University of Hawai'i Maui Community College Speech Department

Practicing Your Speech

DO!

  • Go to the room where you will give your presentation to get a feel for the environment/set-up. Practice in front of a friend or friends without stopping, just as you will want to give your presentation on speech day.
  • Practice in front of a mirror (full length if possible).
  • Practice using visual aids so you know how much time they will take up and how to incorporate them into your speech.
  • Practice with background noise (ie.- turn on the tv, radio, etc.) in order to practice with distractions.
  • Practice with the actual speaking outline you will use in your presentation.
  • Practice your speech dressed as you plan to be for your actual presentation so that you can feel comfortable and ready to speak.
  • Time yourself. -- Make sure that you are consistently within your time frame.
  • Video tape yourself if possible. This is the best way for you to be able to see what your mistakes are so that you can fix them before you give your presentation.
  • Practice becoming aware of your posture and mannerisms as you speak. If you are going to use movement on speech day -- you need to practice moving--keep it controlled and natural.
  • Eliminate any distracting mannerisms you may have. Distracting mannerisms include (but are not limited to) many nervous habits you might have (i.e. playing with a ring or necklace, tucking hair behind your ear, playing with a pen, cracking knuckles, etc.). These are actions you can easily avoid doing if you are aware of them. Take off your jewlry; tie your hair back or moose it down; get rid of the pen, etc...

    Don't

    Speakers often do things that drive their audiences crazy. Don't!

  • Never have change or keys in your pockets. You do not want to have the sound of objects competing with your voice.
  • Never wear a hat, unless it is part of your presentation. Dress appropriately any time you give a presentation. It is better to make a credible first impression by looking as if you are interested in giving a good speech.
  • Do not use distracting mannerisms. This includes many nervous habits you might have (i.e. playing with a ring or necklace, tucking hair behind your ear, playing with a pen; cracking knuckles, etc.). These are actions you can easily avoid doing if you are aware of them. Take off your jewlry; tie your hair back or moose it down; get rid of the pen, etc...
  • Do not stand with your arms crossed or your hands in your pockets. This type of posture prevents you from gesturing and may even make your audience uncomfortable.
  • Never apologize if you make a mistake while giving a speech. Simply correct the mistake and move on. You never want to draw light to an error, chances are most people will miss it anyway. Along these same lines never make faces when you make a mistake it is better to just keep going.
  • Don't put your visual aids up in front of the class before you explain them. Rather introduce them as you are speaking. Also, don't keep visual aids up after you are no longer referring to them. Use Visual Cues on your speaking outline to easily avoid these blunders.
  • Don't practice your speech holding on to your speaking outline. When you are practicing put your outline on something - Music stand; A box; A high counter, anything to simulate the lectern that you will be presenting with.

What do you think?
Do you have any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, or tips for practicing speeches that you would like to share? If so, contact me, Ron St. John, with your feedback. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Be sure to state the title or subject matter, so I know to what material you are referring. Thank you for visiting the Public Speakers' Sites!


The Public Speakers' Resources
|Public Speakers' Page | Speech 151 | Speech 251 | Public Speaking Resources|
|Supporting Your Speech | Sample Speeches | Speech Practice | Speaking Tips|
|Speech Anxiety | Team Presentations | Group Communication | Interviewing|
|Using Visual Aids | ESL Links | Anonymous Feedback | Ron St. John|
|The Learning Center | MCC Library | Maui Language Institute|
|Distance Education Academic Support Services|
|The Ho'oulu OnLine (Student Newspaper)|
|The University of Hawai'i at Manoa|


Page Designer: Ron St. John
Copyright 2002 - Ka Leo Kumu
Last Revised: January 16, 2002