Mastering the Art of Public Speaking:  Tips and Techniques for Effective Presentations – Part 3

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Welcome to the third and final part of our three-part series on enhancing your presentation skills. In the first two parts, we covered important aspects of public speaking, such as preparing for a presentation, physical appearance, capturing and maintaining audience attention, fluency in speech, effective use of mannerisms, timing and eye contact, and engaging your listeners through hyperbole and questions.

In this third part, we will explore even more techniques that can help you become an effective speaker. These include using similes and metaphors to make your points more memorable, respecting your audience, reflecting the right mood, using humor and smile to lighten the atmosphere, handling feedback and distractions, and effectively using logic to support your arguments.

By mastering these skills, you will be able to confidently deliver your message and leave a lasting impression on your audience. So let’s dive in and explore these final essential elements of successful public speaking.


What It Is

With similes, you liken two things in order to help your audience better understand you. Using what is known to explain the unknown by way of comparison is what simile is all about. A metaphor identifies a particular quality of a living or non-living thing and bestows it on another. With metaphors, we make courage, strength, love, power, wisdom, weakness, come to life. Similes and metaphors do not just add colour and flavour to your delivery, they also help animate your thoughts.

How To Use Similes And Metaphors During Your Presentation

Use words such as like, and as when using similes. For example, “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” Here, what is known is the days of Noah as contained in history. What is not known is the presence of the son of man. The speaker here uses the listeners’ knowledge of Noah’s day to explain how the presence of the Son Man will be like. His audience may not get the true picture of the presence of the Son of Man without relating it to what they already know—Noah’s age. This is a good use of simile.

When you say that one thing is another, you are using a metaphor: David is a lion. Deborah is a snake. God is love. These are powerful descriptions of David, Deborah, and God. Lion describes the courage of David. Snake describes the trickery or deception of Deborah. Love is a clear description of God’s deep-seated affection for the human race.


What It Is

If you want to honor someone, you are kind to that person, respectful of that one’s dignity and views, and ready to fulfill any reasonable request made of you by the person. Honouring your audience includes the idea of valuing them. When you honour and respect your audience, you treat them with dignity, you do not talk at them nor do you talk down on them or speak to them in a derogatory manner.

How To Honour and Respect Your Audience When Making a Presentation

Reflect honor and respect in your speech and countenance. Use words that show genuine love and concern. Do not use sarcastic expressions or vulgar even when addressing offenders. People today, are averse to sexist language.

Avoid the use of sexist language as that may offend some in your audience and smack of disrespect. Use expressions that appeal and persuade not those that hurt and compel.

To communicate effectively and respectfully, it is important to avoid using swear or curse words, as well as off-colour illustrations. Additionally, using terms like “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” and “Christ” as substitutes for curse words can be inappropriate and disrespectful. Even words like “gosh,” “golly,” and “gee,” which are euphemisms for “God” and “Jesus”, should be avoided as interjections to prevent causing offense.

One who indulges in sloppy speech habits in his everyday conversations cannot expect to be able to speak well on special occasions. So strive to honour and respect people in your everyday speech. Don’t forget to dress appropriately.


What It Is

Mood can be likened to the weather. It’s cloudy or bright; cold or hot; cool or warm; and on. For a speaker’s mood to be right, they must reflect the content of the material being presented. By mood, we also mean giving your delivery the enthusiasm it deserves through your tone of voice and facial expression.

How To Reflect The Right Mood During Presentations

Genuinely speak to your audience with a high sense of conviction. Show warmth and feeling in your voice and facial expression. The speaker discussing love and happiness cannot assume the same countenance as one discussing about a disaster. Consider these brief presentations:

Presentation 1: Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for YOU yourselves do not go in, neither do YOU permit those on their way in to go in.

How would you describe the mood—tone of voice and facial expression of this speaker? Is he likely smiling or frowning?

Presentation 2: When he saw the crowds he went up into the mountain; and after he sat down his disciples came to him; and he opened his mouth and began teaching them, saying:

Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.

Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.

Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled.

Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy.

How would you describe the mood—tone of voice and facial expression of this speaker? Is he likely smiling or frowning?

Let your mood reflect the material you present.


What It Is

A smile says, ‘I accept you as you are, unconditionally.’ A Chinese proverb also says, ‘A man without a smile should not open a shop.’ And it takes only 13 muscles to smile, and 112 muscles to frown. A presenter with a sense of humour wants their listeners to be happy and comfortable. They tell them, “I am here to inform as well as entertain you, and you won’t be bored.” Quite too often, people who are humorous are intelligent. When you are humorous, you make others and yourself happy and comfortable—laugh or at least smile.

How To Use Humour and Smile When Making Presentations

Smile appropriately. Relax. Don’t be stiff. Use humour sparingly the same way you will use a spice when cooking. Use jokes that illustrate your material perfectly. Avoid jokes that are suggestive; shun jokes that demean a tribe, religion, race, class, and on. Don’t tell ridiculous jokes. In all, let smile work for you.


What It Is

Feedbacks are nonverbal communication. This calls for listening with your eyes. Nonverbal communication is the single most powerful form of communication. More than voice or even words, your desire to reach the heart of your audience cues you into what is on their mind. The best communicators are sensitive to the power of emotions and thoughts. They are emotionally intelligent.

How To Get And Handle Feedback During Presentations

Listen with your eyes. Maintain eye contact with individual members of your audience. Use questions to get feedbacks. The look on someone’s face may imply: I don’t understand you; what you’ve just said makes no sense; I don’t agree with you; oh I see! That’s interesting; and on and on.

The feedback you get tells you what to do as an experienced speaker. While handling feedback, never attack—antagonise or ridicule your listener. Instead, try as much as you can to convince them. With a smile, rephrase or represent your argument with additional information.

It may be a matter of vocabulary or a case of prejudice. At the end of your presentation, welcome questions as your final feedback tool and give convincing answers in the spirit of mildness even if the question sounds antagonistic.


What It Is

When external forces interfere with your presentation, they tend to make your audience lose concentration. Distractions may come from within—babies crying; someone coughing so loud; people conversing while the presentation is on because they are a captive audience; a faulty public address system; movement of people to the toilet; the arrival of latecomers, all are causes of distractions.

Distractions could also be noise from the outside—the movement of motor vehicles; noise from a moving aircraft; pandemonium on the street hosting the presentation, and on.

How To Handle Distractions During Presentations

Pause. Don’t speak amidst distractions or interference. Discretely allow time to pass and continue with your presentation. The length of the pause is about the length of the interference. Your pausing sounds a warning to those causing distraction if it comes from within, and oftentimes calls them to order. Pausing as a tool for handling distractions shows you are in control, you care about your audience, and you are confident of what you are doing.


What It Is

When you reason with your audience, providing them evidence to believe and accept what you say, you are using logic. Logic helps your audience to understand you better, accept what you say and remember easily what is heard.

How To Use Effective Logic When Making Presentations

There are various ways of presenting matters logically.

Topical arrangement

This involves organizing your material into sections, each of which contributes to your objective.

Consider an example of topical arrangement. A short presentation regarding the name of a person might include (1) why it is important to know a person by name, (2) what the person’s name is, and (3) how we can honor the name.

  • Cause and effect

Reasoning from cause to effect is another method of presenting information in a logical way.

Proverbs chapter 7 provides an excellent example of this. It vividly describes how an inexperienced young man who is not emotionally mature (the cause) gets involved with a prostitute and suffers bitter consequences (the effect).—Prov. 7:7.

  • Problem and solution

When you discuss a problem that is of concern to people and show that there is a satisfying solution, this may encourage a person to listen.

  • Chronological order

Some material lends itself to a presentation according to time sequence. For example, if you were asked to relate how your day was; how you spent the week; or to relate your last year’s experience, you won’t start a day’s experience from the afternoon. You’ll state it either in ascending or descending order.  That is what chronological order—order in which events took place is about. This helps your audience to listen and follow through your discussion.

Manuscript Presentation

  1. Extemporaneous Delivery
  2. Pronunciation
  3. Motivating Conclusions
  4. Leaving the Stage


As we come to the end of our three-part series on enhancing your presentation skills, we have covered a wide range of techniques and strategies to help you become a more effective and engaging speaker. In part one, we focused on essential elements such as preparation and physical appearance, while part two delved deeper into areas such as capturing and maintaining audience attention, effective use of mannerisms, timing and eye contact, and the use of hyperbole and questions.

In this final part, we explored some additional techniques such as the use of similes and metaphors, respecting and reflecting the mood of your audience, effective use of humor and smiles, handling feedback and distractions, and using logic to support your points. By incorporating these techniques into your presentations, you will be able to better connect with your audience, deliver your message with greater impact, and leave a lasting impression.

Remember, becoming a confident and effective speaker takes time and practice, but by incorporating the tips and techniques we have shared in this series, you will be well on your way to becoming a more polished and successful public speaker. So go forth, and continue to improve your presentation skills!


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