Do Try This At Home: Practicing 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 that I often hear after teaching one of our public speaking classes.

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 at home.

“But, how can I practice without having an Improving Communications instructor 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 for figuring out how you handle yourself as a speaker.

Here are three basic ways to practice and develop confidence in 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 building confidence in 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 own sound and in what you are saying, 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 for verbal tics and fillers (words such as like, um, uh, right, etc.). Notice 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 an older recording to hear your progress!
  3. Learn from Good Examples
    Spend quality time watching videos of impressive public speakers. Find a great TED Talk. There are a lot out there to watch. Find YouTube videos of famous speeches from our history, or even find a stand-up comedy special on Netflix. Notice how these speakers capture your attention. Find ways to integrate their strengths into your speaking technique.

Find the time. Carve out an hour, or two, a week to give the techniques you learned at your Improving Communications class a try. When you maintain a steady public speaking practice schedule you will develop a confidence in public speaking and be more prepared the next time you present.

Learn more about our Introductory or Advanced Presentation Skills training classes or find other tools for your life on our public classes list to see all of our upcoming seminars.

Image by Spencer Garner from Pixabay 

Other Resources:

9 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Practice Public Speaking

Speech Practice: For Great Public Speaking, A Little Daily Practice Goes a Long Way

3 Not-So-Terrifying Ways to Practice Public Speaking

9 Ways That Anyone Can Become A Better Public Speaker

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