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Public Speaking Tips MAC Conference
By Mary Baker, Kristy Callihan, Jane Michael


  1. Practice delivering your speech 3 to 5 times. If possible, produce a video of yourself when practicing to smooth out any rough spots and time yourself to see if you have enough or too much material. Make sure you can emphasize key points. If you can’t video yourself, practice in front of friends and family.
  2. Dress for success and expect a lot from yourself. Dress as if your speech will change the world. Wear neutral clothing and nothing distracting, such as low-cut blouses or low hanging pants, no big dangling earrings or sparkling jewelry; and no crazy logos or sayings on t-shirts. Be sure not to wear clothes that cause you to pull or tug at them.  

You Are Not Alone - Daniel Johnson-

 I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands - Regina Lewis -

 What Not To Wear- Marcelle Hureau -


  1. Take several deep breaths on your way up to speak if you feel nervous. Tell yourself that it is perfectly normal and even the best speakers feel nervous. Use your nervousness to energize your performance, and remember that most of the audience will not even see your nervousness and that it will get better after the first few sentences.  Control the butterflies by letting them fly out while presenting the information.
  2. Make eye contact by looking at each person in the eyes when speaking. Try to establish 3 seconds of eye contact with a variety of people in the front, middle, and back as well as on your right and left.
  3. Smile before you begin speaking to create goodwill and smile at the end if it is appropriate for the tone and subject of your speech.
  4. Use a conversational tone. Talk to the audience as if you are having a conversation with them but use a slightly louder voice.

Imagine Your Audience In Their Underwear- Stephen Collins -

Natural Gestures- Marcelle Hureau-


  1. Make your topic relevant to the audience. Share the importance of your topic and tell the audience why the topic is important to them, how they can use the information, and how it will benefit them.
  2. Use an outline and put in stage notes to yourself to remind you to slow down, pause, and show visual aids or slides. Remember that both the audience and the speaker need a break. Use pauses like punctuation to place emphasis on what you just said, and don’t fill pauses with uh's, or uhm's. Do not apologize if you lose your place or make a mistake, just keep moving forward. The audience will not notice your mistake unless you point it out to them.
  3. Get their attention in your introduction. Use something fun or interesting as an attention-getter to draw the audience into your topic. In your conclusion, tie back (bring them full circle back to something you said in your introduction) or have a clincher.
  4. Visual aids should enhance, explain, clarify, or define. Do not just read words from PowerPoint slides.

Getting Your Audiences Attention - Jane Michael-

A Pictures Worth A 1000 Words-Karen Coyle-

I Am So Funny- Kristy Callihan -

Audience Analysis- Daniel Johnson -