Whenever people ask me for just one tip, I always say the same thing – practice, practice, practice. This seems so simple, and yet it is the one thing most people don’t want to do. Sure they spend time playing with their PowerPoint slides. But they don’t actually stand in front of a friend, a mirror or even their dog and go over their speech from beginning to end. I never understand a client’s reluctance to practice.
An actor would never go on stage without weeks, sometimes months of rehearsal. An athlete wouldn’t go to the Olympics without years of daily practice. Even your average golfer goes out to the driving range to ‘hit a few balls’. So why not spend a couple hours over several days practicing your speech?
So here are a few tips on how to practice.
1. Practice out loud – It will help you hear any kinks in your speech.
2. Practice in front of someone – It is good to get feedback from someone you trust.
3. Practice daily – If you practice every day, your speech will begin to flow freeing and sound surprisingly unrehearsed.
4. STOP practicing – 24 hours before you give your speech give yourself a rest. Since you already have it down, the break will help you be relaxed and confident when you start your speech.
So be brave and practice!!