Three Lifehacks to Deliver Your Best Public Speaking Performance

I have heard that a powerful critical skill to have is public speaking. However, when the word public speaking emerges or the thought of it, the description befits the greatest fear next to death. Interestingly, it conjures anxiety, butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms and visible signs of nervousness that may get the better of you.

There are simple techniques and strategies that can help you overcome the fear and deliver your best performance. Did I just use the word performance?…ahh, yes I did. A gentle reminder, life is a performance and public speaking is its muse. You do speak daily to family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Public speaking is the art of communicating a speech to a live audience through performance. The following lifehacks are key to making your public speaking act memorable.

Your Purpose as Your Performance

The art of mastering your performance is to know your purpose – why you are speaking. Preparation is key, however, your purpose matters even more. Before you start preparing, you need to know what is your purpose for speaking. Get an understanding of the audience you will be speaking to, and are you speaking to inspire, inform, educate, entertain or to persuade them? Learn about the listeners that you will be speaking and interacting with. Are they millenials or C-Suite executives to be inspired and informed respectively? Well, once you know your purpose then you begin your performance preparation. Knowing your purpose and audience makes your preparation for your presentation better.

Your speech is prepared – the topic, overview, specific purpose, central idea and your main points. Your speech is ready and you are now able to deliver your purpose as a compelling performance.

Embrace the Butterflies

You are prepared to make your presentation, only when and only when you embrace your nervousness as a benchmark. I believe little ‘butterflies in the stomach‘ are an indication you are alive, you will do well. Here is an 80/20 rule that helps: 80% of your nervousness is not visible to your audience, only 20% is visible i.e. your voice trembles, shaking hands and sweaty palms. To counter the 20%, speak with a projected voice and intermittently take deep breaths, let the lectern or podium be your support, by resting your arm on either side gently, do not grip! Or use controlled gesticulation with your hands. Now that your breathing is controlled sweaty palms are not visible and your hands are okay, you are one step closer to making a stellar performance.

Engage with Stories and Your Personality

Sharing your stories and anecdotes in your presentation helps to connect with your audience and your performance. Storytelling makes your presentation more personal and authentic (Related article Engaging your audience is essential to your public speaking performance. They are there to listen to you, not the powerpoint and the gadgets, its the reciprocal relationship with your audience, that matters. Let your personality, your smile and your presence shine through. They are aspects of your performance, and when they shine through it builds credibility with your audience and trust.

Performance in public speaking is not about ‘practice makes perfect’, it is about learning brings lifelong benefits. Your capacity to be better with every public speaking performance enhance your abilities to master your fear.

©Hugh Anthony

Unpacking Your Gift


One of the most poignant, yet powerful quotes that resonate with me and why I do what I do for self and others –


                    “Everyone is gifted – but some people never open their package”  

        Wolfgang Riebe

I have journeyed many paths to uncover who I am and understand self, my purpose and the gifts I continue to share with the world. I’ve had a myriad of experiences of learning and unlearning, of becoming and unbecoming; and mirroring so many personalities and possibilities. Life’s journey and the pathways I have trod are confluences of the best of what life offers and complexities in the beauty of our humanity. This journey called life is a mosaic that has the capacity to help us unfold our best self, shape us into intentional human beings, blessing our actions to uncover our gifts. Do whatever it takes to be of service to self and others whether it is reading books, listening to the beat of your heart, responding to soul’s call, spirituality, friendships, shouting out loud, investing in yourself, laughing, crying or sharing. Start by doing what matters, it is through perseverance and courage that you allow yourself to get to that place where only you and your Creator understand. Open your mind to experience the amazing wonder you are and unfold your gifts.


There is nothing like the perfect time, however, my lived experiences have taught me that nothing is perfect, interestingly though, the universe’s timing is always perfect. Whatever the mess is that you are experiencing right now, there is a message, whatever the test you are going through right now, there is a testimony. Whatever the struggles you are experiencing, you will find your strength. Whatever the pain you’re feeling, you will find your purpose and the power of your story. It is in those moments life has taught me that my gifts are unfolding. Stay focused, stay grateful and just believe things are working for the best. Believe it, claim it and experience the joys of your gifts, that is where you will find purpose and meaning in living.

Hugh Anthony

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