How to speak in public


My how to study video –

This is my personal attempt to teach the basics of the art of public speaking. This will be relevant to most applications, ranging from debating to after dinner speaking. Maybe even a best mans speech at a push! I would like to emphasise that while it is all well and good learning the theory behind public speaking, there really is no substitute for getting out there and putting it into action. Get as much practise as you can, preferably in a range of contexts and styles, and put these ideas into action.

A quick summary:

1. Preparation

Think carefully about the event you are speaking at, answering; why are you speaking? where are you speaking? to whom are you speaking? how long are you expected to speak for? With the answers to these questions start writing a script, though do remember that a script is not an essay!

2. Performance

This is the section most influenced by my personal approach to public speaking, and I’m sure contradicts writings elsewhere! Basically I believe that in public speaking you construct a stage persona which you can hide behind to improve your performance and confidence. In constructing this persona you must carefully consider your physical, vocal and script performances.

3. Practise

By far the most important aspect of public speaking, there are two aspects of practise. Practising speaking in public gives you confidence in performing, while practising your script gives you confidence in what you will be saying. Both are very important, though sadly the former takes much longer! But speaking in public is a skill, and like any other skill it takes time to refine.

This is another one of those videos that’s a bit different, though at least somewhat similar to some of my others! Please do let me know what you thought and whether it was useful to you. Also if you disagree with my interpretation!
Also I do realise that I’m being a bit hypocritical at times, though do realise that the art of speaking to camera is somewhat different to speaking in public. Though I do concede that I made some pretty terrible errors in my English in this video…

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I am Simon, a first year PhD candidate at the University of Exeter. I upload videos on bits of science which are relevant to what I do, and sometimes just because they’re really cool.

Vlogs from Oxford students –
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  1. Fantastic tips. I´ve just read the book TED TALKS and I can say you explain much better than it. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your knowlegde with us. I learned a lot with this video. Simple, direct and efficient. Hugs from Brazil

  2. Film yourself speaking, then play it back with the sound off. It tells you an awful lot about how you actually convey a message. Is the most useful thing I have ever found to speak well

  3. English is my third language and I struggle with public speaking. I find that when I have a presentation if I don't follow my script I will get lost and when this happens I'm not as eloquent and articulate as I wish. For your video for example do you prepare a script or use cue cards?. If you don't, like I wouldn't what's your advice on making your point eloquently without breaking your ideas into A's or E's or just not finding the proper words?

  4. Your videos are really helpful. It helps me a lot in many ways. I sincerely thank you for your videos. Keep make videos. Its really helpful. Thanks

  5. Thank you for making this video, it really helped me plan for my speech about An Inspector Calls I had to make for Gcse English – I got an A* and I think I held the whole room's attention for the entire time!! 🙂

  6. Really useful video again! Perhaps you could do a video regarding "How to ace an interview" or "How to network effectively" in the future? I'm studying at Exeter as well, all the best for your PhD! 😀 

  7. Nice video , I especially liked the idea of a "stage Persona" that Frees one up from making it too personal (any negative feedback received) Thanks for posting!

  8. Greetings Simon! I'm wondering if there is a summer course for 17-year olds specificly in physics at Oxford University?

  9. "If you like the look of my face" – it's funny you mention that because the whole time I was thinking "Dude, that guy is really something!". 

    ANYWAY, I enjoyed your video. My problem is that I get too nervous sometimes and then I end up talking nonsense, and waving with my hands as if I'm using sign language. Happy times!

  10. Be your own Tyler Durden. On another note, this video should have a lot more views. Great content and impeccable delivery.


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