Public speaking is a social act of speaking in front of people either in-person or virtually and sharing your views about a certain topic. Developing public speaking skills has many benefits for business leaders. It can boost your self-confidence, promote personal growth, and advance your career, just to name a few. But to reap these benefits, you must be able to practice effectively. But, do you know “How to practice public speaking”
Considering not many people are comfortable in a public setting, it’s fairly obvious that excelling at public speaking would require some practice.
Now you may wonder, how to practice public speaking without the presence of the public. Fortunately, there are things or exercises you can do to improve your public speaking without actually interacting with a group of people.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together ten top answers to how to practice public speaking at home. Here’s what you need to know:
Let’s start with the popular method of using mirrors. To the question, How to practice public speaking? We answer “Use Mirrors.”
Yes, the mirror plays the role of both the audience and yourself. The beauty of this trick is that you can practice it in front of someone without actually doing it. It helps you see how you look and how your mouth & body move when you speak. It’s like a self-assessment technique that reduces your reliance on notes. This technique works in favor of many public speakers, so give it a try and find out for yourself.
Another way to refine public speaking skills is to try the “Just a Minute” exercise every day because it’s always more fruitful to consistently practice something than a one-night practice before D-Day.
Just a minute means taking one minute out of your day to talk about any random topic that comes to mind. Trust us, it works.
Just-a-minute exercise is a great way to prepare and practice your speeches!
You can also incorporate simple breathing exercises and music breaks to calm your nerves and control your breathing.
The next step after practicing in front of the mirror is to film yourself and watch the footage. This has the same benefits as using a mirror, with the added benefit of not having to concentrate on presenting and analyzing the presentation, but on the playback.
If you’re filming yourself speaking, you can also easily skip forward or backward to replay key moments. You can also upload the video to YouTube as a private video and share this link with your friends and family to ask for their feedback. Filming yourself speaking solves your trouble of how to practice public speaking to an extent.
Practicing in manageable chunks is a key aspect of practicing public speaking. It reduces stress and maximizes improvement. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, and long hours of practice can be stressful. Working on too many things at once or practicing for too long will limit the improvement you can make in a particular area.
So, to master effective communication, try starting your presentation with a random slide (or halfway through if you don’t use slides) to prepare for unexpected interruptions.
You should create an exercise plan and base your exercise sessions on what you can realistically stick to. Practice as long as it fits into your schedule. By practicing more often in shorter periods of time, you can break up these sessions and make them more viable despite your busy schedule.
By visualising the verbal and non-verbal aspects of the presentation while thinking about the content of the presentation, you’ll be able to practice your presentation without physically speaking or moving.
You may have heard of singing in the shower, but you never thought of practicing your presentation in the shower. One tip people often share is to imagine your audience naked–it turns the tables.
Practicing in the shower is a great way to add some extra exercise without wasting time on an already busy schedule. It can also help you get used to speaking loud and clear. Because you need to raise your voice above the flowing water.
Next on our list of how to practice public speaking are tongue twisters. It may sound silly, but it definitely helps.
In case you didn’t know, a tongue twister is a series of words or sounds that are usually alliterative in nature and difficult to pronounce quickly and accurately. These are great and fun ways to improve your pronunciation, fluency, and pronunciation.
Here are some examples:
She sold cannonballs on the shore, and he threw her three free throws. You can find their details here.
She sells seashells by the seashore.
Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear.
Record yourself while speaking and watch the video to notice your nonverbal cues. You can do so by muting the volume so that you cannot hear yourself. This way, you’ll be able to focus more on the nonverbal signal you’re giving. While watching the video, take note of the following:
What do you notice about your nonverbal delivery?
How is your posture? Does it change throughout the talk?
Are any of your movements distracting? Moving too much? Too little?
Do you make eye contact with the audience? Did you spend too much time looking back at the screen?
Do you see any patterns throughout your presentation?
Repetitive movements or distracting habits. Something you do whenever you talk about a certain topic
Practice Does Not Make Perfect — Training Does!
Good communication is never perfect. We don’t expect anyone to be perfect. But you can give a better speech if you give it the time it needs to prepare. You may not be able to shake off your nerves completely. But you can learn to minimize them by taking help from a professional trainer.
A professional public speaker can guide you throughout your journey and help you refine your public speaking skills. An expert can also help you tackle the nerves before the presentation and show you the importance of public speaking skills.
If you wish to take your public speaking skills to the next level and strengthen your personal brand as a leader, join Emerge Global’s Online Public Speaking Course. Within eight weeks, this thoughtfully curated course will help you form the foundation of your speaking skills.
Led by a renowned TedX speaker, this public speaking course is the perfect entry point to mastering this craft. So, if you’re wondering how to practice public speaking skills, check out Emerge Global.
Public speaking could be the most dreadful thing for many business leaders, but at the end of the day—it’s a skill. Skills are not inherited but learned, practiced & mastered, which means even if you have never engaged in public speaking, you can still learn to communicate effectively with proper training and practice. To practice public speaking skills, try out our list of exercises and activities or enroll yourself in Emerge Global’s public speaking course to learn from experts.
Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.