The Professionals Guide to Public Speaking & Presenting

Man speaking at conference

Welcome to the professionals guide to public speaking and presenting for one of the most common activities you will see in businesses today.

Mindful Presenting is the route to connecting with your audience emotionally as well as intellectually.

It is the new science of presenting and public speaking which will end the phenomenon of ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

Every day all over the world highly talented, intelligent and creative professionals are reading slides and reciting scripts in the name of presenting. Explaining the structure of polypeptides, selling software or simply sharing what happened last month, requires a great deal more than speaking or reading.

We all need a personal guide to public speaking

Your audience don’t just want information; they want to connect with you personally too.

This guide to public speaking sets out everything you need to consider and do to make that mindful connection.


Facebook has somewhere in the region of 2.9 billion users.

Each week people are posting comments about how desperate they are for Friday to arrive.

On Sunday evening those same people share their despair of having to return to work on Monday.

Countless millions of people across the world are going to work every day feeling disrespected and disregarded.

Mindful Presenters make it their first priority to respect their audience.

That begins with:

– Starting their presentation on time and trying to finish a little earlier than expected.

– Learning as much as they possibly can in advance about their audience.

– NEVER reading slides to their audience.

– Giving their audience what they need, not simply what the presenter wants them to know.


When it comes to presenting, simplicity isn’t as easy as it sounds.

In fact, it’s often the greatest challenge for most speakers.

It is the presenter’s job to understand the complexity of their topic so their audience don’t have to.

Once that complexity is fully understood, only then is it time to break it down in a way that your audience can easily understand. Mindful Presenters do everything they can to keep things simple enough for their audience.

That begins with:

– Stripping away everything that doesn’t add significant value.

– Avoiding bullet points at all costs.

– Sharing short, relevant and powerful stories.

– Using charts and graphs minimally and very carefully.

– Adopting the mantra, is ‘less is more’


Many people are afraid to present their ideas and speak in public.

It isn’t something most of us are taught to do at school, college or university.

Regardless of our age, position or experience, the thought of public speaking can leave us feeling very vulnerable.

Courage is finding the ability to do something which scares us.

That begins with:

– Knowing your topic inside out.

– Having a clear, relevant and compelling message.

– Focusing on engaging and connecting with hearts as well as minds.

– Preparing and practicing well.

– Learning simple breathing exercises



Much of our own fear and anxiety about presenting and speaking in public comes from our own ego.

Our ego has only one clear goal; we want to look good in front of our audience.

Often, our presentations end up being more about us than our audience.

Mindful Presenters understand that the key to success is humility.

That begins with:

– Putting their focus on their audience and not on themselves.

– Recognising that their audience want them to do well.

– Understanding that their audience want to connect with them, not just recieve information.

– Knowing that all their audience really want from them is honesty, respect and passion.

– Not pretending to have all of the answers.


Grace isn’t a word you often hear associated with presenting.

For Mindful Presenters it’s the apex of public speaking.

When a speaker makes everything seem so effortless, when their voice and movement flow seamlessly and they stand with poise, its grace.

That begins with:

– Pausing to help your message land with your audience.

– Acknowledging your audience and demonstraing that you understand them.

– Moving mindfully, with purpose and passion.

– Using your voice to breathe life into your words.

– Breathing properly, from your diaphragm.


Mindful presenters think about and appreciate the world we live in a great deal.

That thoughtfulness extends to contemplating the opportunity they have to make a difference to the lives of their audience.

The very last thing a mindful presenter will do is to open their laptop and begin typing.

They begin by:

– Sitting quietly in the comfort of their own mind, resting in the present moment.

– Contemplating the opportunities and possibilities for their audience.

– Pondering on what’s so important for their audience to know.

– Getting absolute clarity on their message and what they want their audience to think, feel and do.

– Detaching themselves from the outcome and focus on the journey.


Countless articles have been written about the importance of authenticity in public speaking.

Most give one piece of advice; ‘just be yourself’.

I don’t believe that’s wise counsel.

Human beings are creatures of habit, we are conditioned to think the same thoughts over and over again. We generally do the same things we always do.

Sometimes just being yourself isn’t enough

At Mindful Presenter we believe that the real essence of authenticity in public speaking involves being your ‘best self’.

That begins by:

– Going out of your way to get feedback on what works well for you as a speaker and playing to those strengths.

– Never trying to copy or manufacture speaking styles just to look good.

– Finding your own speaking style by tuning into your natural gifts.

– Letting your personality through. If you’re a little ‘quirky’ that’s fine. If you are high in energy or humour, that’s fine too.

– Being prepared to be vulnerable.

– Letting your audience into your personal world.


Far too many professionals seem to think that being professional means you have to be deadly serious when presenting at work.

Unless you are making people redundant or delivering some other awful news, humour is a great gift to give your audience.

Injecting a little, appropriate humour into your presentation is one of the many keys to connecting with your audience.

That begins by:

– Taking your topic but not yourself too seriously.

– Sharing funny stories, anecdotes and metaphors.

– Smiling and making your audience smile.

– Sharing observations rather than telling jokes.

– Using humorous images and props, where appropriate.


The reason many people dread sitting through presentations at work is because the ‘sameness’ makes them boring.

The secret to getting your audience’s attention and keeping it, is ensuring that your presentation is creative and different.

Mindful presenters invest a great deal of time and energy in creative thinking.

They begin by:

– Throwing out the ‘rule book; and adopt an ‘anything goes’ attitude.

– Surrounding themselves with creative people and studing creativity.

– Daydreaming, doodling and letting their mind wander.

– Using colourful and compelling slides.

– Opening with a bang by embraceing the watchwords, curiosity, connecting and compelling.


What good would a guide on mindful presenting be that simply tells you how to do it but not what it is and why it’s important?

Mindfulness is the key to success, happiness and peace of mind in every walk of life, not just presenting and public speaking.

It is the faculty of mind and spirit that allows us to be fully aware and present in each moment.

I once heard someone say that, ‘most people are tiptoeing through life hoping to make it safely to death.’

Mindfulness is about living each moment and enjoying the journey.

We often have professionals attend our presentation training workshops looking for ‘gimmicks’ and ‘tools’.

We don’t believe in ‘gimmicks’

Whilst we have plenty of ‘tools’ and techniques’ to share, the essence of Mindful presenting involves learning how to be completely in the room with yourself and your audience.

Mindful presenters practice the art of mindfulness long before they stand to present.

They begin by:

– Not just taking a shower.They feel and experience every moment of the shower.

– Smelling, feeling and tasting every mouthful of their food.

– Having real conversations. They listen intently to every spoken and unspoken word and think before they respond.

– Not simply reading a book or watching a film; they step into the characters and the story.

– Taking time to breathe, slow down, notice and appreciate the world around them.

Mindfulness is a significant challenge for all of us.

I don’t believe that it’s ever something we completely master.

It is however the ultimate challenge and something we can all aspire to. Imagine the impact we would have on our audience and the difference we could make to their lives, if we practiced being completely in the room with them.

If you’d to learn more about the guide to public speaking:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Image: Courtesy of : Kasto80 |



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