October 25, 2017

How To Practice Public Speaking On Your Own (1)

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How can you practice your public speaking skills on your own? Here is one thing to remember - speak only about what you know. Leave the rest for other people. It's that easy. The following subjects are areas where you can take advantage of speaking only about what you know.

Your achievements

Your achievements are unique to you alone. Only you can fully describe the process of reaching your goals and the successes you have chalked. What are you proud of? Leading your team to execute a tough project in spite of the odds? Finding a way to manage a difficult boss? I guarantee that even with zero public speaking experience, you can stand in front of an audience and speak for five minutes about achievements you are proud of.

Your education and training

Your educational background and training are areas you can speak knowledgably about even with no public speaking experience. Did you pursue your master’s degree twenty years after obtaining your first degree? Did you train as a doctor AND a lawyer? Even if your academic and professional training is not so exotic, you will definitely be able to speak about your educational experience without groping for words because it is unique to you.


Your family background has rich material you can use to practice speaking in public. Were you brought up by a strict stepmother? Did you experience growing up in different parts of the country? Were you an only child? Think back to when you were young, recall key incidents and see if you cannot speak for five minutes about that time of your life.

Hobbies and interests

Your hobbies and interests can inspire you to give a talk in public. I will always remember one of my students who had never once spoken in public. With barely a day's notice, he was able to give a 10 minute talk on his hobby which was playing the bass guitar. What do you do in your spare time? Gardening? Woodwork? Graphic design? List your interests and challenge yourself to create a speech around them.

You now have four subject areas around which you can build four different speeches. Think about these areas of your life which will be very familiar to you. List key points or experiences under each heading. Then speak about them naturally as if you were recounting a story to a good friend.

Tomorrow I will show you four new areas you can exploit to sharpen your public speaking skills on your own.