Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Lorna Barrow


cover image for improving your public speaking


You want to improve your public speaking.

And you also want a quick and easy way to do it.

How do I know this?

You told me.

Every time I showed up – for a workshop, for a coaching session, to deliver a speech at a function.

Hey…I’m not knocking you. Actually I’m glad you’re willing to step up to the public speaking plate.

Moreover, I even understand why you want to improve your public speaking and take your business all the way to the top.

But when you tell me you want to improve your speaking fast so you “can  be an expert speaker, just like you”…

I really have to do one of my famous eye rolls.

But to answer your question, I do know the #1 quick, unusual way to improve your public speaking.

Even now, I still use it to improve my public speaking skills and I use it to improve other aspects of my life as well. So…


What is the #1 way to quickly improve your public speaking?

Listen to me carefully – LISTENING is the best way to improve your public speaking skills! 

What! you don’t believe me?

But hear me out…

If you knew me well, (or when you get to know me well) you will know that I go to many different types of lectures, speeches, presentations, etc.

This is not because I’m a “public lecture junkie”.

It really IS the best way I know how to continuously hone my public speaking skills. 

Believe me, when you listen to a wide variety of presentations, it does improve your speaking skills.

Now that I’ve convinced you that listening is a quick and unusual way to improve your public speaking skills, let me guide you through the best way to approach the process.


1. If you can, go to public lectures

Go to several types – technical and non-technical.

Go to those delivered by men and women as well. What you’re listening for is the “confidence” in the delivery.

Does that make sense to you?

Then listen for who speaks with authority and who rambles through their topic.

For example, listening to technical lectures sometimes make me wonder if some of the speakers are deaf.

I mean, really. If they could hear themselves, they would not be meandering through so much detail in that intellectual tone of voice.


2. Listen to audio clips of speeches and stories 

Not video! You hear me?

With video, You tend to be distracted by how good the male speaker looks (well, I am anyway!) or if the female speaker is appropriately dressed, etc. 

Close your eyes when you’re listening.

What you’re listening for is if the speaker uses words so effectively that you can see what s/he is talking about in your mind. For example:

Does the voice create excitement?

Can you hear the enthusiasm in the delivery?

Does the vocal variety leave you wanting more?

Did you hear the pregnant pause?

When you listen in this frame of mind, you get the tips you want to improve your own delivery.


3. “Listen up” to improve your public speaking

No…not that “listen up.”

What I mean is, to listen to speakers who are better than you and are true experts in the public speaking field.

Listen for how their voices and words set the scene.

Make sure you listen for the expertise and ease with which they tell a story or deliver the punch line of a joke.

Listen for the sheer sensation of a good speech on the ear.


4. “Listen down” and improve your public speaking

Yes, that “listen down”.

The one that is the opposite of the “listen up” above.

Listen to speakers who are not as good as you are.

Then, use what you learn from listening up, to mentally improve their speeches and to evaluate where you are between the two of them.

That’s your improvement gap.

Get these small business public speaking tips to help you fill that gap.


5. Listen to yourself speaking

Record a five-minute version of yourself speaking and listen to it several times.

Again, don’t do video.

You may be distracted by the size of your nose, the shape of your teeth or how greasy your face looks.

Don’t ask me how I know this…

I remember the first time that I recorded myself speaking.

The words were so familiar but neither me nor my darling dog recognized the voice.

Also, listen for the tone and pitch of your voice.

Is it nasal or too loud? High-pitched or barely audible?

Do you speak too quickly or drag out the last word in a sentence?

Don’t think of adjusting the equipment, work on improving your voice.


6. Listen to feedback

But be careful…

I’m sure you know, there are some “expert speakers” whose most important speaking occasion was chasing the neighbourhood stray dog from the yard.

Therefore, you want to choose someone who has an understanding of the basics of public speaking.

Someone who is honest and can be trusted to tell you the truth even if it hurts your feelings.

Give them a list of specifics you want them to listen for as you speak. Also, ask them to share whatever else they noticed that you didn’t list.

Convince them to honest with you.

When I was a practicing Toastmaster, the evaluation was the single most valuable part of my journey.

I was fortunate to have excellent evaluators who were clear, honest and totally unafraid to fail any of my speeches.

It was by listening attentively and implementing their advice that I was able to progress along my journey at a rapid rate. 


Are you ready to improve your public speaking?

There you have it, my #1 quick, unusual way to improve your public speaking – LISTENING.

In case you forget, here again are the 6 ways you can apply listening to improve your public speaking skills:

1. Go to lectures, speeches, presentations, etc
2. Listen to AUDIO clips of speeches and stories
3. Listen up to speakers better than yourself
4. Listen down to speakers not as good as yourself
5. Record and Listen to yourself
6. Listen to feedback

They’re fast and easy and if you’re really serious and committed to improving your public speaking, you can do them all in one week.

Well, maybe 2 weeks…

But listen, don’t take my word for it. Try them.

I would love nothing better than the next time I introduce a speaker, for it to be you!

To your improved public speaking skills…


Improve Your Public Speaking The #1 Quick, Unusual Way

Don't miss out...

Stay in touch for weekly insights to fix a business or self-development issue fast! SIGN UP now and get a FREE one-page productivity hack to get you started!

We care about your privacy and your data

Lorna Barrow

Lorna Barrow is a Business Breakthrough Specialist, an unfiltered Transformational Speaker, a Writer, a Coach and a self-confessed Small Business Junkie. She recognises that small businesses are unique and when it comes to helping you and your business make that BIG breakthrough, she's all in for you!

2 thoughts on “Improve Your Public Speaking The #1 Quick, Unusual Way

  • February 10, 2016 at 9:29 am

    my thought before reading this was ok lets have a read and see what its all about,….and afterward…one word….WOW!!..simple but profound.
    Thanks so much Lorna for giving back.

    • February 10, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Andrea!

      Watch for more great Public Speaking and other usable street-smart tips right here!

Comments are closed.

Verified by MonsterInsights