Public speaking & presentation tips from Nick Morgan

Maurice DeCastro
4 min readFeb 28, 2019


There is no shortage of public speaking advice on the internet, in magazines and book stores today. In fact, I have written over 300 articles myself for and other online publications. I’d like to share some of my favourite articles from other respected authors in the field of communication, public speaking and presentation skills.

Nick Morgan is one of the first who springs to mind who has written a great deal and made a major contribution to the world of public speaking. Here are just a few of my favourites that I thought you’d enjoy reading.

1. How To Hook Your Audience Better As A Public Speaker

Nick presents 4 interesting steps to public speaking success:

A trigger — ‘First, think of the opening of your speech as the trigger’

Action — ‘Get them doing a little mental work — the action’

Variable reward — ‘What can you tell them that they didn’t know before?’

Investment — ‘Finally, push them toward making your idea a new habit for them’

This article contains some great advice and it reminds me of an article I wrote a couple of years ago giving some powerful examples from TED Talks on how to open your presentation: Presenters — Grab it like you mean it. Their attention that is:

Given that Nick is by far one of my favourite communication coaches I hesitate challenging anything he writes, although I have to say that I’m not a fan of the word ‘hook’. I wrote another article a couple of years ago which explains why: Public Speaking: Your audience aren’t fish — you don’t need to ‘hook’ them

2. Build Pauses in Your Speaking For Powerful Presentations

‘Pauses are both powerful, and necessary. Powerful because they show strength on the part of the speaker — the speaker has the confidence to let her words stand for some length of time rather than filling in the moments compulsively with sounds.’

For me that one sentence alone speaks volumes. There has been a great deal written about the power of the pause and this article explains it beautifully. As a staunch advocate of the pause I wrote an article about its value myself some time ago. I called it: ‘Obama — Master of the Pause’ because I’ve long believed that he is one of those speakers today who uses it so effectively.

3. The Five Mistakes Too Many Speakers Make

Dress your brand, not your tribe — ‘What can you wear that isn’t freakish but that sets you apart?’

Ditch the props and open up — ‘Show up with authenticity and you cannot fail’

Say less and gesture more — ‘If you’re not gesturing at least some of your presentation, you’re talking too much’

Talk the journey, not the destination — ‘Take the audience with you on the journey’

Lose the clichés and get inspired — ‘Inspire your audience with your real words, not borrowed ones’

As you read this article you will see for yourself that Nick offers some very sound advice. It reminds me of an article I wrote for those of us presenting to senior management. The fact is these are mistakes we should avoid when presenting to anyone not just senior management: Mistakes to avoid making when presenting to the boss (or any other human being).

4. Five New Ways to Ease the Fear of Public Speaking

“There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.” — Mark Twain

As a public speaking coach myself I spend a great deal of my time helping professionals to manage and overcome the anxiety they experience when called on to speak. Given the extent of the problem and its debilitating impact on so many people I’m always on the lookout for new ways to help them.

Nick sets up 5 interesting ones in this article that you may wish to try for yourself.

I have some thoughts on the reason so many people feel so anxious when presenting and speaking in public which I share in an article I wrote called, ‘The Real Source of Public Speaking Anxiety’.

5. Five Secrets for a Successful Job Interview

Nick shares some excellent interview advice if you are looking for a new job sometime soon.

Train like An Olympian

Google Yourself

Structure Your Answer

Be Ready To Brag

Focus Your Emotions

Here are a few more that I wrote for graduates, although as you will see,they apply just as readily to all of us: The Graduate’s Complete Guide to Nailing That Interview Presentation

6. Mindfulness in Public Speaking

As a huge fan and follower of Nick’s work I considered it a real honour to be interviewed by him on the topic of mindfulness in public speaking.

I hope you enjoy reading his article as much as I did giving the interview.

If you are interested in learning more about mindful presenting then you may wish to read an article I wrote called, The Professional’s Guide to Mindful Presenting & Public Speaking.

In this blog I have shared 6 of my personal favourite articles that Nick has written although there are a great deal more where these come from.

If you would like to follow his work as I do then you can do so through Forbes at:

You can also follow him through his highly resourceful website, Public Words.

If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.

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Maurice DeCastro

Author, speaker, trainer, presenter - former corporate executive passionate about personal leadership, people and results.