Mastering the five P’s of powerful public speaking

Public speaking can be intimidating for many people, but with the right techniques, anyone can become a confident and engaging speaker.

One effective approach, we learned from Alina Jenkins, Head of Communications at Body Talk, is to incorporate the five P’s – pitch, pace, pause, projection, and passion – into your speech. These five elements, when used skillfully, can captivate your audience and make your presentation memorable. This article will explore mastering the five P’s of powerful public speaking.


Embrace the natural variety in your voice. Your voice has a range of pitches, and using this natural undulation can add depth and nuance to your speech.

Avoid speaking too high or too low, as it may come across as cartoonish. Instead, find a comfortable middle range that suits the tone of your speech. For instance, higher notes can be used for positive or uplifting content, while lower notes can be employed for more serious or impactful messages. Experiment with different pitches to create a dynamic and engaging vocal performance.


Slow down and vary your speaking speed. When we’re nervous, we tend to speak too quickly, which can make it difficult for the audience to keep up with our message. Practice speaking at a moderate pace, allowing for pauses and moments of silence to gather your thoughts.

Vary your speed based on the content and tone of your speech. Sometimes, speaking a bit faster can add excitement or urgency, while speaking slower can convey thoughtfulness or emphasis. The key is to strike a balance and use pace strategically to enhance your message.

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Embrace the power of silence. Pausing at strategic points in your speech can be incredibly effective in engaging your audience. It signals to them that something important is coming, and it gives you a moment to collect your thoughts.

Don’t be afraid of silence, and don’t feel the need to fill every moment with words. A well-timed pause can create anticipation, emphasise a point, or allow for a brief break to regroup. Just be mindful not to let the pause drag on for too long, as it may lose its impact.


Project energy through your voice. Good posture and proper breathing are essential for projecting your voice effectively. Stand tall with your shoulders back, and take deep breaths to support your vocal delivery.

Avoid slouching or restricting your airflow, as it can weaken your voice and make it difficult for your audience to hear you. Bring energy and enthusiasm to your voice, but be mindful not to shout, especially in virtual environments where microphones can amplify sounds. A well-projected voice conveys confidence and captivates your audience.


Let your passion shine through. When you genuinely care about your topic, it naturally comes through in your voice and delivery. Share your enthusiasm, belief, and emotion with your audience.

Let them see and feel your passion for your subject matter. It will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and make your speech more engaging and memorable.

Incorporating these five P’s – pitch, pace, pause, projection, and passion – into your public speaking can significantly enhance your delivery and captivate your audience. Experiment with different techniques, practice regularly, and pay attention to your audience’s response to fine-tune your speaking skills. Remember, engaging public speaking is not about being perfect, but about being authentic and connecting with your audience. So, embrace your unique voice and let your passion shine through!