20 Awesome Public Speaking Tips

I’ll be flying to Philly this weekend for the 2013 Affiliate Summit East show. I’ll be speaking at a panel session call Creating Authority Blogs and Passive Monthly Income. I invited all my readers who’s going to ASE to come to my session. I’ll have some “I’m with John Chow, Bitch!” T-shirts for you.

Creating Authority Blogs and Passive Monthly Income
Session 1b
Location: 122AB (Level 100)
Time: Sunday August 18, 11:00am-12:00pm

99% of blogs fail. Three top bloggers and online marketers will share their tips, tricks and secrets to creating authority blogs that make real money, and show you how to do the same.

Experience level: Intermediate
Target audience: Affiliate/Publisher
Niche/vertical: Blogging

(Session is Open to Networking Plus, VIP, and All Access Pass Holders Only)

As I was preparing, I got the following email from Affiliate Summit co-founder, Shawn Collins, with some really great presentation tips. Even the most experienced speaker can use a primer on public speaking tips from time to time. Whether you’re speaking at an Affiliate Summit or any other event, the following will help you prepare to go on the stage.



1. Become your own best teacher. This list gives you 20 tips to do that, but you must acquire your own. Learn how to analyze a presentation and you will be able to learn and improve every time you speak at a conference. If you hear someone speak and didn’t even learn one thing, then you have wasted an opportunity. Everyone has something to teach and something to learn.

2. Space and room set up are important to speaking. For example, in the Affiliate Summit Ask the Experts session, it’s a casual, roundtable atmosphere, and this environment is ideal sitting when speaking. If you are giving a solo presentation in a classroom, it is better to stand, so that your voice can project better and because you command more presence, which you want to do.

3. There is no substitute for preparation and practice. The best speakers practice each sentence in their head many, many times before they speak it. They try it over and over until the timing is just right, and it begins to feel natural. Please do this.

4. The cure for stage fright is to get emotional or tough. Allow yourself to feel very happy or very angry and your stage fright will go away. Allow yourself to laugh and it will also go away. Stage fright is like fog. A good breath of emotion or laughter will blow it away.

5. Observe other speakers. Other speakers can be excellent teachers. Pay attention to what you admire and respect about other public speakers. At the same time, notice what distracts or bores you about other speakers.


1. Use an introduction, body, and conclusion in your presentation. All three of these should tie directly to your main theme. The goal of any speech is to help the audience understand something, and having an introduction, body, and conclusion helps your audience understand your theme, and tie it back into everything you say.

2. The introduction has two purposes: first to secure attention, and second to orient the audience toward your theme. Most audiences will pay attention to any speaker for the first 20 seconds. In that time, you must grab their attention and orient them.

3. Develop the main theme or message you want to communicate. Often, when we try to get through too many themes, it gets confusing and the audience doesn’t remember any of them. Develop your main theme and keep developing it to get that message across.

4. Use stories rather than statistics. Statistics appeal to the head, but stories touch the heart. Most people can’t relate to statistics. The human brain processes images and emotions, not words. Words and symbols are used to create images and convey feelings. People can understand statistics, but are not moved by them. Everyone, however, can relate to stories. Start with a story if you can.

5. The conclusion has two purposes: To summarize the speech and to motivate the audience, the summary should restate the theme clearly. Focus on what you want the audience to do. End by asking them to do a specific thing.

6. Improving you public speaking means developing your own style. It does not mean learning to speak like a newscaster or someone else. It means strengthening your ability to say what you want to say.

7. Know your audience. Know what they want to know. Know where they came from. Find out what interests them and makes them laugh. If possible, know them by name and use their names in the speech. The sweetest sound in any language is the sound of your own name. Know your audience as well as you can.

8. Body language is good if it agrees with your message. It is bad if it distracts from your message. Slamming your fist in your hand when you say how angry you were emphasizes the point you are making, so it is good. Swaying while you talk distracts the listener from what you are saying, so it is bad.

9. Make eye contact with the audience. Allow yourself to smile. Definitely use emotion when it is real and sincere. Real emotion and feeling allows your audience to relate to you. If you let your guard down and speak from the heart, then the audience will let its guard down and listen from the heart.

10. There is no one right way to speak, but there are some wrong ways. Don’t read from a script unless you absolutely have to. Also, don’t repeat things. If you want to reinforce a point, say it again, but in a different and creative way.


1. Build in strong language to your presentation. Strong language is language that paints pictures in the mind of the listener. “Red” is regular language, but “fire engine red” is strong language. Strong language is more descriptive and helps your listener understand.

2. Avoid profanity. Sometimes a well-placed curse word acts as an impactful punctuation mark, but most of the time it’s a poor crutch.

3. Identify and eliminate weak language from your speaking. Weak language is any word or phrase that does not add anything to what you are saying. Any word that does not make your message stronger makes it weaker. When you analyze a sentence, cut it down to as little as you need without cutting out the message. The most common example of weak language is the word “um.” Other examples of weak language are “basically”, “well”, “that is to say”, “I mean”, or “in other words.” We use weak language like a crutch. We say words like “basically”, not because they mean anything, but because they help us stall until we can think of something to say. It is far better to be silent that to use weak language. Be comfortable with silence.

4. Vary your tone. A person who speaks in one tone is monotone. That’s what monotone means. One tone. Get a little loud sometimes and then get soft. Vary the tone. Don’t be boring.

5. Vary your speed. Mono-speed is as bad as monotone. It does not matter whether you talk more quickly or more slowly. What is critical is that you vary your speed and practice your timing. You don’t actually speak in sentences. Phonetically, we speak in groups of words. Speed up some groups of words. Pause after important points. Practice improves timing.

16 thoughts on “20 Awesome Public Speaking Tips”

  1. Rohit says:

    Tone and speed are usually the most important. Awesome tips you shared. Ps. “titles are for wimps” was very funny! great post John!

  2. Simon Dodd says:

    Hey John,

    Great post! I have a question though. Do you generally script out your whole speech and then use prompt cards or do you wing it with your powerpoint/keynote presentation?

    I have been learning some great techniques for memerizing entire speeches so I can work out exactly what I am going to say and then just reel it off without any prompt cards or anything.

    Now all I need is a couple of speaking gigs to test the water and I’m good to go 🙂 haha

    Speak soon


    1. John Chow says:

      I never use prompt cards. The slides in my keynote gives me the clues on what to say.

  3. zubin kutar says:

    Will you be sharing you’re speech / presentation for download ? I want the T shirt 🙂 🙂

  4. faisal says:

    Awesome tips there John, Thanks a ton for sharing.

  5. Great tips, John, thank you for sharing!

  6. Especially liked the tip about using laughter to dissipate the fog of stage fright. As long as it’s not nervous laughter:)

  7. Susan Velez says:

    I am sure that the people at the conference will learn a lot. Hopefully you will share some of it on your blog when you get back. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. BasicSailor says:

    Cool tips John, Thanks for sharing it with us…:)

  9. I. C. Daniel says:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing these tips.

  10. Haha JC, you look so smart in the blazer. Do you get bored traveling around giving speeches?

  11. I found that the very best possible way to start a presentation is with a very puzzling image on screen, that seems to be VERY different from what people would expect the presentation to be about…

    I would come and say…
    “This is a bee…” for instance. But the presentation is, naturally, about email marketing…

    So the audience is instantly hooked, there are audible gasps from the front seats and all eyes are on YOU instantly.

    Now, the tricky thing is to link that image to the presentation in a mindful and meaningful way.
    After that, you’re golden – everyone keeps their eyes peeled and their ears perked at you. They expect you to come with more pattern-breaking imagery during the presentation and they’re giving you their full attention.

    Steve ✉ Master eMailSmith ✉ Lorenzo
    Chief Editor # eMail Tips Daily Newsletter

  12. Shay says:

    Awesome tips about public speaking. I guess I do better with video. I still get a little nervous in person. These tips should help.

  13. Ferb says:

    Public speaking is real hard for me but all I know is to relax and do a great preparation. These tips are really great for puclic speaking as well. Thank you.

  14. Sam says:

    That was mighty kind of you and I’m sure it’s going to be very helpful.

    Also, the image in your file is loverly

  15. coah says:

    Yes! I got it! this is what I am trying to say…Thank you john for this wonderful tips. I will use this detailed tips for public speaking.

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