Mastering the Art of Public Speaking: 7 Key Elements to Enhance Your Presentation Skills

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Public speaking can be daunting, especially if you are not confident in your abilities. However, with proper preparation, it can become a smooth and enjoyable experience for both the speaker and the audience.

In this article, we will discuss seven key elements that can help you enhance your presentation skills and become a more effective speaker. From preparing to mount the stage to making a lasting impression with your appearance, these tips will help you feel more in control of your presentation and captivate your audience.


What It Is

The activities you get involved with that have a direct bearing on your presentation; the self-psyching of a speaker to have in control internal factors as well as external factors within the confines of the venue of a presentation that may make or break their presentation.

How to Go About It

Here is a step-by-step guide on preparing to mount the stage:

  1. Inspect and be in control of every aspect of the speech presentation in the following specific areas:
    • Check the condition or state of the sound equipment.
    • Test your voice texture and volume with the microphone before the arrival of your audience.
    • Practice how to adjust the microphone with the aid of the equipment operator.
  2. Arrive at least 1 hour ahead of the appointed time to get yourself adjusted or acclimated to the setting and have a chat with members of the audience as they arrive.
  3. If you feel excess nervousness, try these tension releasers:
    • Take some deep breaths – inhale gradually and exhale slowly.
    • Quietly do some physical exercises such as tightening and relaxing your leg muscles.
    • Push your arm or hand muscles against a hard surface for a few minutes and then release the pressure.
    • Press your palms against each other.
  4. Walk confidently with a bounce to the stage.
  5. Establish eye contact with your audience and get started with your presentation.

By following these steps, you can be well-prepared and confident when mounting the stage for your presentation.


What It Is

An introduction is effective when it arouses and arrests or captures the interest of your listeners or audience. Make your introduction as relevant as possible to the subject under discussion. It is the establishment of a mindset, preparing listeners to give positive attention to your presentation.

How to Go About It

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your audience involved in your presentation through effective introduction:

  1. Ask questions that make your listeners think and look forward to answers that would benefit them.
    • Consider what your audience may want to know about the topic you are presenting.
    • Ask questions that will engage their attention and encourage participation.
  2. Use illustrations that your audience is familiar with.
    • Use examples or analogies that your audience can relate to and understand.
    • This will help them to visualize your points and make it easier for them to remember.
  3. Use short and simple easy-to-understand sentences.
    • Avoid complex language or technical jargon that may confuse your audience.
    • Use straightforward and clear language to convey your ideas.
  4. Script your introduction to enhance fluency and eliminate groping for what to say.
    • Plan out what you want to say in your introduction.
    • Practice it beforehand to ensure you are comfortable with the phrasing and delivery.
  5. Prepare your introduction after you have prepared the entire presentation.
    • Start by outlining your entire presentation.
    • Once you have a clear idea of what you want to cover, you can then plan your introduction to set the stage for your presentation.

By following these steps, you can help to make your presentation engaging and memorable for your audience.


What It Is

When all in your audience can comfortably hear you, and are not irritated by the loudness of your natural or amplified voice, your volume is appropriate. This means that you must not sound too loud or too low.

How To Go About It

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to adjust your volume during a presentation:

  1. Let the environment or the circumstances surrounding your presentation and the size of your audience determine your volume.
    • Consider factors such as the size of the room and the number of people in your audience.
    • Adjust your volume accordingly to ensure that everyone can hear you clearly.
  2. Observe the reaction or the feedback from your audience, especially those at the back row.
    • Look for signs that your audience is having trouble hearing you, such as frowns or confused looks.
    • Make appropriate adjustments to your volume to ensure that everyone can hear you comfortably.
  3. Consider the nature of the material you present.
    • Adjust your volume to suit the tone of your presentation.
    • If you are delivering a condemnation, for example, you may need to speak more forcefully, while a tender counsel may require a softer tone.
  4. Work on the quality of your voice to enhance your volume.
    • Practice exercises that can help to strengthen your vocal cords and improve your voice quality.
    • Consider working with a vocal coach to help you improve your voice projection. Our Speech and Presentation course helps with that. Feel free to get started today.
  5. Project your voice.
    • Speak with extra voice to reach the last person at the rear comfortably.
    • Avoid shouting, which can strain your voice and make it difficult for your audience to understand you.

By following these steps, you can adjust your volume during a presentation to ensure that everyone can hear you clearly and comfortably.


What It Is

When a speaker pauses, he tells his listeners he is through with a thought.  It’s the time a speaker uses to manage distractions in the course of a delivery.  A pause is a time given to your audience to help them think and digest what they have heard. It also gives the speaker some time to think on what next to say.  Pausing in speech is punctuation in writing.

How to Go About It

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use pauses effectively during a presentation:

  1. Pause a few seconds before you begin your presentation.
    • Take a deep breath and gather your thoughts before you start.
    • Allow your audience to settle down and focus on you.
  2. Pause when a distraction occurs during your presentation.
    • When there’s a loud noise or other distractions, pause and wait for it to subside before continuing. This shows that you’re in control and helps to re-engage your audience.
  3. Pause to raise anticipation or create suspense.
    • Use a pause to build excitement and anticipation for what you’re going to say next. This creates a sense of drama and keeps your audience engaged.
  4. Pause to let your listeners ponder or think about what you have said.
    • After making an important point, pause to let your audience reflect on what you’ve said. This helps to reinforce the point and ensure that it’s understood.
  5. Pause when you see punctuation marks like a comma, periods, semi-colons, question marks, and so on.
    • When you see a comma, pause by saying the word preceding it in the rise tone, as if it were a question.
    • Treat a comma the same way you would treat a question mark.
    • When you see a period, pause by uttering the word before it in the fall tone.

By using pauses effectively, you can control the pace and flow of your presentation and keep your audience engaged and attentive.


What It Is

This is the movement of parts of your body, especially your hands, head, eye, face and mouth to show by way of description or vocal emphasis the information you want your listeners to get. Gestures add emphasis, revitalize and animate your message. We have two types of gestures—descriptive, which shows size, dimension, location, position, and on; and emphatic, which expresses feelings and conviction indicated by the tone of the voice and facial expressions.

How To Go About It

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use body language effectively during a presentation:

  1. Let the use of body language come naturally and spontaneously.
    • Avoid making exaggerated or forced gestures. Let your body language flow naturally from your words and emotions.
  2. Avoid distracting or nervous gestures.
    • Do not flair your hands, wring them together, crack your knuckles, or toy with your rings in the name of gesturing. Instead, use gestures that complement your words and add emphasis to your message.
  3. Use words that show direction, shape, distance, texture, size, length, area, depth, speed, location, contrast, relative positions, or comparison.
    • Identify words in your presentation that can be reinforced with gestures. Then use gestures to illustrate these concepts and add clarity to your message.
  4. Mark keywords in your notes to remind you to gesture at the right time.
    • Make a note in your presentation script or outline to indicate where you want to use gestures. This will help you remember to use them at the right time and avoid forgetting important points.

By using body language effectively, you can enhance your presentation and convey your message more effectively. Remember to use gestures naturally and spontaneously, avoid distracting or nervous gestures, use words that lend themselves to gesturing, and mark key words in your notes to remind you to gesture at the right time.


What It Is

By appearance we mean your physical looks—your dress and grooming.  It also includes how clean and tidy you are, the appropriateness of your dress code to the occasion,

How to Go About It

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to present yourself attractively and professionally during a presentation:

  1. Make yourself attractive and inviting to your audience with moderation as your watchword.
    • Aim to look professional and approachable, without drawing too much attention to yourself. Choose clothes that suit the occasion and fit well.
  2. Avoid dressing to draw attention to yourself.
    • Avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing or flashy. Choose clothing that is appropriate for the occasion and the audience.
  3. Keep your clothes neat and tidy by washing and proper ironing.
    • Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. Iron your clothes properly to give them a crisp, professional look.
  4. Apply perfumes and make-up in moderation.
    • Use perfumes that are not too strong and only apply them to areas that will not cause irritation to others.
    • Use make-up that enhances your features without being too distracting.
  5. Do not allow fashion trends to influence your dress sense.
    • Dress in a way that is appropriate for the occasion and audience, rather than following the latest fashion trends.
  6. Wear neck-ties professionally.
    • Choose a neck-tie that is 2 to 3 inches wide and well-knotted. Make sure the tip of the neck-tie touches the buckle of your belt in length.

By following these steps, you can present yourself professionally and attractively during a presentation. Remember to dress appropriately, keep your clothes neat and tidy, use perfumes and make-up in moderation, avoid following fashion trends, and wear neck-ties professionally.


What It Is

The first evidence of poise, then, is manifest in your physical bearing: the way you stand, walk to the podium, the position and placement of your hands, your confidence, and on. The level of your confidence determines the state of your posture and poise. 

Stand with your feet a bit spread but one slightly forward at all time. Put your hands together, holding them covering your navel, but releasing them for gestures and returning them to same position.

How to Go About It

Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to improve your posture and poise when making a presentation:

  1. Be aware of the signs of nervousness that can betray you if you lack confidence, such as gripping your hands at the back, holding them firmly at your side, or clutching the speaker’s stand. Avoid aimlessly moving your hands to your face, playing with your watch, pencil, ring, or notes, or shuffling your feet.
  2. Make a conscious effort to control or minimize these signs of nervousness. This will help you to give an impression of poise in your physical bearing. Breathe naturally and evenly, and make a definite effort to relax. Pause before you begin speaking, which can help you gain the confidence you need.
  3. Concentrate on your material and not on the audience or yourself. This will help you to stay calm and confident. Remember, you are sharing something you’ve prepared, so be relaxed and happy to do so.
  4. When walking to the podium, do not hurry or arrange your notes on the way. Be relaxed and calm, and move at a steady pace. This will help you to appear confident and in control.
  5. If you know you are nervous when you begin to talk, then make a special effort to talk slower in the introduction than usual and with a lower pitch than you might feel is normal for you. This will help you to control your nervousness.
  6. Practice both gesturing and pausing to help you relax. Gestures should be natural and spontaneous, and pauses can be used to emphasize important points or give your audience time to think about what you’ve said.
  7. Don’t wait until you’re on the podium to practice good posture and poise. Try to be poised and controlled in your daily speech and interactions. This will help you to build confidence over time and make it easier to appear confident when making a presentation.


In conclusion, while public speaking may be daunting, it is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and preparation. In this article, we have discussed seven key elements that can help you enhance your presentation skills and become a more effective speaker. By taking the time to prepare and refine your appearance, voice, and physical bearing, you can feel more in control of your presentation and engage your audience.

This article is the first part of a three-part series, and in the next part, we will delve into the topics of getting the attention of your audience, fluency, mannerism, timing, eye contact, the use of hyperbole, and effective use of questions. By incorporating these additional tips, you can take your presentation skills to the next level and become a truly captivating and influential speaker. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep honing your skills and watch your confidence soar! Continue reading here: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking: Tips and Techniques for Effective Presentations – Part 2.


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