How NLP Will Help You Become a Better Public Speaker

We’ve all been there; you are asked to speak in public and the fear factor kicks in. What do I say, what will people think, what if they heckle me or raise an objection? What if I mumble, stumble of fluff my words? How will I cope?

The trouble is that most speakers are ill prepared.

I know I was for my first real public speech. This was at my brother’s wedding in 1976 and I was the best man.

I was hopeless, and ill prepared.

Wind the clock forward to now, and I jump at the chance to get up on stage or in front of camera and speak.

To think that in 2012 when I ran my first webinar, I completely freaked out. During my NLP Master Practitioner, I overcame that fear and now help others do the same.

There are many techniques that you can use to become a better speaker. This is the first in the series and explores Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Why Learn and Implement NLP?

chris hallett audience

Imagine. You are on your chosen stage and the audience is waiting, the room is silent, and you begin.

You have immediate rapport with the audience.

You speak, engage and educate your audience with confidence and clarity.

You answer their questions calmly, using the stage to your advantage.

Your session closes; there is a queue from the stage.

The delegates want to speak with you!

There is one burning question. How they can work with you?

What is NLP?

NLP is a set of techniques and models that when learnt, leave behind an attitude. Those three things will help you transform into a world class public speaker, or even better.

Some of our great leaders have a natural style of communication, or do they?

Are they naturals, or are they trained how to build rapport and engage their audience, using NLP?

John Grinder and Richard Bandler developed Neuro Linguistic Programming in the 1970’s after studying and modelling therapists such as Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. It is a set of techniques and models that anyone can learn and use.

The techniques can be used in many differing applications especially public speaking.

These techniques are naturally occurring ones and some people know instinctively how to use them. NLP teaches you how to use them of your own volition.

Let’s break the acronym down.



How our nervous system works and how our mind affects the actions we take to achieve our outcomes.  It helps us understand how our nervous system process the millions of bits of information received through our five senses:

·      Sight – Visual

·      Sound – Auditory

·      Touch – Kinaesthetic

·      Smell – Olfactory

·      Taste -Gustatory


Our internal representation of the world is coded and ordered from our language and non-verbal communication. It gives us context and meaning and inside, we have only six things:

·      Pictures

·      Sounds

·      Feelings

·      Emotions

·      Smells

·      Tastes

·      Words (Self dialogue or self-talk)


Our desired outcomes, goals and results are achieved through the patterns, programmes and strategies that we run in our neurology.

Neuro Linguistic Programming is the science of how we harness the power of our mind to achieve our outcomes and goals. It is the manual and blueprint of the mind that you were never given at birth.

How Does NLP Work?

time for change

NLP typically works on three levels:

Level 1: Learning the technique to achieve a specific result

Level 2: Use the technique to achieve the specific result

Level 3: Learn and take the meaning from the result.

Most people attempt to change habits and behaviours at a conscious level with the thinking mind.

NLP works at an unconscious level to make deep lasting change.

How Can You Learn NLP?

Many books are available either in book stores or online, and will help you learn the core concepts of NLP. NLP Training companies offer courses that will also help you learn the core concepts of NLP.  This type of learning lacks practical application and guidance from a certified coach.

Certified coaches offer a range of interventions that deal with a specific issue. The coach will teach you some of the core concepts of NLP that enable you to resolve that issue.

Certification Training 

NLP certification training can be done at four levels.

·      Practitioner – for your own use

·      Master Practitioner – for use with clients

·      Trainer – to train Practitioners and Master Practitioners

·      Master Trainer – to train Trainers, Practitioners and Master Practitioners

The most effective way to Learn NLP is in one of two ways.

1)    Receive coaching with a certified Master Practitioner who will teach you specific techniques and help you change what you do and how you live your life.

2)    Become a certified Practitioner or Master Practitioner with a certified training company. This was you can implement the techniques you have learned and receive feedback from a certified coach.

How Can NLP Help With Public Speaking?

Build Audience Rapport

All speakers must have the ability to build rapport with their audience.

NLP gives us several techniques that enable us to do build rapport so that the audience knows and likes us. Those techniques include matching and mirroring, and verbal and non-verbal communication.

Better Communication

The linguistic skills that we learn in NLP enable us to communicate in a much more eloquent way. They enable us to truly understand the meaning of questions raised by our audience. NLP also gives us advanced questioning techniques to get the root of a problem or to diffuse a situation.

Mental Resilience

Using our NLP skills, we have greater mental resilience and able to deflect criticism and deal with conflict in our audience in constructive way.

We understand in more detail how the mind works. We can use those skills to shifts in audience perception and loss of concentration.

Achieve Outcomes

NLP has a number of frames and presuppositions. When we adopt these, we shift our level of responsibility and commitment to achieve our chosen outcome. The result is that we have more chance of achieving those outcomes than we did before.

Improve Confidence

Anchoring can significantly improve our confidence in public speaking. It can also help us blow out a negative state, from a specific situation.

Goal Achievement

The NLP method to achieve a goal is built around the SMART acronym and is the most powerful method to achieve a goal. (Look for subsequent post on Goals in Time Line Therapy ®).

What if…

If you are anything like me when I discovered NLP I was eager to find out more. 

The best way to do that is to book a discovery call with me and I’ll explain more

Let’s Talk About How I Can Help you