Weekly Ways to Practice Public Speaking Techniques

WRITTEN March 14, 2019 Author: Jen Glantz

He walked toward me at the end of a productive workshop. Shaking my hand, he asked a familiar question, one I often hear after teaching the public speaking class.

Fidgeting with a notebook and a pen, he said “I learned so much. I can’t help but want to go home and practice all of this week after week.”

A smile widened on my face as I told Joe that I was excited for his public speaking progress to continue.

“But, how can I practice without an Improving Communications trainer by my side?”

For many, becoming a better public speaker starts with them attending a class but it doesn’t end there. Weekly at-home practice is essential for putting techniques into motion and getting a grip on how you handle yourself as a speaker.

Here are three ways to practice public speaking outside of the Improving Communications classroom:

  1. Talk to the Wall
    Don’t wait for your next chance to be up in front of an audience to practice public speaking. Use a wall or a mirror as the “pretend” audience. Practice holding positive body language, extending your vocal range, and maintaining strong facial expressions, all while talking out loud. A bonus of getting comfortable talking to a wall is the confidence you will gain in your sound and in what you say, all without relying on the facial expressions of your audience for confirmation that you’re doing a good job.
  2. Record Yourself
    Use your phone to record yourself speaking for two minutes each day. Listen back to listen for verbal tics and fillers (words such as like, um, uh, right, etc.) and listen to the quality of your tone. Take note of how you can add more movement to your voice or change your speed. After a month, listen to older recordings and hear your progress!
  3. Learn from Good Examples
    Spend quality time watching videos of impressive public speakers. Chose from TED Talks, YouTube videos of famous speeches from our history, or even a stand up comedy special on Netflix. Notice how these speakers capture your attention. Find ways to integrate their strengths into your speaking technique.

Carve out an hour, or two, a week to give the tricks and tips you learned at your Improving Communications class a try. When you maintain a steady public speaking practice schedule and you’ll be more prepared than ever the next time you present.

Learn more about Presentation Skills or other tools for your life – see our public class list for our upcoming seminars.

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