Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Public Speaking

It’s designed for human communication! After all, public speaking is just a heightened form of everyday conversation. When you use NLP in your next speech or presentation it allows the unconscious part of our brains to take over more than usual–which can be a good thing because that means we’re paying attention to what they say and how they say things instead of solely focusing on ourselves as speakers sometimes do. Here are some hot tips to get you going!

1: 2 Minute Stories

A great way to start a speech is with a personal story, an article you have read, a statistic, or a story around a quote. You must tell the story in a way that evokes an experience. To make it sensory-based in a way that the listener sees, hears, feels, or even smells and tastes the story. Associate them inside the story, as if it is happening to them. In NLP we call this association, and it makes a difference in public speaking hugely.

Your stories should also be 2 minutes or less. If you go over, you will lose the attention of your audience. Remember, public speaking is not about you, it is about them. So make sure your stories are interesting and to the point.

2: Be Concise

When it comes to public speaking, less is more. This does not mean you should leave out important information, but that you should be concise in your delivery. The goal is to get your point across in the most efficient way possible without boring your audience. Try to avoid going off on tangents or using filler words such as “um” or “like.” Instead, focus on delivering your message in a clear and concise.

– Don’t ramble. Keep your remarks focused and to the point.

– Avoid using filler words like “um” or “uh.” Not only do they make you sound nervous, but they also waste time.

-Don’t speak too fast. Take a moment to pause between sentences for emphasis and to give your audience time to process what you’re saying.

-Don’t get too technical. Use language that everyone can understand.

– And finally, don’t forget to practice! The more prepared you are, the better you’ll do.

3: Keep their attention

When you have the attention of your audience, it is important to keep their focus by having great eye contact, using hand gestures and body language that reinforce what you are saying, and speaking with conviction. Be careful not to go overboard with any of these things, as it will take away from your message.


4: Focus on the Inspiration

We all know that the best way to teach is by doing, and in this day where technology has made it easier than ever for us to do just about anything from anywhere with an internet connection… well why not use those tools? This means you can focus less on what your speech will contain

 and much on how it is going to be delivered.

The key here isn’t necessarily getting everyone’s attention or making them listen; rather inspiring the desired mindset through methods such as humor (which was

 proven very effective), stories/numbers – whatever works! The bottom line: “How” matters more than “What”.



5: Stay Loose and focus on the experience

When you’re public speaking, you want to avoid coming across as stilted or robotic. To do this, it’s important to use a variety of words that help create vivid mental images for your audience. In NLP, we call these predicates.

Predicates are words specifically chosen to evoke a sensory-based experience. They help create mental pictures based on what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. 

Some examples of auditory predicates include: “hear,” “listen,” “melody,” “harmony,” “rings a bell,” and “sounds like.”

Visual predicates might be: “look,” “see,” “colorful,” “

For example, if you wanted someone to feel happy, you might use words like “joyful”, “delightful” or “blissful”. If you wanted someone to feel scared, you might use words like “terrifying”, “scary” or “frightening”. By using the right words, you can create any emotion in the mind of the listener.

6: Gesturing Positive and Negatives, Past and Future

When you talk about something negative point away from yourself and the audience, when you talk about something positive point to yourself or the audience. 

When you are speaking about something in the past, move to stage left. When you are in the present, take center stage. When you want your audience to be in the future, move to stage right. This is based on the NLP eye movement theory and it works like a charm!

7: Gesturing to Engage

When you are talking, act out what you are saying with your hands. This works on a deep subconscious level and engages the visual audience member.

8: The Power of Silence

Silence is golden! In public speaking, it is often underused. Use it more! Here are some ways you can use silence:

-After you make a powerful point, pause for 6 seconds or more of silence. This allows the person to take in what you just said.

-If you want someone’s attention, say their name and then pause. They will look at you because their name was called. Then you have their full attention to delivering your message.

-Use silent pauses throughout your presentation to emphasize certain points. Just make sure the audience is comfortable with the silence before proceeding. You don’t want awkwardness!

You can use silence for emphasis, but make sure it is purposeful. Also, use pauses to gather your thoughts. Do not let the silence drag on too long though or you will lose your audience.

9: Anchoring & Chunking

This is an important public speaking tip, as it is often one of the main things people are worried about when they stand up to speak. The best way to remember your speech is to use a technique called “anchoring” and “chunking.”

Anchoring is a technique where you associate a physical sensation with a certain part of your speech. For instance, every time you get to the part of your speech where you talk about your company’s history, you might touch your nose. Or every time you get to the part of your speech where you make a key point, you might tap your foot. This will help anchor the information in your memory so you can easily retrieve it when you need to.

Chunking is a technique where you group information together in manageable “chunks.” For instance, instead of trying to remember every single detail of your speech, you might chunk it into three main points. Or you might chunk it into sections such as the introduction, main body, and conclusion. This will make it much easier for your brain to process and remember the information.

Both of these techniques are extremely effective in helping you remember your speech, so be sure to use them when preparing for your next public speaking engagement.

10: Use Props

Props can be a great way to engage your audience and add interest to your presentation. Be sure to use props that are appropriate for your topic and audience.

11: Vary Your Tone

Your tone of voice can be just as important as the words you are saying. Varying your tone will keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say. When you say something powerful, say it softly and you will watch your audience lean in. Then, use your silence.

12: Use Humor

Humor is a great way to engage your audience and make your point. Just be careful to not offend and not rely on too many jokes.

13: Use of “I” and “You”

Using the word I is very useful. It connects you with the audience in a first-person way. You are saying this to me directly. It has more impact than if you say, “one should…” You can also use the word you, but be careful as it can have an opposite effect where people may feel like they are being talked down to. So I would recommend using I more often than you, as it has more connection.

14: Eye Contact

Use affirmative body language and make sure to maintain eye contact throughout the entirety of your speech. Not only will this help with engagement, but also with building trust between you and the public. If you make eye contact for 6 seconds the person you are looking at and the people around them (left, right, behind, and in front of) will think you are making eye contact with them as well. Move your eye contact through the crowd and they will feel seen, which everyone wants.

15:Use of Questions

Questions are a public speaker’s best friend! By asking questions, you engage the audience more and get them thinking. Here are some ways to use questions in public speaking:

-Ask a rhetorical question. This is a question that does not require an answer. It is more for making a point. For example, “Can you imagine what it would be like to never have to worry about money again?”

-Ask a leading question. This is a question that leads the person to a specific answer. For example, “Wouldn’t it feel great to be debt free?”

16: Anchoring for yourself

Anchoring is a tool from NLP that can be used in public speaking. It means that you associate a certain feeling or state with a physical gesture. For example, every time you want to feel more confident on stage, you can do a certain gesture, like rubbing your hands together. This will then trigger a feeling of confidence. You can also anchor positive states to objects on stage, like the microphone. Every time you touch it, you feel more confident. The possibilities are endless! Just make sure to anchor states that are congruent with the message you want to deliver.

17: Speak as if You Are the Expert

When public speaking activities and feel as if you are an expert in your field. This doesn’t mean that you have to be, but by acting and feeling this way. It will come across to your audience. Remember that people like to do business with, and learn from those they perceive as being an expert. So make sure when public speaking that you come across this way.

18: Use Metaphors to Explain Complex Concepts

People understand the world through stories, or what we call NLP metaphors. Whenever you can explain a complex concept or idea using a metaphor or story. Do so, because it will make it much easier for people to understand what you are talking about.

Stories are the longest-lasting memories we have, and they also engage more of our senses. So if you can tell a story that ties in with your content, do it! If you cannot tell a story, use a metaphor. A metaphor is a story in one sentence. For example, “He was as fast as a cheetah” is a metaphor. It engages the imagination more than saying “He was really fast.” By using metaphors you make public speaking more fun, and people will remember your content better.

19: Be Passionate

Having a positive attitude is important, but it’s not the only thing. You also need to be passionate about your presentation and show it in your posture and gestures. This will help you build rapport with the audience quickly.

20: End on a High Note

To end your speech on a high note, summarize what you have said in a way that is clear and concise, tell them what action you want them to take, and thank them for their time.


If you are ready to learn how to use NLP in your speaking let’s find some time to chat!

Privacy Preference Center