5 Excellent Tips On How To Rehearse A Speech
Need some helpful ideas on best practices for preparing for your speaking engagement? Understanding how to rehearse a speech is a valuable communication skill. The following are effective ways to add another layer of polish to your communication and public speaking skills:
- Use A Mirror Or Utilize A Video Recorder. Sometimes the best way to discover the areas of your speech that need work is to watch yourself in action. Stand in front of the mirror or videotape yourself giving your speech to help pinpoint problem areas or things you may not be aware that you do. This is an effective way to note your bad habits, mannerisms that could be distracting, facial expressions and posture. If your face looks like it’s made of stone, work to be expressive and add some personality by smiling as you speak. If your body is as stiff as a mannequin, modify things so you move around a bit. If you have the opposite problem; you gesture with your arms and hands so much it looks like you are about to take flight, work to tone that down as well. Your goal is to act natural and responsive, just as if you were standing and talking to a good friend.
- Audio Record To Get A Feel For Your Voice. Tone, pace, enunciation and volume are critical when working on public speaking skills. Using a voice recorder to record yourself as you practice your presentation is a good way to detect if you talk too fast, if there words you don’t enunciate clearly and how audible your volume is.
- Get A Second Opinion. Practice with a friend and/or public speaking coach, to get constructive and objective feedback. We all have blind spots, areas about ourselves we can’t see because we lack objectivity. Rehearse your presentation in front of another person and ask for candid feedback. Perhaps you sound better than you thought, or your hand gestures were more distracting than you were aware of.
- Visualize The Best Outcome Possible. Visualization is a powerful tool for public communicators. Use this tool to visualize how you will speak, feel and move during your presentation. Picture your audience, the venue where your presentation will be held, the area of the stage where you will be standing and the slides of your presentation moving forward smoothly. Ninety percent of elite athletes tap into this powerful tool by visualizing their performance to achieve excellent results. You can do the same!
- Be Kind to Yourself. We can be our own worst critic, so make sure while you are assessing your non-verbal and verbal communication skills, that you maintain the mindset of constructive criticism -vs- negative self-judgment. Judging yourself harshly can be counter-productive and a waste of time. If you are concerned about being overly critical, it’s best to practice without doing any kind of recording or mirror work and focus on how you feel – connect with confident, positive emotions and the rest will come naturally.