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.
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.