A Student's Borderline Professional Guide To Public Speaking

A Student's Borderline Professional Guide To Public Speaking

Learn to talk like a champ.

Public speaking is a skill everyone has to engage in at some point in their lives. It might be in high school, when you’re professing your love to a fellow student in an elaborate prom proposal or trying to convince your classmates to vote for you for class president. It might be in college, when you’re presenting a thesis or trying to come up with the right thing to say to convince your roommate to stop leaving papayas on the counter until they rot. It might be even later, when you have to give a toast at a wedding or, God forbid, propose to someone yourself. Whichever way you come face-to-face with the prospect of public speaking, it’ll happen, and when it does, you need to be prepared.

You will experience crippling fear. There’s no way around that. But the proper way to face your fear is to try to scare it even more than it scares you. Instead of viewing your audience as average people who are just trying to go about their lives, imagine them as a tribe of drooling, spitting cannibals who want nothing more than to eat you. Think of them as serial killers leering at you from behind bars. Pretend they’re the scariest thing you can imagine. Faced with the prospect of certain death from the thing that scares you most, what’s a little public speaking? Speak with confidence and enunciate clearly as your audience leers and drools.

If you’re smart, you will have memorized your speech. But in the face of the aforementioned fear, you may well forget it. That’s OK! The key to any great public speaking affair is improvisation. When your mind goes blank, begin to say or do whatever pops into your head. Speak in tongues. Tap dance. Climb onto your podium – if you have such a thing – and accuse the audience of faking the moon landing or being the second shooter in the Kennedy assassination. Standing and talking for the length of your speech is boring. Improvise and liven things up, and give a speech your audience will never forget.

Inevitably you will fumble a word. When this happens, you’ll want to crawl into the ground and die there, but this will only draw the audience’s attention to your mistake! To throw them off the scent, begin adding your fumbled word into your speech wherever it will fit. Vary your inflection. Use the word as a question, a full sentence, a swear word. Repeat it three times in a row with increasing volume and conviction. With luck, your audience will decide that your fumble is, in fact, a word, and begin using it themselves in conversation.

Closing a speech is one of the greatest difficulties in public speaking. Whatever you do, don’t end your speaking engagement with “That concludes my remarks” or “Thank you for your time” or “Sorry.” “So, um, yeah” is a good neutral option, but you didn’t come here to be neutral. You came here to make an impression. So, at the conclusion of your speech, bellow “THIS IS SPARTA” at the top of your lungs and violently kick your podium off the stage and into the crowd. Your audience will treasure the memory – and the bruise they got from the microphone – for the rest of their lives.

Cover Image Credit: Brian Tracy

Popular Right Now

11 Things You Understand If You Hate Physical Contact

Please keep your hands and feet away from me at all times.

We currently live in a world where EVERYONE LIKES TO TOUCH EACH OTHER. People enjoy hugs, high fives, tapping others on the shoulder, pokes, ect. For someone like you and me (I'm assuming you too since you clicked on this article), this is the WORST thing in the world. Whenever I think of someone touching me (even just a poke) without my permission my reaction is like Sofia Vergara in Modern Family.

I mean, when I take that love languages quiz, physical touch is always on the bottom of my preferences. So I thought to my self, you know I can't be the only person in the world that hates physical touching. So here are 11 things every person who hates physical touch will understand:

1. When people tickle you

I don't care that it's just for fun and jokes; I'm not laughing because I want to, you are literally forcing me to laugh. I hate you, get your greasy hands off of me before I make you get them off of me.

2. When people think they need to tap your shoulder to get your attention

As if simply saying "Hey" followed by my name wasn't enough. I don't need your grubby little fingers touching me. Now I'm annoyed with you before this conversation even started, what do you want?

3. When someone you barely know reaches in for a hug

I don't know who the heck you're thinking you're about to hug because it sure isn't going to be me. Hugs are reserved for people I know well and like, not you. Okay release me now, I am not enjoying this. LET ME GO.

4. When people tell you that you aren't an affectionate person

Are you aware there are ways to show my affection without constantly being all over you like a koala bear? Yes, I'm affectionate, hop off.

5. When someone is in your personal space

We could be best friends, we could be complete strangers. We could be lovers, I could hate your guts. We could be in private, we could be in public. I don't care what the situation is, if you're in my personal space uninvited GET OUT. There is no reason to be so close to me unwarranted.

6. You don't know how to comfort people

When you see an upset loved one, most people think they you should comfort then by pulling them into a long lasting hug. But, that's the kind of things that your nightmares are literally made out of. So, you stand there confused how you should comfort your friend/relative while also not sacrificing your touch moral code.

7. When people say you "look like you could use a hug"

Um no. I never could use one, get off of me. I will let you know when I want one.

8. When you're hugging someone wondering how soon you can release

Please end my suffering.

9. When you arrive at a social gathering and people rush to greet you with hugs

Let's not.

10. When you try to leave a social gathering by just waving to get out of goodbye hugs

Please no one make me hug you.

11. That one person who is allowed to hug you/touch you

This person, typically a significant other or best friend, gets to break all the "no touch" rules and we gladly accept their hugs and cuddles and public displays of affection. But only them, no one can copy them.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Why I Am Not A Black Friday Shopper

You either do it every year or you don't do it at all.


Thanksgiving is quickly is approaching and I can already smell all of the delicious food. Though the dreaded day after where you have to suit up in your battle armor to charge into the giant crowds is something I'd prefer not to do. Black Friday is one of those days during the year where you either do it every year like a tradition or you don't do it. I'm one of those people who wouldn't do it because I like to be safe and I don't feel like risking it for some okay sales that I'd have to fight for.

1. People are crazy.


Some people are just crazy when it comes to Black Friday shopping. Enough said.

2. It gets way too crowded.


There are too many people in one space that I'd rather not be in their with all of them.

3. It takes away from family time.


The workers who have to go in really early to work during the black Friday sales miss out on the time they could have with their families. Those who choose not to go black Friday shopping can spend more time with their family after the holiday especially if they don't get to see them often.

4. Why go out when I can just order online?


Advertisements seen from e-mails have a lot of the deals that are the same, if not better, for online stores. I could get great deals just waiting for cyber Monday than potentially getting stepped on trying to get one product from in a store.

5. I like sleep way more than early sales.


I prefer sleeping than having to get up very early just to wait in a line for hours on end.

6. It destroys the holiday spirit.


Some people are more set on the chance to shop and don't realize that there is more to the holidays than that. The ability to be able to see family instead is an option that I'd take in a heartbeat.

Related Content

Facebook Comments