Sometimes participants in our ongoing programs will say, “I couldn’t practice my public speaking skills this week because I didn’t give any presentations.”

Actually, public speaking happens anytime you speak in front of an audience of 1 person or more. So you can practice your speaking skills every single day – during 1:1 conversations or small groups meetings, at conferences or networking events – building muscle memory and building confidence towards those high-stakes presentations.

To guide you through this process, we created a brand new Everyday Public Speaking Workbook.

Download the workbook and enjoy an overview of our recommendations here.

Download our Everyday Public Speaking Workbook

Try these recommendations:

 

Introduce yourself up front

    • At a conference or networking event, or before the start of a meeting, introduce yourself to others. Knowing people in the (virtual or in-person) room helps you get to know your audience in advance which can reduce your nerves.

Speak up in a meeting

    • Prepare 1-2 potential points in advance, based on the agenda and your experience. If someone makes your point before you do, publicly support their comment and build on it.

    • Ask the facilitator to put you on the agenda or let them know you’d like to participate.

    • Incorporate “The 3 Movements” – eye contact, body language, and vocal variety – every time you speak.

    • When asked a question, answer in a complete sentence and use your final sentence to summarize your main point.

Ask a question at a conference

    • Push yourself to publicly ask a question at a conference. While listening to the speaker(s), write down a thought and then approach the microphone (virtually: use the “Raise Hand” feature) to ask your question. Include a clear one-sentence personal introduction.

Evaluate the current speaker

    • Even if you’re not on the meeting agenda or speaking at the conference, you can learn from every single person who speaks. Use the feedback form in the workbook to strategically analyze the speaking skills of whomever is speaking.

Ask others for feedback

    • In advance of the meeting, give our Speaker’s Feedback Form from the workbook to a trusted colleague and ask them to provide feedback on your speaking skills after the meeting. Set aside time for a quick check-in.

Track your progress

    • Debrief every meeting or presentation. How did you do? What would you change? Track your progress using the Speaker’s Logbook in the workbook and set goals to improve.