[7 cheat codes to master public speaking]

“All speaking is public speaking, whether it’s to one person or a thousand.” —Roger Love


What do people report as their greatest fear?

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy.” —Jerry Seinfeld.

(This 30-second video clip of his stand-up comedy is so worth watching). 😂

Seriously though— this Washington Post survey did rank public speaking as our #1 greatest fear. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s a skill anyone can learn.

Here are 7 cheat codes to become a magnetic speaker:


1. Record yourself speaking

The best athletes study their game film. They carefully review plays and look for missteps in order to improve.

Do the same. Record your run-through.

Specifically watch for:

  • Where you’re looking

  • What your hands are doing

  • How quickly you’re speaking

  • Your filler words

2. Let the silence do the work

There is nothing more powerful than a well-timed pause…

Make a strong point. And then give your audience the space to fully absorb it. Count to 5 in your head. 

It might feel like an eternity to you, but it’s such a refreshing moment for your listener.

3. Focus your gaze on specific people

The most masterful speakers make meaningful eye contact.

Look at an audience member and deliver a short point. Then move your gaze to the next audience member and deliver another.

One person. One point. That’s the rule.

4. Don’t memorize it like a script

There’s nothing worse than someone reading a script word-for-word.

Instead, jot down an outline of each paragraph to jog your memory.

  • The opening line

  • The transition

  • The closing line

You’ll fill in the rest much more naturally.

5. Structure your talk as a story

The best public speakers don’t deliver a speech. They tell a story.

Kindra Hall wrote the great book Stories that Stick, and described the perfect structure to captivate an audience:

  1. Normal (baseline)

  2. Explosion (big change)

  3. New Normal (adjustment/learning)

Conflict is key for a story to stick.

6. Inject a bit of humor

Nothing snaps an audience back into focus like a well-told joke.

Humor creates a bond. A sense of closeness. Poke a little fun at yourself. Choose something that humanizes you (and others might relate to).

7. Take every opportunity to chat with strangers in your day-to-day.

  • Give more than just your order to the barista. 

  • Spend a few minutes with the doorman. 

  • Strike up a conversation with someone at the gym.

The more comfortable you are speaking to strangers, the more natural you’ll feel leading a meeting, toasting a wedding, or presenting on stage.


Quick Recap:

  1. Record yourself speaking

  2. Let the silence do the work

  3. Focus your gaze on specific people

  4. Don’t memorize it like a script

  5. Structure your talk as a story

  6. Inject a bit of humor

  7. Take every opportunity to chat with strangers in your daily life

You got this. 🙌

Until next week,


P.S. Thank you to everyone who booked a coaching call with me in March. It was such a delight meeting all of you. And April is already 90% full— there are only 4 dates left! 

If you’re considering becoming a thought leader on LinkedIn, book your coaching session now. You can read tons of client reviews here. 🔥

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