Five Tips For Public Speaking Like A Pro Speaking at an event is a fantastic opportunity to take ownership of how your brand and its key messaging is presented to the public, but that's often easier said than done.

By Anna Roberts

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Speaking at an event is a fantastic opportunity to take ownership of how your brand and its key messaging is presented to the public, but that's often easier said than done. You may be asked to join a panel discussion, present a key note speech or review the financial year with stakeholders, and in each case, you have a short amount of time to clearly and concisely rely your knowledge and experiences to the audience. Here are five points to keep in mind when you're preparing to go up on stage:

1. Jot down your key points

Whether it's parts of your mission statement, big statistics from a report or key people you want to recognize, make sure you have the essential details at hand when you're on stage. You wouldn't climb Mount Everest without taking a backpack full of supplies, so why sabotage your moment in the spotlight by not taking all the information you need to convey with you? That includes writing down numbers in their full form, so you don't get confused with zeros, the phonetics to pronounce names and titles that people have.

2. Mic check

If you're addressing a large audience, your voice is going to need help getting across equally to everyone, so it's essential you get comfortable with microphones. Find out what you're going to be speaking with; is it a hand held microphone? Keep your hand gripping the microphone centered on the middle of your chest and in line with your heart. Use the other hand to add weight to the words you are using with gestures. Is it hands free? The battery pack will need to sit in a pocket or onto a belt, and both of your hands need to remain open and relaxed between your belly button and your eye line, not in your pockets! Will you be at a lectern? Remember to keep your body language open so you can translate your ideas and energy to the audience and through the physical barrier. That means using hand gestures that reach forward, and emphasizing your facial movements for emotion.

3. Wear appropriate clothing

If you're not comfortable being on stage, you may feel you want to blend in and hide in whatever the background color is. That is definitely not going to do you any favors when your audience could be anything from 2 meters to 25 meters away from you. Navy blue and charcoal grey are both a safe bet, but check with the organizer first to see what the set up is. Keep in mind that lighter colors show up sweat patches a lot more, and horizontal stripes can be terribly unflattering. If you're sitting down on stage, make sure you have appropriate hemlines and trouser lengths, and most of all, embrace your chance to address an audience!

4. Say "thank you"

Once you've been introduced onstage, the first thing you need to do is thank the person who introduced you, or acknowledge the event in a complementary light. It may seem like it goes without saying, but the bright lights can turn your brain completely blank. Besides, being appreciative and recognizing others is a win-win situation to be in, and people always remember how you made them feel over what you actually said.

5. Slow down

If you feel like your words and breath are getting away from you, slow down the rate at which you're speaking to a speed where a person jotting down notes of what you're saying would be able to follow along. Doing this will allow you to have a chance to actually hear the words that you're saying, remain in control and let you brain slow down all the processes that are happening simultaneously. By doing this your audience will be able take all your words in, and follow along with all the points you are making, and in turn be able to recall them better once the event has ended.

Anna Roberts

Founder and Managing Director, Nudge

Anna Roberts, a radio and TV presenter in Dubai, is the founder of Nudge, a communications advisory specializing in public speaking and media training. Anna has interviewed the worlds most high profile sports stars and corporate leaders and believes that business success stems from authentic and effective communication.

Her belief is that everyone should have the tools and confidence to give their ideas a voice, from entrepreneurs pitching for investment through to keynote presentations.

See her work across print regional publications and online on her website where she discusses everything from how to handle a media scrum through to elevating your confidence on stage. Visit and talk to her on Twitter @ImAnnaRoberts #TheNudgeEffect.

Related Topics


Entrepreneurship For Introverts: The How-To

Here's how you can make your personality type work for you.

Thought Leaders

How to Keep a Virtual Audience Captivated

I got trolled, and learned an important lesson in taking public speaking from the stage to the screen.

Starting a Business

Its First Year, This Startup Struggled to Get 75 Clients. Five Years Later, They Have 18,000. Here's How They Did It.

Financial planning startup Facet knew they were targeting a huge untapped market. But getting clients wasn't as easy as they hoped.


Here's How Critical Thinkers Unlock Unimaginable Success

On this episode of "The Jeff Fenster Show," Contrarian Thinking founder Codie Sanchez breaks down risk-taking, deal-making, and the personal mental processes that will help you achieve your goals.

Business News

Here's the Secret to Growing Your Small Business, According to Execs at UPS, Airbnb, Mastercard, and Other Big Brands

These 10 executives work at big companies, overseeing programs that help small business. Here's the advice they wish all small business owners were getting.

Starting a Business

7 Realistic Ways to Make Money Online

From leveraging the app economy to blogging, the Internet offers a variety of opportunities for raking in money.