Public Speaking for Beginners: 12 Do’s and Don’ts

A talent for public speaking may open up a world of possibilities, from getting the career of your dreams to spurring social change. It is a skill that students, businesspeople, and activists should all possess.

But for beginners, it can also be one of the most daunting experiences imaginable. The mere thought of standing in front of a group of people and delivering a message can cause overwhelming anxiety, self-doubt, and fear.

However, with the right approach and a willingness to learn, anyone can become a confident and effective public speaker. This guide will explore 12 do’s and don’ts for beginners to help you develop the skills needed to deliver a successful speech.

From crafting a clear message and engaging with your audience to managing nerves and handling difficult situations, we’ll provide practical tips and strategies to help you conquer your fears and become a powerful public speaker.

So let’s dive in and start unlocking your full potential!

Preparing Your Speech

The first step to a successful speech is preparation. This includes researching your topic, organizing your thoughts, and outlining your main points. Here are three do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you prepare:

Do: Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial to delivering a successful speech. Before you begin preparing your speech, take some time to research your audience. 

Consider their age, interests, and any other relevant information that can help you tailor your message to their needs. This will also help you choose the right tone and language to use in your speech.

Don’t: Overcomplicate Your Message

One common mistake beginners make when preparing their speech is trying to include too much information. This can lead to a cluttered message that is difficult for your audience to follow. 

Instead, focus on a few key points that you want your audience to take away from your speech. This will help you stay on track and deliver a clear and concise message.

Do: Practice Your Timing

Timing is an important aspect of any speech. You don’t want to run out of time before you’ve made all of your key points, but you also don’t want to go over your allotted time and risk losing your audience’s attention. 

Take some time to practice your speech and make sure it fits within your allotted time frame. This will help you pace yourself and ensure that you deliver a well-timed and engaging speech.

Practicing Your Delivery

Once you have your speech prepared, it’s time to start practicing your delivery. These are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you practice:

Do: Use Visual Aids

Visual aids can help enhance your speech and make it more engaging for your audience. Consider using a slideshow or other visual aids to help illustrate your key points. 

This can also help you stay on track and remember your main points. Just be sure not to rely too heavily on your visual aids, as this can distract from your message.

Don’t: Read from Your Notes

While it’s important to have notes to refer to during your speech, you don’t want to rely too heavily on them. 

Reading directly from your notes can make your speech sound rehearsed and robotic. Instead, try to memorize your main points and use your notes as a reference if needed. This will help you deliver a more natural and engaging speech.


Connecting with Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of public speaking is connecting with your audience. Here are three do’s and don’ts to help you connect with your audience:

Do: Use Personal Stories

Personal stories can help make your speech more relatable and engaging for your audience. Consider sharing a personal anecdote or story that ties into your main message. This can help your audience connect with you on a personal level and make your message more memorable.

Don’t: Use Jargon or Complicated Language

Using jargon or complicated language can make your message difficult for your audience to understand. Instead, use simple and straightforward language that is easy for your audience to follow. This will help ensure that your message is clear and easy to remember.

Do: Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact is an important part of connecting with your audience. It can help you establish trust and credibility with your audience, as well as keep them engaged in your message. 

Try to make eye contact with different members of your audience throughout your speech, and use your body language to convey confidence and authority.

Handling Challenges and Difficult Situations

Even the most seasoned public speakers can encounter challenges and difficult situations during their speeches. Here are two do’s and don’ts to help you handle these situations:

Don’t: Panic

If something does go wrong during your speech, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Remember that your audience is on your side and wants you to succeed. 

Use your notes or other resources to help guide you through the situation, and stay focused on delivering your message.

Do: Practice Active Listening

Active listening can help you handle difficult questions or challenges from your audience. When someone asks a question or raises a concern, take the time to listen carefully and understand their perspective. 

This will help you provide a thoughtful and informed response that addresses their concerns.

Becoming a confident and effective public speaker takes time and practice. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you continue improving your skills:

Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Do: Seek Feedback

Seeking feedback from others is a great way to improve your public speaking skills. Consider asking a trusted friend or colleague to watch you deliver a speech and provide feedback on your delivery, body language, and overall performance. 

This can help you identify areas where you need to improve and make adjustments for future speeches.

Don’t: Be Too Hard on Yourself

Remember that public speaking is a skill that takes time and practice to master. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes or encounter challenges along the way. Instead, use these experiences as opportunities to learn and grow as a speaker.


Public speaking can be a daunting experience for beginners, but with the right approach and a willingness to learn, anyone can become a confident and effective speaker. 

By following these 12 do’s and don’ts, you can develop the skills needed to deliver a successful speech, connect with your audience, and handle challenges with grace and confidence. 

So start practicing, seek out feedback, and don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. With time and practice, you’ll be a powerful public speaker in no time!