15 Good Public Speaking Exercises to do for a Great Performance

By | August 12, 2023
Public Speaking Exercises
You need to do certain exercises to give a great presentation in your next public speaking event.

15 Good Public Speaking Exercises to do for a Great Performance

This post provides exhaustive information on exercises you can do to effectively prepare for a public speaking event and give a wow presentation.

Please, read on:

In sports and other activities, it is not medically safe to venture into activities that require both physical and mental exertion without exercising both the brain and muscles. This is to enable you feel safe, mentally, and physically ready for the tasks ahead.

Public speaking requires mainly mental exercise more than physical exercise though the two are important.

It is the mental exercise aspect of it that goes a long way to determining how your performance will be whether on the stage or any platform.

15 Good Public Speaking Exercises for a Great Performance

Valuable exercises you can do before your presentation:

  1. Jot down your points
  2. Work on your posture
  3. Practice your speech pace
  4. Record your pitch
  5. Practice small talk
  6. Practice impromptu speech
  7. Story telling
  8. Work on your breathing
  9. Practice in front of your friends
  10. Practice in front of your mirror
  11. Practice eye contact
  12. Practice speaking with different moods
  13. Do some physical exercise
  14. Plan using a plan B
  15. Do a mini presentation.
  1. Jot down your points

This is very important as it is said that the shortest pencil is far better than the longest memory.

It is important that you know the points of your presentation and jot them down so that you can work on each point without leaving out the most interesting ones.

One of the reasons you need to jot down points is to prevent forgetfulness.

Nothing messes up your presentation like forgetting what you want to say.

This could be embarrassing and put out a notion that you were not ready for the presentation.

Apart from dealing with forgetfulness, another reason why you need to jot down your points is to ensure that you work on the points to perfection.

There are some points that might need more clarifications. This could be done when you jot down your points and carry out further research on them.

  1. Work on your posture

Your posture matters a lot in public presentation. This represents your body language.

Public presentation is not only judged with what you say with your mouth, your body posture and other body languages you portray will make up the basis for judging your effectiveness in any given presentation.

When you find yourself doing some public presentations, it is important that you put out a positive outlook via your body posture.

You need to look confident in your posture and not make the audience believe that you are not confident in yourself.

In situations where you are provided a podium, ensure that you don’t bend over or lean on the podium.

Stand erect and do your thing.

In case you are feeling some pressure, you can place your hand or both hands on the podium while you speak but remember not to bend over or lean on the podium.

That is a bad posture for a public speaker.

  1. Practice your speech pace

Apart from the content of your speech, one notable thing you need to exercise before your presentation is your speech pace.

You need to ensure that the pace you intend using is moderate enough to allow the audience to digest whatever you are saying.

If the pace you are using is too fast for the audience, it might lead to frustration, and in extreme cases, you could see some people taking their leave.

So, to avoid this, try practicing your speech pace and put yourself in the position of the audience and know how convenient it is to use such speech pace.

Most importantly is when you doing something like exposition where people need to write down some salient points.

At this point, you should know that you expected to slow down in your speech and allow the audience to write down what you have to say.

  1. Record your pitch

Next up is recording your pitch. This is when you are practicing what pitch is the best to use in your presentation.

It is important you record your pitch and probably present it to some people or someone you know is a good public speaker to help you make adjustments where necessary.

Your speech pitch should not be too high or too low. Remember that your speech pace and pitch are two different things.

Your speech pitch has to do with how high or low your voice is during presentations. This is very important in any public speaking event.

When you record your pitch, take note of how high or low it is and modulate if necessary, after which you can record yourself again.

Keep practicing until you hit the right pitch that is not disturbing as well as not too deep for the audience.

  1. Practice small talk

One of the things that makes one a great public speaker is the ability to engage the audience through many means like story telling at the beginning of the presentation, asking questions, and doing some small things in which you lower your voice in order to add a little emotion to what you are saying.

Public speaking would make so much sense when you are adept with doing some small talks.

Small talks could allow you make some points look so real that it captures the minds and the attention of the audience.

If you can do this, then you have done well in your public presentation.

Small talk is a craft you must perfect.

You might be good at it from the onset; however you will need a lot of practice to perfect it.

Perfecting it entails knowing when to employ the act of small talk and how you find your bearing after the small talk.

  1. Practice impromptu speech

Impromptu speech is one wonderful exercise you can do before any public speaking event.

It is called impromptu because it is unplanned.

So, in this scenario you have to handle a talk or a speech you did not prepare for and see how far you can go with it.

The logic is simple: if you can do well with impromptu speech, then there is a greater chance of you doing well with a well-prepared speech.

This is because an impromptu speech sharpens your “creativity” and “ability” to handle pressure (of which these two will be needed when you are doing your presentation).

So from time to time, do this as a regular exercise whether you have any public speaking function/event or not.

Do it as a way of helping yourself, employing your sense of creativity and skillfulness in public speaking.

This will go a long way to helping your public speaking career.

  1. Story telling

Story telling is a great way of starting your public speaking presentation.

People enjoy stories whether they end up in a sad note or good note.

There is this influence story telling has on people (audience) that they just cannot ignore the stories.

One of the purposes of starting your presentation with storytelling is to capture the attention of the audience which is very important.

When you tell a story at the beginning of your presentation, the audience is kept in suspense of what you want to do.

At that point, they pay good attention to you.

Another reason why you should consider storytelling is that stories have a way of driving home points in clear and practical terms.

When you tell stories either at the beginning, middle, or end of your presentation, the audience is given a practical explanation of the whole speech.

  1. Work on your breathing

One of the exercises you must not fail to carry out is the breathing exercise.

A lot of people that do public presentation have seen this as a good exercise, which enhances performance.

The way you breathe has a direct influence on your speech pitch and pace.

One of the reasons why you need to practice breath control is to avoid getting choked during your presentation.

This could disorganize you and make a mess of the whole process.

So, it is important that before you mount the stage or face the camera, you must ensure that you have worked on your breathing pattern.

Do this as a regular exercise.

Whether you are singing or just talking, if you want to relax and feel comfortable during your presentation, then you have to work on your breathing.

Bad or irregular breathing pattern could hamper the whole presentation.

  1. Practice in front of your friends

Sometimes, you may lack the ability to judge your performance. This is when you may need the services of your friends.

Practicing in front of your friends has a lot of gains that come with it which will be highlighted in the next two paragraphs for proper understanding.

The first benefit of practicing in front of your friends is that it helps you deal with stage fright even before you appear on stage.

Guess you know that stage can result to a lot of issues like forgetfulness and loss of confidence.

When you practice before your friends, you can deal with forgetfulness and loss of confidence.

The second and the most important gain is that they can help you improve some aspects of your presentation skills where you need help.

They criticize constructively and give you meaningful suggestions on how to deal with those weaknesses.

  1. Practice in front of your mirror

Your mirror could also be of help to you in your public speaking career.

When you stand in front of your mirror, you see yourself the way you are as well as your posture and every other thing you need to work on during presentations.

Before you appear in public to talk, you should first practice in front of your mirror.

During this time, make a lot of observations and be candid about your assessment of your performance which you witnessed.

Take note of your body language and your body movement.

The essence of practicing in front of your mirror is for you to spot out issues like body language and body movement.

Earlier we highlighted the importance of body movement and posture and this is what you can sort out in front of your mirror.

  1. Practice eye contact

This is one area of public speaking that a lot of people tend to struggle with.

Some people tend to lose their confidence when they see the intimidating eyes of some people in the audience.

This is because the speaker has not taken time to practice eye contact.

It is a wrong practice for you a public speaker to speak to the audience and don’t make eye contact.

The audience wouldn’t take you and your presentation serious if you don’t maintain eye contact.

This is where you need to do your homework. You need to start practicing presentations where you need to make some eye contact with the audience.
You could start with your friends and definitely a coach if you have one.
Don’t lose that eye contact with the audience.

  1. Practice speaking with different moods

Diversification in your public speaking career is known when you are able to excel in different moods during presentation.

Different public speaking events could have different atmosphere and mood.

The mood of the event should give you a hint on what is expected of you to do.

If you come to an event where people are in a sober mood, it will not be ideal for you to fashion your speech in such a way that it counters the mood in the event.

That is being insensitive to the mood of the audience and that is a bad presentation.

So, as you are preparing that speech, take note of the kind of mood you are going to witness there.

This will help you know what to say and some words that could do the job in the event. You have to develop more vocabularies to be able to do this.

  1. Do some physical exercise

Yes, very important. You have to shake off some body pains and weakness before embarking on public speaking venture.

You have to relax some muscles and get some physical fitness. This is important for your performance on stage.

You cannot afford to walk up to the stage without ensuring that you are fully fit physically.

It is during physical exercise that you can sense some pains and actually make a move to deal with the pains.

You sure wouldn’t like to experience some discomfort while doing your stuff on stage.

Physical exercise improves your overall health including your mental health.

Your mental health will be needed for you to do excellently well in public speaking.

So take out time every day to engage in light exercise, especially when you have a presentation to do.

  1. Plan using a plan B

This is another form of practice that is very important. In public speaking, you have to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

Things may not work out the way you have planned them, that is why you need to have your plan B spelt out, if possible plan C.

This is when impromptu speech becomes helpful in the sense that you can take up something without prior knowledge before time.

This is an important exercise you must do as that could put you head and shoulders above your fellows in public speaking events.

Don’t just practice what you will say only, but practice what you will do in case what you are saying is not making the necessary impact.

Practice in front of your friends and use them as sample to know how you can handle an audience that seems not to follow you properly.

  1. Do a mini presentation

A mini presentation is a good exercise too.

Mini presentations are a form of presentation in which you do a sample of what you are going to do with the actual audience.

This is done as a form of summary of the entire work. Meaning that in mini presentation, you just create an imaginary audience and do a short presentation.

This imaginary audience does not refer to non-living things but humans in the form of friends or even a coach.

This audience will assume the place and role of the main audience and you practice before them, allowing them to throw questions and make contributions, depending on the nature of the presentation.

At the end of the mini presentation, you can assess your performance by yourself and also through the ratings and feedback of the imaginary audience.

To assess yourself, you might need a video or audio of what you did and take note of each step you took in the presentation.

This will help you perform better in your public speaking job.


To have a good presentation, it is important that you learn how to do some exercises before mounting the stage.

The essence is to get you prepared mentally and physically. So this article provides you with 15 exercises to help you better prepare for a public speaking event.

Author: Team

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