3 Speaking Tips To Make Sure Your Message Resonates

Ryan Foland
Published in
3 min readJan 21, 2016


People love stories, so give them what they want.

The person on stage talks through the bullet points of what they think the audience wants to hear, they stand stagnant on the stage often looking to wear her presentation is being shown on the wall.

And to add insult to injury she spoke so fast I could hardly understand let alone put together all the components in which she was explaining.

We’ve all seen good presentations and we’ve all seen bad presentations. We want to make sure that we are on the better end of presentations. Here are three of many tips to make sure that you take some basic steps to giving yourself a better chance at being someone who puts on a great presentation.

Here are three speaking tips to make sure your message resonates:

Tip #1. Start with a Story — People love stories, so give them what they want. Start with one, and end with referring to the same one with some sort of resolution.

Let me tell you a quick story…

Did you know as soon as you read that last sentence you started to relax and become a little more engaged? That is because human beings are genetically wired to enjoy stories. We have passed down knowledge for generations through tales and stories and that is why they are so engaging.

If you have a point to make, the best way to make it impactful is to use a story to illustrate.

In fact, a great formula to follow is: tell a story, make a point

Doing it in that order will make you much more effective as a speaker.

Tip #2. Use your Gestures to Increase your impact

Often we don’t think about what to do with our hands, until we get up onto a stage and realize it feel weird having them by your side. Its then we start folding our arms, sticking our hands into our pockets, and making strange, unnatural gestures all over the place.

Here are few key tips to help you with your hand gestures:

- Its totally ok to have your hands resting at your sides. It feels weird to you, but doesn’t look weird to the audience. One little trick to make it more comfortable to have your hands at your side is to just connect your index finger and thumb together. Doing this makes it feel less weird holding them down like this.

- You can use you hands to emphasize a point, but make sure not to overuse gestures. This is especially true for large gestures. If you use a big hand or arm movement, it is very noticeable, and you need to make sure to use it sparingly.

Tip #3. Slow Down — If it feels awkward to you, then it is the right speed.

Each of us has a natural pace of speaking. Some of us are faster, some are slower. There is no right or wrong speed, however as a general rule, you can slow your speaking rate by about 50% and still sound normal.

Now, when you first try this, you will feel weird. It will feel like you are talking so slow that its insulting to the audience.

But the truth is that with every word you speak, the audience will be thinking their own thoughts, and the spaces you leave is their time to think.

A great way to start to slow down your speaking rate is to read passages of test out loud.

Focus on placing more emphasis on certain words and leaving pauses.

Share your tips as comments!



Ryan Foland

Keynote speaker | 4X TEDx | Author ✒️ @ditchtheact — Order at ryan.online/DitchTheAct | If I’m not speaking or brand building, I’m likely sailing ⛵️