and keep me from stuttering or forgetting what to say. 

    • Congrats on overcoming your glossophobia Peace. It must be such a wonderful feeling for you.

  13. Thanks for the post! I remember when I had to make presentations in school, I always felt super nervous and felt like I did a terrible presentation. 

    Throughout the years, I realised that the more I practiced and prepared before my presentations the more confident I’d feel and I’d feel less terrible about it, So I can really relate to the prepare more tip.  

    • Yes, this is important. I could never just stand there unprepared. I’m just not that kind of speaker.

  14. That was a beautiful article. I could remember how I used to feel whenever I was asked to deliver a speech in my company. I never had any confidence in myself. 

    I tried so hard to build self-confidence but one day I simply had to pick courage. I told myself that I can deliver. I had to sit down to strategize on how I am going to talk to my audience next time. In our next meeting, when I spoke for a while, I asked them if they are with me?? They would answer and said yeah!! 

    My confidence was boosted when I heard their reply. Ever since then, I never had phobia anymore. Now I can talk to my audience with full confidence. 

    • Glad to hear that Kenechi. It does help to take the pressure off when you consult with your audience. (even if just to check if they are still awake)

  15. A highly informative article. It is right that about 75% of people are suffering from speech anxiety. 

    When they have to address people, they fear what they will think about me, would I deliver correctly and so on. 

    The book, “How to write and give a speech” by Joan Detz would be very helpful for these people. It will encourage them to deliver speech publicly without feeling fear.

    Thanks for the information about this book. I would like to share this article with my friends.


    • Thanks for the comment Amod and hope that fear is not a problem that you are suffering from.

  16. Thank you for your article on this. The most striking word for me in this article was the content that emphasized on keeping it simple. Before now, complexity was a major challenge I had. Also, I pick adding humor in public speaking as a gateway to conquering glossophobia. Being too mean was my major flaw. Humor helps to relax and rededication of the audience interest. wow! 

    Using a visual aid like PowerPoint during presentations /public speaking is a key point for me as it helps ease the brain and mind from being overly jam packed. Also looking good is a confidence booster. Now, I understand why public speakers always appear super gorgeous before their audience. 

    However, I would like to ask : Will frequent using of humor or jokes during public speaking jeopardize the interest of the audience? 

    • I don’t think so unless you overdo it or maybe too many corny jokes may get a bit tiresome.

      I say start with some humor, put some in the middle of your speech, an again to end off should be fine.

  17. This topic is very important for me. Whenever I have to speak in front of people, I always have stage fright. My voice becomes shaky, and I’m sure it is very noticeable to my audience. 

    However, when I begin speaking, my voice normalizes after a couple of minutes. I would live to learn how to further improve my public speaking skills because my job requires me to speak regularly in public. 

    • I agree with you Louis, it is nerve-wracking, but the more you do it, like anything, the easier it gets.

      As they say, practice makes perfect, and I too still have a long way to go when it comes down to how to speak in public with confidence.

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