Tips to Give Your Student for Public Speaking/Presentations Success

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By Tamiera Vandegrift, Uloop

Public speaking isn’t a natural talent for most. For some, it can be absolutely terrifying. As a matter of fact, public speaking is at the very top of the list of common fears and phobias. However, this does not change the fact that public speaking is an absolute necessity. To be successful academically and professionally, it is imperative to learn how to communicate effectively. Most of us get an early sample of this in grade school where we are required to give presentations, contribute to discussions, and deliver speeches. Even with all of the applied practice in the world, public speaking can still be difficult for some students. How can you help your student develop their confidence and public speaking skills?

Keep reading for some helpful tips for your student to become a successful public speaker.

Start Early

The first thing students need to realize is that “public speaking” is a scarier term than it really needs to be. Technically, we are “public speaking” every time we catch up with a friend, every time we order from a restaurant, and every time we communicate in general. We are all technically public speakers, but there are ways to improve in time for a big presentation or a speech delivery. It has to start early though.

Encourage your student to speak clear and loud whenever they want to talk about something. Also, encourage the use of complete sentences and discourage slouching when speaking. After a while and a ton of practice, these tips will seem natural to the point that your student will not need a reminder or another practice session on communication etiquette before they need to give a speech or presentation. Practicing this tips in a normal, casual setting will make them seem less unnatural and intimidating in other circumstances.

Practice Makes Perfect

Students should also recognize that nobody on this planet woke up one day, pressed a button, and instantly became a great public speaker. The world doesn’t work that way. The best way to strengthen their confidence and develop their skills is to practice and practice often. A student can read all of the life hacks, blogs, and listicles that they want, but the only way to learn how to be a great public speaker is to practice and develop your skills on their own.

Encourage them to begin working on their assignment or project long ahead of time so that they have enough time to practice and grow confident with the material. A confident student means a well-organized and developed presentation. Let them know that they can practice in front of you and get your feedback. When giving them feedback, don’t focus on the negatives or things you would like to change. That will crush their confidence before it has the chance to grow. Instead, place the criticism in between two compliments.

For instance, instead of saying, “I didn’t like the way you transitioned into that next subject.”, say, “I think you had great eye contact and had an excellent pace. I think you should work on your transitions a little, but anyway, I love your presentation!”

When it comes to developing public speaking skills, it is imperative to practice.

Watch and Learn

For students who learn better through observing, there are a ton of internet resources for students to uncover. Watching videos of excellent public speakers can give students an idea of what mannerisms and delivery ideas work and which ones don’t. Every student is unique and has a unique way of communicating their ideas. There is no one-size-fits-all guide to public speaking. Video platforms, specifically Ted Talk, could provide students with tons of great examples. By checking out these videos, your student could pick up on a particular performance or speech that has resonated with them and find a way to incorporate what they have absorbed into their own work.

Video is also helpful for students to actually see what they look like when they speak and make the changes they need to. In this day and age, your student will have access to all types of resources to help them in life through the use of the Internet. Improving their public speaking skills is definitely one of the most crucial and important.

Be Yourself

Make sure that your student realizes that audiences respond much better to an expressive human being than a fast-talking robot. In public, we all tend to freeze up and sink into a state of nervous perfectionism. We blow through our words faster than a gust of wind blows through a willow tree. All the while, we stand in front of our audience stiffer than boards and more wide-eyed than a deer in headlights. It happens.

Encourage your student to let their own personality shine through. Stay professional, but don’t be afraid to express yourself either. Doing so will make their speech or presentation more memorable in the minds and hearts of their audience.

Let It Go

Most importantly, don’t let your student beat themselves up if they make a mistake. They’re human. We all are. It is okay for them to slip up as long as they find that they’ve learned how to improve in the future. Making mistakes and learning from them is the most important step to developing their public speaking skills, as it gives them the opportunity to grow.

Public speaking is one of the most important skills we need in both a professional and academic sense. By encouraging your student to follow these tips while also being patient with themselves, they will learn how to make public speaking just as easy as breathing. Every student has the potential to be great and successful. Learning how to be a great public speaker is only the first step!


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