Category Archives: Speaking Tips

Breathing Exercises for Presenters

MeerkatThere are some people who get really nervous before making a presentation. Don’t worry, this is quite common. To help get over those nerves you could try some breathing exercise, which should relax you and put yourself in a better frame of mind. Here is one that I have tried.

Place your hands on your ribs and take a deep breath and count aloud on that one breath. Repeat several times, trying to increase the number you are able to count without straining and extend your voice to the far corners of the room

Don’t Discount Poetry from your Presentational Arsenal

I recently hosted a ‘Poetry & Prose’ meeting at Thanet Speakers Club.  This was a bit of a challenge because I don’t really have the greatest appreciation for poetry…I just haven’t been brought up with it.  Despite my reservations, I found the whole evening interesting, entertaining and worthwhile.  Most importantly I picked up some amazing tips to improve my presentational skills which I share with you now.

Listening to some of our orators, I noticed that they used the pace of their poetry to good effect in their performance…poetry was definitely used for dramatic fashion.  My fellow club members were using more vocal variety to convey their message which certainly grabbed the attention of the audience.

The goal of every speech should be to make a lasting impression.  Maybe by incorporating poetry or the style of poetry in your speech, you could add a new level of importance and dynamism to what you are trying to say.

In this day and age, everyone has been bored to death by the same monotonous PowerPoint Presentations.  However audiences don’t encounter poetry every day, so if you utilize poetry, or a poetic style, you will grab your audience’s attention and creating a lasting impact.

So if you are looking to improve the performance of your presentation and add dramatic impact, don’t discount the art of poetry.

For more tips, click on tips to make your presentations run smoothly.

Ian Lockyer

My thanks to Brian Didmon for the accompanying picture.  Brian is a talented photographer from Herne Bay who has an interesting portfolio of pictures at

My presentation has put my audience to sleep!

This can be quite distressing for a presenter and could be down to a couple of things.  Obviously, your audience could be bored so you need to check your materials and get someone to give you feedback on your delivery.

In most cases though, it may be that your audience may have not had sufficient breaks or that your presentation may be at the end of the day.

What you can do, if you see people popping off, is to engage them by asking questions.  You could also get the audience on their feet and get them doing some exercises.  The audience might think it odd, but it will make your session more memorable and more importantly will have reenergised them for your presentation.

For more presentation tips to improve your public speaking click here.

Using the Lectern

Take time to adjust the lectern to an appropriate height so your notes are easy to read without the lectern obscuring your face or gestures. If you need to read your notes the best position for the lectern is directly in front of the speaker. For discreet glancing at your notes the lectern may be placed to one side and slightly in front of the speaker. If the lectern is slightly behind, the speaker must twist their head away from the audience and any glancing at the notes will be obvious.

What to wear when presenting!

What you wear is as important as any other aspect of your presentation. Always choose something appropriate for your audience, which means you don’t necessarily have to wear a tie and suit. However if you are doing a formal business presentation it will be a prerequisite to look smart.

Looking good will make you feel good and will improve your confidence.

Ian Lockyer (

People are terrified of public speaking, but we can help

I recently found out what the top ten fears that most people fear were and surprisingly public speaking comes out a the top…even beating the fear of death!

1. Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia)
2. Fear of death (Necrophobia)
3. Fear of spiders (Arachnophobia)
4. Fear of darkness (Achluophobia, Scotophobia or Myctophobia)
5. Fear of heights (Acrophobia)
6. Fear of people or social situations (Sociophobia)
7. Fear of flying (Aerophobia)
8. Fear of open spaces(Agoraphobia)
9. Fear of thunder and lightning (Brontophobia)
10. Fear of confined spaces(Claustrophobia)

I really think this is incredibly strange and thought I would send out this invitation to you all. If you want to get over your fear of public speaking in relaxed surroundings. If you want to meet new friends or further your career prosepects, come and, join us at Thanet Speakers Club at (

Ian Lockyer (

Using Gestures in your Presentation

Gestures are a great way of adding extra emphasis to a point in a speech. When you’re passionate about a subject, gestures can non-verbally convey the purpose and intent behind your words. Many speakers seem to think using gestures is a matter of waving your hands in front of an audience. Some speakers have incredibly bad habits such as fidgeting nervously without realizing that they are doing it. If you have a habit of doing either of these, try practicing your presentation and attempt to iron out these bad habits.

If you find gestures difficult, try these tips:

  • Practice your gestures in front of a mirror. Try simple ones first, such as counting points on your fingers or even painting shapes.
  • Make sure that your gestures come across as natural. There is nothing as irritating as overdramatic gestures which will eventually take away the impact of the spoken word.
  • Never put both hands in your pockets during any speech. Keep at least one hand free at all times, it will give you an incredible amount of freedom.
  • Find gestures that are appropriate to you. Gestures should be flowing and clearly visible
  • Vary your gestures. Avoid repetitive movements, this can be quite annoying
  • Only use gestures if they are going to enhance your speech. Don’t ever try to force them into your presentation.
  • And practice, practice, it will be worth it
  • Ian Lockyer

    Dealing with nerves

    Firstly take time at the beginning, you are the one people have come to see so don’t rush yourself. To combat your nerves breathe deeply…there is no point in getting into a tizzy…it will only affect your performance. Then get comfortable, look around and take the whole audience in. Take position, make eye contact with the audience, smile and then introduce yourself.

    Ian Lockyer