How to Be a Better Orator

Rhetoric is one of the oldest and most powerful tools a person can use to sway an audience, effect change, build up, or tear down. Using it however, can be a challenge. At some point, you're going to be called on to give a speech, at a wedding, at a party, or running for some office. Whatever it is, it's important to speak well.


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    Be confident, no one wants to listen to a guy who is nervous or doesn't seem to believe what he's saying.
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    Believe what you're saying, if you don't no one will.
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    Prepare your speech whenever possible, ahead of time, and read through it, out loud at least seven times before you give it.
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    Create a stage persona, not to go crazy or dress weird, but it's best to act much differently on stage than you do in private company, on stage you rule, everyone must listen to you, and you can be whoever you want.
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    Create a good appearance, dress nicely, keep yourself clean, and avoid outrageous hairstyles, makeup or facial hair.
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    Speak off of a deep breath, take in a deep breath, and then use it to begin speaking, project, don't shout, don't fire your words like a cannon, rather lob them like a catapult.
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    Breathe, it's very important to breathe, if you don't get enough breath, you'll speed up, and even pass out.
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    Make good eye contact, this takes three forms; direct, broad sweeping, and gazing into the distance.
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    Be careful with your posture, stand up straight, don't slouch, don't put your hands in your pockets, fidget, or play with the lectern.


  • Imaging you are in a bubble, all on your own, and no one can see you, imagine you are playing a game, if you get over worried, you'll mess up.
  • Don't be afraid of them, you make them afraid of you, meet their gaze and make them look away.
  • Imagine every single person has to go to the bathroom right now and your words have to be important and urgent enough to keep them riveted to the spot until you are finished.
  • Many people start loud and high, and gradually become quieter and lower with each statement, avoid this, and rather alter your volume for dramatic effect. Lean forward, pound the lectern, stomp, shout, whisper.
  • If you lose your place, need to think, or just want to add drama, pause and stare around, be careful not to do this too much though.


  • Don't apologize, even if you mess up, the audience is merciless, they won't care, just carry on if you can, or if you need to go back, say 'excuse me' not 'sorry'
  • Breathe, but don't gasp or pant
  • Be brief, don't get too wordy, and remember to alter your tone, volume and inflection.
  • Make sure your level of drama/volume is appropriate to the situation

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Categories: Public Speaking