Practice Makes Improvement

WRITTEN January 10, 2017 Author: Rich Atkins

The research is done. The speech is ready. After piecing it all together, now comes the time to spend countless hours learning what to say during the actual presentation.

There are many different methods to the art of practicing. But whether you decide to remember by making note cards (or an outline), reciting the information over and over again in your head, or doing a mock presentation for a small group of friends or colleagues, practicing will always be necessary to improve the way you communicate.

Here are 3 effective techniques to use when practicing a speech before it’s time to set foot on stage or in front of a room:

Practice Out Loud

Go through all the motions, completely. Follow the plan of the presentation: word choice, hand motions, and visual aids. Repetition of what you do and say during your presentation gives you a better feel for what your vocal range/tone and body language are going to be during the actual presentation.

Record Yourself

One thing that is more effective than practicing in front of a mirror is recording yourself speaking. Then, watch the playback. Seeing yourself present will allow you to hear potential verbal tics, track your vocal speed, and even edit content or word choice.

Ask a Friend

Find an audience, there is nothing like feedback in real-time. Ask a friend or a small group of colleagues to sit through a rehearsal of your presentation. Ask them to identify one of the strengths of the presentation as well as an area for improvement.

To improve your presentation skills, carve out time to practice and you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.

This information is from our Public Speaking curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

Photo courtesy of Lam

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