Would you agree that knowledge without implementation is useless?
When it comes to public speaking, you can learn the best strategies in the world…but if you’re not out there practicing your actual speaking skills, then those strategies aren’t going to do you any good.
Learning without implementing is not the way to get better. Learning AND implementing is the key piece to becoming a great public speaker!
So, practice, practice, practice.
For example, when I create a new keynote, I spend a minimum of 20 hours practicing that keynote.
Even with the presentations and keynotes I’ve been doing for years—the ones I know like the back of my hand—I still practice obsessively for 2-3 hours before I get up on stage.
The next big question is, “Where can you get that practice?”
Over the years, here’s where I’ve learned how to get practice:
Obviously, practicing alone all the time is not ideal. But it’s a comfortable, safe place to play around with your speech, your body language, and more.
Ironically enough, I hate practicing in front of a lot of people, so I love to go for walks alone and practice every element of my speech.
See, the goal is not just to have your speech memorized…it’s to have it so internalized that if someone shook me awake in the middle of the night, I could recite it no problem.
Personally, this is my style—practicing alone until the speech is in the very marrow of my bones.
2. Family and friends
Some people work best when presenting their work to their trusted loved ones; whether it’s in the living room with your family, or over the phone with your best friend, this can be a great way to get honest feedback from the people who know you the best.
3. On stage
When you’re ready for a live audience, take it to the stage!
Stand-up comedians do this all the time: find stage time wherever you can, get in front of a live audience whenever you can, and don’t treat it like a practice run. Treat it like the real thing!
A good rule of thumb in life—practice how you play.
4. Record yourself on video
Recording yourself present a speech is a GREAT way to learn and get better.
It allows you to spend as much time as you want covering every little nuance, every little hand gesture or blink, and then actively working on it.
5. Use Artificial Intelligence
This is a fairly new phenomenon, where you can record a video of yourself presenting, upload it onto an AI platform, and it will give you analytical feedback.
It will analyze how confident you sound, the rate of your pauses, your use of filler words, your use of inclusive words, and so on.
Pretty fantastic, right!?
Personally, my favorite platform is Yoodli, an artificial intelligence speaking platform founded by Varun Puri. If you’re looking to use AI to sharpen and hone your skills, I highly recommend trying Yoodli.
So, there you have it! 5 amazing ways to practice and perfect your public speaking skills.
Now, you don’t have any more excuses…go out and get practicing!