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Public speaking tips and the Sunday Telegraph’s fashionable Stella magazine (8 December 2013) might seem an odd combination at best. But an interview with the chart-topping singer Paloma Faith is simply brimming with public speaking tips.

Public speaking tips from Paloma Faith
Public Speaking Tips From Paloma Faith

Paloma is part of Triumph’s “Supporting Women in Making” campaign; a campaign to boost the chances of creative women making it in business.

Paloma Faith’s advice concerns confidence. Since that’s the confidence you need to stand up and deliver on stage–as a singer, performer or public speaker. Her tips are home-grown from her own stage experience. But they are spot on for anyone wanting the confidence to speak in public. All of this is quite refreshing. Not least because of the furore over the presentation tips for women in 2013.

Public Speaking Tips: Paloma Faith

  1. Prepare your mind. Paloma notes how, before a stage performance, she has quiet time on her own. Dressers, musicians and agents all disappear. Paloma then focuses on her performance. She runs through the show in her mind and thinks about what she has to do. Therefore, doing the same thing before a speech or presentation is a good public speaking tip.
  2. Look the part. Paloma aims to dress the part. Because that’s for her own confidence. In a vulnerable position, on stage, she dresses to impress and feel confident. So, she advocates looking confident on the outside to feel confident within.
  3. Look for supportive friends. A fine piece of advice. Because, Paloma notes how friends will help you grow in confidence and stature. Because they minimise negative thoughts. As a speaker you might want to look out for friends and supportive colleagues in your audience.
  4. Be certain of your flaws. That sounds a little odd, until you consider the alternative…be uncertain of your flaws. Uncertainty is what you want to avoid as a performer. Paloma notes how she faces up to her own  flaws. She addresses, manages and works around them. They don’t cause any uncertainty.

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  5. Stand tall. Paloma advises that you aim to be imposing and combine that with good eye contact. Good public speaking tips! Thus, she notes in the interview how she combines these with body contact…a handshake perhaps. Because, it’s good for confidence.
  6. Focus on your own path. Don’t be put off your chosen path by the success or otherwise of others. Since we each have our own paths, speeds and trajectories. Aim to not be envious of other people’s successes or allow a comparison to disrupt you. Paloma also notes how good friends can always provide an honest opinion when it’s needed. Probably the definition of a good friend.
  7. The show must go on. Paloma tells the story of the playwright Antonin Artaud. He describes us all as playing roles in society. If your role is to give a speech in public then you do so. And if you are not feeling totally up to it, then your role is to carry on. Complete your role. There are lots of other people around you. Plenty will have brave faces. And plenty will have their own insecurities. The show must go on.

Supporting Women In Making

So, some good public speaking tips from the creative, best-selling singer Paloma Faith. Good luck with the “Supporting Women in Making” campaign. You can discover more tips for public speaking with the Telling It Straight newsletter from Time to Market.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Now based in London, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

  • As someone who teaches others how to speak in MUN I Can totally see how many people just start talking without any sort of preparation, you can feel it in their speech. I love your example when it comes to Prepare your mind to speak and seeing it in your mind before you open your mouth : )

  • I had an improv teacher who used to tell us to make sure we “stand in our light” and really own the stage. Part of it is being prepared and knowing your audience. Then have fun!

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