2020, A year to ace your public speaking skills

You know, Mohammad Ali and other great athletes have combinations for every moment they are going to strike their opponents, and they have rehearsed these skills to an extent that these tactics become habits[1]. In public speaking, there are also has combinations which you can use to make a difference in your speech delivery.

At Makerere Gavel club, it all starts with one step; delivering an ice breaker speech.  This is a place where you can be able to polish your presentation skills, become a better and empathetic listener and build your network.  You are able to meet likable minded people; entrepreneurs, students who are using this skill to make an impact and learn something from different speakers.

I hope that you will feel inspired to become a great Speaker because anyone can become good, anybody can be great and anybody can become outstanding. It all comes to down to 5 basic requirements that make Great Speakers Great;

  • Body language.

“In communication, you can speak without speaking.” You need to make use of non-verbal cues to your advantage. Every time you are called upon to make a presentation, speech or table topics, make sure to make a step forward rather than backwards. This increases focus which is to enable you to build rapport with the audience. When you tilt your head sidelines, you build empathy with the audience. Keep an open body language such as; use of gestures without folding your arms or pocketing.

  • Thought pace.

You need to keep a calm pace when delivering a speech because our minds react to the person with a low pace. We think that person has a very important thing to say. There are exceptions to this rule though this is the basic rule.

Click here to watch a full video by David Phil on public speaking tips

  • Pause

    Do you recall that time during your English lessons in high school? When the teacher needed the students to be silent, all he/she ever needed was to take a long pause and stand still before you. All the sudden, the noise makers would go silent!! Do you think your teacher was a great public speaker? Pauses are one of the great ways to create suspense in the minds of your audience and Failure to use this tactic leads to use of pause fillers such as; but, you know, and, aaahhhh. Attend a Gavel meeting, you will understand what I mean.

  • Varied tempo

    This requires use of vocal variations to suite the momentum of your words to cause impact. For example; “I was heartbroken when I found out that I was betrayed by my very own friend” This requires me to lower my voice, take an audible breath and even lower my posture to create emotions in the minds of the audience. This makes your presentation memorable.

  • Public speaking is a skill not a talent!! Every day, we get overwhelmed by our peers and society by this stereotype “Public speaking is not your thing.” Tweny-Tweny (2020) is a year to shift this mindset and understand this is a skill that can be harnessed over time through practice and endless presentation. I guess that is why you should join Makerere Gavel club, if you haven’t, because it gives you the platform to practice, fail, educate and learn from fellow students.

2020 is a new year and the beginning of a new decade in which massive changes are going to happen to our lives. Are you still going to procrastinate about your personal growth?

[1] A habit is an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation acquired through frequent repetition.


    • Hello Richard, there are a variety of options that you can use.
      1. You see if at all you can be part of Toastmasters club, they normally have their sessions in the evenings (7-9 pm) or (6-7 am).

      2. Get a personal coach who can always track your progress and provide assignments.

      3. You can use the Internet like YouTube and then you record yourself… try 10,000 times until you are happy with your new voice.

      Lastly, Public speaking is a skill that needs practice, practice and practice.

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