Understanding the 5 Ps of Public Speaking (& How They Can Help You)

public speaking is an important soft skill to master

Imagine you have just given a presentation or a speech in public. As soon as you have completed speaking there is a moment of silence, a moment of soaking in the presentation and and understanding it while staying in the awe of that moment. This is immediately followed by resounding applause, of the kind that is made when the audience feels excited and appreciative. This moment of validation is all you need to drown the nervousness that you were feeling a while ago before and during the presentation. At this instant, you realize how the audience felt a connection with you and portrayed their approval through a harmonious cacophony.

It feels too good to even imagine it, doesn’t it? What if you could make this a reality? Further ahead in this article, you will read about how to make your public speeches a resounding success through the 5 Ps of public speaking. However, we will first need to get our base clear of what exactly is public speaking 

What is Public Speaking?

Public Speaking is an act of speaking in front of a live public or even a group of 8-10 people. It can be either impromptu or fully practiced. Public speaking is generally listed as a skill in an individual’s resume or profile as it has gained a lot of importance in these days of technological advancements where one can have access to millions of people with the press of one button from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, being able to put out your opinion confidently has become a necessity based on which people as well as organizations would make decisions about you.

Public speaking is a soft skill as it is categorized under communication also known as a people skill which helps one have an effective interaction with others. Public speaking as a soft nowadays is much needed to create a positive and efficient work environment. To know more in detail about why public speaking is a soft skill and not a hard skill you can refer to our article Public Speaking Skills: Soft Or Hard?

Now you have an almost clear idea of public speaking but ever wondered if there are any types of public speaking?

Types of Public Speaking 

Indeed there are! Public speaking is further classified into these types to make it easier for you to separate and focus on your intention for giving the speech. These types include ceremonial, demonstrative, informative, and persuasive.


Starting with ceremonial public speaking, as the word suggests this kind of public speaking is done during ceremonies or special occasions like weddings, graduation parties, funerals, etc. In this one, you usually have a preexisting emotional or personal connection with the majority of your audience and you must also prepare your speech keeping that in mind.


Again as the word suggests here the speaker demonstrates something to the audience while also speaking. It is more like an instructional speech where the audience along with being told is demonstrated how something happens or works and is taught to do the same. This public speaking category practically involves a lot of observational learning from the audience’s side.


This classification of public speaking is the one that is used most often. It does not do anything more than increase the knowledge of the audience and inform or educate them in detail about a new topic. Informative speeches are as common as the morning meetings or announcements where the people are updated about forthcoming events.


Last but the most used type by the sales and marketing team is persuasive public speaking. Here the speeches are given in order to persuade the audience. It often uses plenty of compelling language which includes various tools like rhetorical devices, emphasis, repetition, personal pronouns, emotive language, comparison, etc. which makes it easier to persuade the audience. Having persuasive speaking skills is very important when you want the majority to agree with you and believe you.

Want to learn more about the 4 types of public speaking along with appropriate examples? We’ve got you covered, our article 4 Types Of Public Speaking (A Complete Guide) exemplifies these four types and uncomplicatedly explains them in brief.

However, knowing what type of public speaking you are going to do is an effective contributor to focusing on your intention but it is not enough to make your public speech a soaring success. In order to give an effective presentation as well as have an impactful speech one also needs to learn about the basic elements of public speaking, also quite popularly known as the 5 Ps of public speaking.

The 5 Ps of Public Speaking        

So, what are the 5 Ps of public speaking? The 5 Ps of public speaking comprise purpose, passion, preparation, practice, and performance. 

1. Purpose

Starting with purpose, it is essential to know the purpose of why you are presenting or giving a public speech on a particular subject matter. It helps you to set an achievable goal for your speech in your mind. Subsequently, having a goal also helps you narrow down your focus so that you have a space to put all your attention. To get to know the purpose of your presentation you need to ask these questions – “Why am I here on this stage”, “Why did I choose this topic”, and “What will I get out of this?”.


For instance, if you are standing in a school election for a student body president and you are going to talk about too many books being asked to bring from home in your bag, the answer to the first question would be to convince teachers to lessen the number of books they ask the student to bring and to ensure students that their issues will be heard and worked upon. The answer to your second question would be to help students lighten the weight of their bags, especially for those who frequently have back pain due to this issue. Lastly, the answer to your third question will be that you yourself won’t have to carry heavier bags, and after successfully convincing the teachers you could get votes from the impressed students.

2. Passion 

If you are passionate about your subject matter or the message you want to convey then you automatically tend to do in-depth research about it. When you have more knowledge about your topic, you never fall short of words and get an urge to share your knowledge with others too, which makes you a good speaker. Therefore this skill makes an important part of public speaking by contributing to encourage you to speak to a group of people and share your knowledge. Additionally, the audience also respects and believes when you are passionate about your topic. The passion they can see on your face and your delivery resonates with them and increases their interest in your speech.


For instance, when you are passionate about saving the planet you list down all the points possible in your head that you think, and you try very strongly to convince your audience to think and act in a way to save our planet, so much so that it resonates on your face and makes an impact in the audience’s mind. Here you are encouraged from inside to make your public speech compelling.

3. Preparation 

"Success favours the prepared"

Preparation is the key when it comes to engaging your audience and making a good speech as preparation involves researching your audience and adding content that they can understand and relate to. Likewise, preparation helps you gain a piece of in-depth and greater knowledge about your topic resulting in having strong grounds to support your topic.


For instance, if your audience is 7-year-olds and your topic is how junk and food with fats are not good for health, they might not understand complicated jargon like “some junk food might contain saturated fats high in low-density lipids which might result in a plaque buildup clogging your blood vessels”. One needs to make it easier for them to understand like “junk food has fats that can stick together and make your blood tubes messy. This mess can block the tubes and make it hard for your blood to move. It’s like when things get stuck in a straw. So, it’s good to eat healthy foods and not eat too much of those junk foods”.

4. Practice 

A person writing "Practice makes perfect" on a blank sheet

“Practice makes perfect” is a quote very well-known and unquestionably correct. Practicing means listening to your speech again and again and again. When you listen to yourself repeatedly it helps you point out any mistakes or improvements that you could make, avoiding you to fumble or misspeak in front of your audience. While practicing you could also take the help of your friends and family to help you have another perspective and give criticisms about the good points and bad points that you may have missed. Additionally, whenever you practice you can note down the errors and improvements that you have made. This way you could repeatedly work on the error till you perfect it and through noting your improvements you could see how far you have come. 


For instance, if you have an issue with using repetitive connectives like ‘but’, you could note that fault down while practicing and then learn some new connectives, add them to your speech, and stop when repeating the connective ‘but’ and try to think of another alternative connective of ‘but’ like ‘however’, ‘although’, ‘yet’, etc.

During practice, along with your speech, you also need to work out your presentation style or how you would present yourself in front of the audience. This includes your body language, your facial expressions, your tone, and your eye contact; all of this resonates with how you personally feel about the topic and can make either a negative or a positive impact on the audience. 


For instance, a slouched body and a tired expression with a monotone make the audience also feel tired and bored.

An additional tip to remember is if possible you should go on the stage where you are going to deliver your speech and practice there, this will help you get comfortable with your presentation space and help you have one less unfamiliarity to worry about.

5. Performance

Your performance is like the grand finale of your 5 Ps where you are directly put in front of an audience and are evaluated on how well you have understood and efficiently used the 5 Ps of public speaking, to have a great performance you need to have worked very well on the previous four Ps. Showing a good presentation style that you practiced is equally important as it contributes to 50 percent of your speech. Therefore, maintain eye contact, have a good posture, avoid having a monotone, have a perfect pace, and exude confidence through your expressions. Additionally, remember to show your passion as it will be appreciated by the audience and they will tend to become more invested in what you would be saying (Also remember the purpose and move ahead accordingly)

Lastly, perform while focusing on your audience. If you notice that the audience is bored, try to change the mode and make it interactive. If they seem tired and find something to eat, give them a break to refresh. This is important as at the end of the day you are performing for them to listen, understand, and get impacted.

People Also Ask 

What are the 3 Ps of public speaking? 

The 3 Ps of public speaking include preparing, practicing, and presenting. Prepare is when you do in-detail research and organize your content in an orderly fashion. Practice is when you work on your speech till you perfect it and feel confident about presenting. Lastly, presenting is how effectively you present what you have prepared and practiced and engage the audience.

What are the 4 Ps of public speaking?

Public speaking could broken down into four aspects namely preparation, practice, presentation, and performance. The difference between presentation and performance here is that in presentation speaks about how you present yourself, your look, your clothes, and your presentation slides as well, however performance is evaluated on how you perform how you maintain eye contact, your pace, your tone, your way of performing (more interactive with the audience or more monologue type)

What are the 6 Ps of public speaking?

The 6 Ps of public speaking specifically talks about your presentation style which includes pace, passion, pause, power, and pronunciation. To know more about these presentation skills and how to improve them you could refer to our article Top 9 Speech AI Tools To Teach You Public Speaking.

What are the 7 Ps of public speaking?

The 7 Ps of public speaking is an extended version of the 6 Ps of public speaking consisting of pace, passion, pause, posture, power, pronunciation, and punch. Here punch is used to put emphasis on or draw attention to a point. It is basically stressing a point. Likewise, power is the nonverbal communication done by the speaker to portray their effectiveness. This nonverbal communication includes eye contact, posture, facial expression, etc. 


Public speaking is an important soft skill to master. These 5 Ps of public speaking are a holistic and important medium to help you achieve the skill. All these elements skillfully assist us in transforming our simple message or speech into an influential narrative. By having a purpose for the public speech and passion for the topic one strengthens the foundation on which they build their speech. Meticulous preparation also fortifies our base along with tailoring the speech perfectly for the target audience and creating a connection with them. Furthermore, practice polishes our speech and delivery until we emerge perfect and feel confident on the stage. Lastly, our performance will indicate how we have conveyed our opinion or knowledge and made an impact on the audience.

All of this together makes public speaking a joyful experience for the speaker as well as the audience. So, go ahead and conquer public speaking and the hearts of your audience through these 5 Ps of public speaking. Happy public speaking!

Want to polish your public speaking skills even further by practicing with professionals? We have got you covered! Through Frantically Speaking’s online coaching sessions (which you can access from the comfort of your home) you can improve your public speaking skills along with interview skills, presentation skills, negotiation and persuasion skills, group discussion abilities, and more all the way summatively acing your communication skills. Click here to learn more about the Frantically Speaking training program.

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