Venues to Help Practice your Speaking Abilities

If you believe that a stage or a podium is where you want to share your passionate voice with a crowd of people, then hats off to you! You are a small minority of people who do not have "glossophobia"-- the fear of public speaking. The stats support that people would prefer to die then get up on stage and public speak! Outrageous, I know. Especially shocking for someone like myself who loves to share and communicate with people on a public stage and believes that it really is a great forum to share your story and views!

But it is true. Not everyone likes to embrace the stage and speak in front of others. And that is OK. We all can't be public speakers. But, I do like to tell people that public speakers aren't necessarily naturally born. It is a skill that can be learned, tweaked, and acquired over time. The best speakers learn from other speakers and make their own take on speech giving and presenting.

I had a question recently from a young gentleman who asked how at his age (approximately 22), he can find venues to help practice his public speaking skills to continue to practice and become a better public speaker. Great question.. here are some ideas I shared with him:

  • give a speech in front of your family- they'll be your best (and worst!) critics
  • group of friends, peers, or classmates-- it may be the most nervous you'll ever be because you'll be worried about what they think, but they'll provide real, honest feedback for you to use
  • a Rotary club, legion, organized group/committee that hosts speakers often-- just offer your services and they most likely would love to have you come speak. Especially if you are not charging a fee and are just trying to practice your craft-- most groups love to hear about any topic!
  • THE MIRROR- I emphasized this one in capitals because there is no one better to provide feedback then watching YOURSELF present. You can easily study how you look; your facial expressions; your body language, and any other little quirks. No one else can help you more than watching yourself to see what you like (& don't like) about how you present and give speeches and what you can work to improve on. The next step is videotaping yourself giving an entire presentation so you can sit down and analyze your full performance to really tweak and tailor your performance to just how you like it.

What other venues would you suggest to beginner public speakers or people wanting to practice their craft of sharing their passionate voice?