Public Speaking

It's likely that if your mentee has connected and reached out to you for support with public speaking, that they have seen or know that public speaking is something you are good at!

However it's not always easy to mentor someone on public speaking, an act which ironically is a very personal challenge for most people. The courage, expectation, delivery and poise required to get a message across with effective public communication is one of the biggest challenges that people face in their professional life.

A fear of public speaking is generally accepted to be one of people's top fears, often topping a ear of dying, or spiders! A YouGov survey in 2017 found that public speaking to some degree impacts 56% of us.


There's lots of useful information out there on how to help with a fear of public speaking, and your own experience as a mentor will certainly be beneficial to talk through with your mentee.

But as an alternative resource, we took a look at a presentation that we think really nails it when it comes to public speaking. Sending this, or something similar for your mentee to view before you open the discussion should ensure you can steer the conversation and offer tangible guidance.

South China Morning Post's CEO, Gary Liu delivers this 12-minute talk on how the internet is changing China. As MenteeMe is for digital tech professionals we thought you might also enjoy the content!

Here are some points to discuss with your mentee:

  • The talk opens with statement, which unravels into a story and keeps the audience wanting to hear more

  • The presenter knows his subject and is able to quote stats freely without hesititation

  • There is an interesting use of pauses. The talk ebbs and flows in speed, to keep your attention

  • The starting point is about human connection, so although there are facts interspersed we want to hear more about the family holiday

  • There aren't any ‘lol’ moments, and the presenter isn't trying to be a comedian. The talk is engaging and energetic without having to be super fast-paced and bounce all over the stage

  • There is a connection to the presenter, as he offers his own experience and point of view throughout, not just building a connection with the audience but adding to his credibility of the subject

  • He doesn't take ages to drop in stats or explain them (if you have to explain a graph in detail it isn't doing what it should be doing!)

  • There are short stories of 'real people' to bring to life and explain certain points

  • He hasn't swallowed a dictionary! The choice of language is deliberate and accessible

  • His body language is authoritative, with some movement and gestures. These are calm and exhibit and air of confidence on the stage

TED is one of the best place to direct mentees to who want to improve their public speaking, because it allows them to see the vast breadth of speaker styles.

Being genuine and natural in speaking style is crucial, and this could be a great way to get your mentee to focus on how they present.

The MenteeMe Team