Public Speaking Training on 5 Crucial Presentation Skills


If you’ve gotten your feet wet and done some public speaking and have the basics down, then it’s time to add these crucial presentation skills to your repertoire.

We’ll grant you intermediate level status and now challenge you to get better with this public speaking training on 5 essential presentation skills you should master at your level of experience.

Ground Rules:

Novices to public speaking don’t feel comfortable setting down ground rules for what the audience can and can’t do during a presentation. As your experience grows, so does your comfort and confidence. Set down the ground rules near the beginning of your talk. For example, a ground rule could be telling the audience when (or if) they can ask questions during your presentation.

“Audience Measures:”

When you were a beginner at public speaking, you were more focused on yourself and your presentation than your audience. Now it’s time to begin to train yourself to shift your focus over to the audience. “Audience Measures” means you measure how “with you” your audience is. Easy ways to do this are asking yes/no questions of the group at various points in your presentation or using the “raise your hands if…” technique.

Handling Questions:

Public speaking beginners tend to think they have to take questions any time someone in the audience has a question. Instead of taking questions as they arise, announce in the very beginning of your talk when (of if) they will be allowed to ask questions. It’s very reasonable to ask your group to hold their questions until the end of your presentation.


Humor can be risky because you could offend people with a poorly placed remark you intended to be funny. You don’t want humor to backfire on you. But humor can be a terrific addition to your presentation because when people laugh, they relax and loosen up. The best way to use humor is to memorize a few funny quotes from famous people. Pick “G rated” (non sexual, non offensive) funny quotes and try them out on some friends first before you start using them in your presentations.

Taking a Stand:

It’s not what you say but how you say it that has the biggest impact on your audience. Standing with your feet spread about shoulder width with your weight evenly distributed, is a powerful and commanding posture. Women speaking to groups of men should use this stance to increase their credibility. Men speaking to groups of women may want to practice shifting their weight onto one side (at least for a portion of your talk) so you don’t come on too strong.


At the intermediate level you should feel more comfortable and confident doing public speaking. Most presenters don’t actively seek public speaking training to develop their skills further and this is a huge mistake.

Don’t ever rest on your laurels – instead, leverage your confidence and comfort into becoming a better presenter by using the public speaking training above to become a more polished and professional (and more effective) presenter.

Sign up right now for free public speaking training via email at

My name is David Portney and I’m the author of the book “129 Seminar Speaking Success Tips” and the founder of the Academy of Public Speaking located in Redondo Beach, California where I personally conduct specialized workshops and public speaking trainings. Check out my website with tons of free public speaking training articles:

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