You know that public speaking ranks as one of the top fears for many people–and maybe for you. As a leadership expert, and someone who has conducted more than 1,100 programs worldwide, I frequently conduct presentation skills training for nurses, salespeople, and executives. Here are two quick tips to put into practice:

Speak Your Way to a Stronger Public Speaking Presence

1. Rehearsing minimizes 75% of your nervousness. With public speaking, 95% of the success of your presentation is determined before you present. I like to say “the work is in the preparation, the fun is in the presentation.” I realize most people do not like to rehearse nor do they have the time. To make it easier, ask a friend or colleague to videotape you. The camera will be your most objective ally. When I conduct public speaking skills training, it’s amazing how quickly people learn just by watching themselves on video. A picture is worth a thousand words.

2. Practice “talking” your presentation into a digital micro recorder, initially as a rough draft. Place it on the passenger seat and listen to it while you’re driving to and from work, or doing errands. I realize you probably don’t like how you sound on audio. But you’ll find this to be a convenient way to bone up on your material quickly. More than that, you’ll discover where you sound convincing and passionate, and where you sound timid and tentative. Like video, audio can be another objective ally for you.

Public speaking is like playing golf or any other sport. Consistency is key. You have to plan, prepare, and practice, practice, practice. Good luck to you!


Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace employee and management expert, corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. She is a former number one sales producer for a major Fortune 500 company out of approximately 180 sales representatives. Having delivered more than 1,100 entertaining keynotes and seminars in 48 states and five foreign countries, Colleen is also available for public speaking coaching. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 articles on diverse workplace issues. She is the author of 10 audio programs and two books. To inquire about public speaking availability, please contact Colleen toll free at 1(800)323-0683, or locally in Phoenix (623)340-7690.