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Start speaking

As the name suggests, our introductory module will get you speaking from the very beginning. This experiential approach will rapidly increase both competence and confidence. And the content is data-driven, so you will focus on the areas that account for the greatest impact.

To complete this module, scroll down and work your way through the material where you will learn about the S.P.E.A.K framework.

S: Slowing down

Click on the video below to start the autocue and read what it says out loud. Adjust your speed in accordance with its timing.

Speaking slower not only helps with more technical aspects, it can also help you make a better impression. You can come across as more considered and convincing.

It's now time to try it out on a virtual stage.


Open the word processor of your choice and write a 3-sentence mini presentation, detailing some of the benefits of slowing down your speed when public speaking. Keep the document saved as you will be adding to it later.

Once you are happy with your script, memorise it, rehearse it, and practice it in the vr stage below (at a nice controlled pace).

Access vr stage here.

P: Practicing

Public speaking can be a highly misleading spectacle. When we see a standup comedian captivating an audience of hundreds of people, it can appear like an impromptu effortless conversation. And yet, with some reflexion, we can see that in reality, that one-hour comedy special is the result of thousands of hours of practice. Not only the hundreds of repetitions to learn that one-hour monologue but the year plus that went into developing the 'script' - and the prior decade that went into becoming comfortable in front of increasingly larger audiences.

Indeed there is something that appears innate about public speaking and perhaps this is why a lack of preparation is often number one on the list of the most common public speaking mistakes.


And failing to make time for sufficient practice can lead to many other common mistakes: starting with an apology, reading not delivering, no eye contact, forgetting key pieces of information, rambling, not sticking to the time limit. But perhaps most of all, a lack of practice will likely make you more self-aware, self-critical, and therefore, more anxious.

It is ultimately through repetitions that we become more comfortable. If you keep lifting a heavy weight, it will eventually become light. When someone first learns how to drive, it can be highly stressful but after enough trips, it becomes just another way to move yourself around.

Practicing is a critical part of good public speaking and ideally, you would be able to practice in front of an audience. The great news is, with this free platform, a lack of venue and audience is no longer a valid excuse for not practicing in front of a crowd.

As a rule of thumb, you should aim at running through your entire presentation at least 10 times.

Adding to your prior document, write a short, 3-sentence script, detailing some of the benefits of practicing prior to giving a presentation. Once you have it memorised, enter the virtual stage below and present it 10 times in a row. Notice how by the 10th time, you feel much more comfortable.

Access vr stage here.

E: Engaging

One of the most common criticisms of a bad presentation is that it isn't engaging. And this can be due to one's delivery (e.g. low energy, monotone) as well as one's content (too complicated, poor structure). Often the root of these common mistakes it that the there is no clear purpose.

If there is no clear goal behind the presentation, the speaker is less motivated to delivering the message in an effective manner. And without a clear purpose, there will be no genuine passion, and passion is a key ingredient to an excellent presentation. Furthermore, it will further help to reduce anxiety because if you are passionate about what you are talking about, you can focus on the message rather than self-reflecting.

In short, an engaging presentation is one with a clear purpose delivered in a simple yet passionate manner. This type of presentation will also be more enjoyable to write, practice, and revise. It will help you feel excited about delivering it rather than dreading it. And ultimately, it will be a presentation that your audience appreciates because it is worth listening too.

Adding to your prior document, write a short, 3-sentence script, detailing some of the benefits of making your presentation more engaging. Once you have it memorised, enter the virtual classroom below and present it in an engaging manner.

Access vr stage here.

A: Analysing

To reach the next level, it is important to get feedback. And with advancements in technology, you have multiple options available to you.

You could email your script to someone or even use an AI assistant. They can give you advice on how to simplify your message.

And with regard to your delivery, you can present to a friend, or record your presentation on your phone and send it to someone or watch it yourself.


This additional step of analysis can help you avoid the remaining frequent mistakes (such as repeated phrases, filler words, and distracting mannerisms). Also, perhaps you have been over-correcting and your delivery is now too slow or too energetic. Without an audience's perspective, it is difficult strike the right balance. You should aim for a dynamic range that maintains attention throughout.

Adding to your prior document, write a 3-sentence script, detailing some of the benefits of feedback. Once you have it memorised, record yourself presenting it on your phone. Watch it back and analyse the following aspects: volume, speed, tone, movement (including your hands, face, and eyes). And ask yourself, was it easy to understand? Did it flow well? Did you repeat certain aspects or add filler phrases, words, and sounds? (e.g. “um,” “uh,” “well,” “so,” “you know,” “er,” and “like”). It may help to watch it multiple times focusing on different aspects with each viewing. Re-record it until you have addressed the issues.

Now enter the virtual stage below and present it with your corrections applied.

Access vr stage here.

K: Knowing

How we frame public speaking can have a profound impact on how we present. Often, public speaking can be viewed as an 'inconvenient burden' or a 'guaranteed negative experience'. However, these kinds of mindsets can be self-fulfilling. Therefore, it is worth knowing and reminding yourself of a few key pertinent facts:

1. The majority of people fear public speaking so you are not on your own.
The latest studies state that around 70 to 80% of people fear public speaking. Furthermore, as these are based on survey responses rather than biometric data, the fear is likely underreported. Also, it does not take into consideration the people who feared public speaking but through repetitions built the necessary resilience. If the question was, have you ever feared public speaking, the results would be closer to a 100% yes.

2. You will not look as nervous as you may feel.
Often presenters self-report feeling a 7 or 8 out of 10 with regard to their levels of anxiety. However, their audience reports them as appearing around 2 or 3. This is important to note as if we feel as though we look nervous that can take us further away from the message and towards self-critique, a sense of judgement, and ultimately even more anxiety.

3. You now have the tools to become increasingly more skilled and confident.

The advice given on this platform is backed by science and proven to reduce anxiety and build resilience as well as equip you with the skills to give an impactful presentation. You have already made great progress and you can now access a range of scenario-specific resources and practice stages at any time to prepare for future presentations. In fact, you could overexpose and practice hundreds of times in front of a much larger audience than required to be extra prepared and resilient.

4. Presenting is an amazing opportunity.

Public speaking is a universally beneficial skill. One that benefits all of us, regardless of age, gender, subject studied or career outcomes. It acts as an opportunity multiplier and it can greatly expand your horizons. It can help you with presentations, interviews, pitches, and negotiations. Or more broadly, it can empower you to speak up and let your voice be heard regardless of the situation. And so please know that public speaking is not something to fear but instead a fantastic opportunity to be grateful for and to fully embrace. It provides you with an opportunity to offer valuable insights to others as well as an opportunity to develop one of the most universally beneficial skills. To the extent that rather than waiting for public speaking opportunities to arise, you should proactively pursue them.

Adding to your prior document, write a 4-sentence script, explaining some key facts worth knowing about public speaking. Once you have it memorised, enter the virtual stage below, and present it.

Access vr stage here.

The final test

Now it is time to put it all together.

Your final task is to write, revise, practice, and deliver an engaging presentation that introduces a general audience to the S.P.E.A.K framework.

The presentation must be between 6 to 8 minutes long and it must clearly explain what each letter stands for.
There is a lot you could discuss so pick a few key beneficial aspects for each letter. You must also include a brief introduction and conclusion that ties it all together. To complete the final test, work your way through the following steps.

1. Start writing.
Using your prior presentations, and the additional information above, outline the structure of your script and start writing.

2. Start editing.
Once you have the first draft completed, practice it out loud to start making revisions focusing on simplifying the message (often removing is improving).

3. Check the timing.
When you are ready, time a full read through to make sure it is the correct duration for a well-paced delivery.


4. Analyse your script.
Now that your script is coming together, try using AI to improve it. We have built an AI Writing Assistant that has been optimised for this task. You can access it for free here.


5. Analyse your performance.
Record yourself presenting and look out for any filler words and distracting mannerisms. Check the speed, volume, energy, and tone. As an optional step, send a recording to a friend for further feedback.

6. Present to the audience.

Once you are happy with the recording, it is time to present in front of your largest virtual audience yet. As this is also the longest script, it is more likely that you may forget some parts. However, it is important to remember that the audience doesn't know your script so don't feel obliged to present it word for word; if you go slightly off script, it doesn't matter. Just continue and don't call attention to it. Do the presentation as many times as needed. The task is complete when you have delivered it all the way through in an engaging manner.

Access vr stage here.

Congratulations! You did it!

Now go out there and seize, or better yet, create the opportunities to practice in real life. You have read, written, and spoken about the most common mistakes made when public speaking as well as read, written, and spoken about the most effective public speaking strategies. You have presented confidently and competently in front of increasing larger audiences. And, you have a range of additional specialised resources at your disposal to prepare for any scenario. And so, get out there, and start speaking.

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