How Bloggers Can Master Public Speaking and Presentations

When your blog really takes off in a big way, you are rewarded with an increase in followers, plenty of positive and encouraging comments, and new links to other bloggers in your expanded network. All of these benefits mean you are likely to experience additional commercial interest from advertisers and sponsors, which will help your audience to grow even more. In the early stages as a blogger, however, you have to work on building your following, otherwise traffic will remain light and you won’t make the impact you’d like to make. Here are some ideas that may help you to move on from those early days and achieve a truly successful blog:

Contact with your public

Think of your blogging opportunities as a kind of shopping mall – rather than visiting just one store you have a chance to explore a variety of different options. Publishing your blog online is just one of those options when it comes to touching base with your public. It’s the first store you visit, if you like, while you are establishing your online presence. After that, you need to extend your reach, and you can easily do this by making personal contact with other bloggers, for example by requesting permission from fellow bloggers to contribute to their blogs, or by networking at blogger conventions.

Making a presentation about the themes that interest you will draw in other people you might not have had a chance to communicate with online. The same goes for speaking at public events. These non-virtual, person-to-person occasions are important ways to boost your readership, and if you’re one of those individuals who shies away from public speaking there are a few things you can do to make it a whole lot easier.


Six key tips for successful public speaking

1. If you feel afraid of speaking in public, as many people do, the first action to take is to deal with your anxiety.

  • A fear of failure is often cited as a concern, so it pays to remind yourself that you’re not trying to achieve perfection, and just as important, that no one expects it.
  • If you’ve had a bad experience previously, you need to make sure you prepare for the next occasion differently in order to boost your confidence.
  • If you’re convinced you will perform badly, you need to appreciate the value of rehearsal and practice and the tremendous difference this makes.

2. When you are selecting your material, it’s important to know as much as possible about your audience in advance. This will help you decide on what you want to say and how you’re going to say it.

  • A public speaking occasion is a bit like writing a guest post for someone else’s blog or contributing as a featured blogger. Their followers are going to be interested in certain topics or perhaps a particular take on a theme.
  • It can help to dress appropriately for the audience, as you will feel more comfortable and confident.
  • Choose your tone and your material to fit with the situation – a serious topic requires a more formal approach than a light-hearted one.

3. If you plan to use visual aids, make sure any equipment required is properly set up and working as it should. It can be useful to have a technician available just in case there are any glitches.

  • If possible, allow time to run through your audio or visual aids beforehand so you are confident everything will operate well.
  • Where handouts are planned as part of your presentation, remember you can always save paper by using a digital alternative. With Diligent Board Books you simply design the content of your document and share it digitally with your group. It can be adapted for a range of devices.
  • The same platform can be used for slideshow presentations.

4. Once your material has been selected and laid out in a logical sequence so that your presentation makes sense, regular rehearsal and practice are essential.

  • Try practicing at home in front of a mirror so you can get used to the pace of your speech, recognize when to pause and be aware of the tone of voice you are using.
  • You might like to use a sound or video recorder so you can listen to or watch yourself. This is very useful for building your confidence in advance of your presentation.
  • If you regularly practice helping your body to appear calm and relaxed, you’ll soon feel the same way.

5. Aim to match your style and body language to your audience.

  • If you must sit or stand in one place, make sure you have frequent eye contact with audience members.
  • If you are free to walk or move about, do so, this is more interesting to watch than a static speaker.
  • Use appropriate gestures to emphasize key points; however, don’t fidget all the time, as this will distract your audience from what you are saying.

6. Aim to communicate clearly and effectively, just as you do on your blog.

  • If there are to be questions and answers, try to anticipate what people new to your topic might ask.
  • Engage in a dialogue with your audience – listen carefully and respond thoughtfully.
  • If time permits, encourage individuals to talk to you afterwards on a one-to-one basis.


Finally, it’s worth thinking about how much content you will need to fill the time available. Try not to overrun as this can affect schedules and limit other people’s available time. A good tip when practicing is to time yourself. First of all, aim to include the essential points that you feel you really must make. Secondly, if you have sufficient time, make any additional points that you would like your audience to understand. Whether you will have the time to include both stages depends on the nature of the public speaking event and the expectations of the organizers in terms of previous discussions with you about content.


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Comment by Mary L S Peterson on September 22, 2016 at 10:23am

Great tips....thank you!  I am new to blogging, but not new to public speaking.  It IS super critical to make sure that the equipment is set up properly!  I can't even tell you how many times I have been watching someone speak publicly and experience some kind of tech malfunction!  Suddenly, focus shifts away from the material being discussed and onto the disturbance that has just taken place.  And so often this throws off the speaker.  A bad scene!

The last time I was preparing to speak in front of my (fairly large and intimidating) church and had the jitters, my sister passed along this article from Parade magazine  Some of the great ideas are very similar to the ones you already mentioned.  Another blurb in the article that helped me was: "Forget yourself. The speaker doesn’t matter. Your magic happens when you focus on how to get your audience to know something and do something.  When you stop thinking that it’s about you, that is when your greatness begins to emerge."

Really appreciate you posting this!

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