Self-discipline and public speaking

One of the hallmarks of a good public speaker is self-discipline, which exercises control over one’s actions. Have the “will power” to do or not to do.

As a public speaker, self-control is a necessary character trait. Good public speakers are not irresponsible with their words. They are deliberate about them … they choose them wisely and carefully.

Although speakers can technically say what they want … or act any way they want (great speakers rule themselves), they adhere to certain social norms of behavior and conduct.

Both Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr. can be classified as eloquent speakers. But the character, behavior, and intent of the two men’s speeches were very different!

What made the difference? Apart from ideology … self-control.

King, although aggrieved by the United States, exercised self-control and encouraged it among his followers, he valued the lives of his followers and that of the oppressors. While Hitler enacted what seemed right in his own eyes, yielding to his wishes no matter how they impacted those around him, only his life and that of the Nazis were sacred.

In this case, it is clear how self-discipline positively and negatively affected the “greatness” of these two speakers.

But what about you? If you lack self-discipline, can you still be a great public speaker? Yes. You can work to strengthen your self-control. But how?

Make a decision

Make the decision that you want to have self-control.

Make a personal Commitment

Commit to developing and strengthening your self-discipline skills by practicing thinking before speaking, controlling outbursts, choosing not to get angry, refusing to attack people in your speech, avoiding slander and accusations, listening before speaking, and choosing to focus on it. theme. Ask someone you trust to help you stay committed.

Learn the rules

Learn the rules of public speaking. Knowing the rules will help you know the dos and don’ts of making a presentation.

  • Know your audience
  • Know your material
  • Know your limitations
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Practice Be on time
  • Make sure your visual aids are working
  • Go through all the equipment before you give your speech.
  • Dress professionally
  • Engage your audience
  • Don’t be offended by constructive criticism

Be responsible

If you make a mistake, get irritated with an audience member, or if you’re late, take responsibility – don’t blame anyone else. If you can downplay it by telling a joke, do it to ease the tension in the room. But if not, just accept responsibility and continue with your presentation.


Self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice. In every situation, look for opportunities to sharpen your self-control; If you don’t often listen when others speak, choose not to speak and listen instead. If you become defensive when people ask you questions or challenge your point of view, make a decision that you will not be angry when this happens, but that you will listen with the ear of understanding and learning. This way, you can respond to what the person says and not because you need to be right. Remember that public speaking is about learning and acquiring knowledge. And as a speaker, every conversation is an opportunity for you to gain insight.

Eliminate harmful habits

Try to eliminate harmful habits, those that may offend others or that will communicate a different message than the one you want to communicate.

  • Put aside the anger
  • Choose to listen first before you speak
  • Don’t jump to conclusions; repeat what you heard to make sure you understood correctly
  • Be mindful of your body language and facial expressions, let your body communicate what you want to say

As a public speaker, you are a professional and you want your audience to see you as such. Having self-discipline is the way to establish this fact – because your goal as a speaker is to inform, educate, motivate, inspire – and not to alienate, offend, or convey immaturity.

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