man with beard studying public speaking

Public Speaking Tips: Become A Student

Mark Steel Confidence

How do you get over your fear of public speaking? By studying those that do it well.

In an earlier post, I spoke of my four core principles for getting over your fear of public speaking. I outlined how I was able to use these principles to become the successful speaker I am today.

With that in mind, I wanted to take some time to further outline why I believe being a student of public speaking skills can help transform your career.

Back to school for public speaking

Does the thought of having to go back in school bring up a happy sense of nostalgia? Or does it bring up cringe-worthy flashbacks you hope to stay in the past?

Granted, only you know which one. Fortunately, the answer doesn’t actually matter. Whichever of those two choices best describes you, you’re in good shape. Because you don’t really have to go back to school.

However, if you want to get better at public speaking, I do recommend you get back into that student mindset.

Undoubtedly, some will hesitate at this suggestion. After all, is public speaking really something that needs to be studied? Isn’t public speaking just something you just do?

Though this may be true, what is it they say about the definition of insanity?

Meaning, doing presentations or speaking the same way but expecting magical improvement without studying is just.plain.silly.

Still need convincing? No doubt there are a cynical few that feel that studying how to improve your public speaking skills are not the best use of time.

In that case, let me ask this. In other areas of your career, do you take training? For example, as an engineer or lawyer, don’t have to study changes in laws and local ordinances? Similarly, a nurse, plumber, or teacher, must study many new techniques if you hope to keep current.

As a sales professional, I was required to take monthly, yes monthly, training.

So, we can all agree. Studying is a critical part of improving.

Public Speaking 101

Studying great presenters and public speakers is actually easier than it has ever been.

The InterWeb (yes, I just called it the InterWeb) has so many places for us to go to study great speakers.

Namely, great resources like YouTube, Ted Talks,, Udemy, and more give us enough study material to provide years of studying.

Even better, so much content is available for free or almost free, so money should not be the barrier to us being better presenters.

For those willing to pay for courses that are worth far more than their cost, there is no limit to online courses as well.

Because of these resources alone, none of us have an excuse for not making time to study.

Make no mistake, there are even more ways to study.

For instance, another great way to study is to find a presenter or speaker you would like to emulate and become a student of how they do what they do.

In fact, there are many to choose from like current greats in Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Libby Gill, and others. Likewise, there are many from the past, but it may be harder to study someone no longer with us.

In particular, watch video content of someone you emulate and literally take notes. Ask yourself, how do they move onstage and what are their different vocal patterns? Equally important, how do they engage the audience? Furthermore, look at how they dress, their excitement level, and their use of slides.

Everything you can learn from how they do presentations will give you something to practice on your own.