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8.7: Practice Session #3

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    speaker practicing photo
    Speakers who have the opportunity to practice at the speaking venue should take the opportunity to do so if economically feasible.

    For this practice session, use only the timer and note cards. Start the timer, and just as with session #2, deliver the speech solely from the note cards. During this session, speakers should pretend they have an audience and interact with them during delivery instead of the note cards.

    Note to Self

    Want to maximize your chances for success? Preview the venue where you will speak in advance and imagine yourself in that room, looking at how you expect the audience to arrange itself. Continue your practice run-throughs, challenging yourself to wean away from the notes as much as possible. Ideally, you will spend a minimum of 70% of your speech not looking at your notes, but instead, at your audience. Remember to vary your phrases, so as not to memorize, but to learn your material well enough to deliver it as conversationally as possible. At this point, your note cards effectively become more like a parachute and less like a crutch.

    The more speakers push themselves to get away from the notes and use them only when they forget what to say next, the more they will learn the speech and give off the impression of credibility, preparedness, and confidence.

    During this third practice session, consider incorporating one or more of the following techniques:

    • Deliver the speech to a test audience of family or friends. Hearing feedback from familiar faces can offer perspectives that may help identify problem points.
    • Deliver the speech in front of a full-length mirror without looking away. This helps to desensitize the part of the emotional brain (the limbic system) that controls the natural aversion to eye contact. This exercise helps build confidence to maintain eye contact with audience members.
    • Record the delivery of the speech using a phone, camera, or webcam and watch it for self-review. As uncomfortable as this feels, it provides truly valuable feedback, leading to greater development as a speaker.

    Following the techniques outlined for these three practice sessions will provide speakers with a good starting point with which to work. Some people may require more practice, while others may be able to get by with less, but this much is certain: Practice makes perfect and helps the speakers develop confidence in their abilities to deliver a credible message to the audience.

    This page titled 8.7: Practice Session #3 is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Josh Misner and Geoff Carr via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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