Phenomenal Speaker

Rehearse.

There is a difference between practicing a speech and rehearsing one.

The former is reading from a screen (or print out) over and over until you work out the kinks in the content. Rehearsing is active and purposeful–you do this after you’ve perfected the written words. It is a full engagement of the text and requires time and dedication. Whether you hire a speechwriter for a custom talk or draft your own, this part of the process is crucial to giving a fantastic presentation.

In a previous blog, I shared winning tips speakers could learn from stage actors. In this post, I’d like to delve deeper into the rehearsal aspect and break it down into smaller habits. The goal is to try and replicate the conditions of the actual event. For example:

Get comfortable standing and making purposeful movements

The first thing you need to do is stand up (if you can). Nothing epic is going to happen if you’re non-disabled but practicing sitting down. You need to get up to get the energy flowing and to become accustomed to the amount of space you’re going to use on stage. This is the time to be aware of how much pacing you’re doing. A little walking back and forth is okay, but avoid strolling too much. Ambling a lot can also make things difficult if you are being recorded by a single camera.

Rehearsing in a designated area doesn’t mean you have to plant in that spot. You can move a little bit, but give depth to your speech by using gestures and body motions. Try anchoring some of your lines to specific actions. Doing so can also help you with memorization. For example, if you’re telling a story about running from a rabid raccoon, crouch down and move your arms in a running motion to recreate the moment. As you rehearse, imagine yourself telling friends the story over brunch. How would you act it out? What emotions would you convey–fear, surprise, triumph? This is what you should practice doing for your audience.

Phenomenal Speakers

Not only will this keep your energy level up, but it will also engage your listeners. You cannot do these actions seated in front of a computer. Stand up and get used to speaking on your feet. Guaranteed you’ll get better at presenting and storytelling as a result!

Train yourself to stay within the speaking time allotment

When you’re rehearsing your speech (vs. practicing it), you’ll be more likely to recite it at the pace that comes natural to speaking (we often read faster in our heads than we speak aloud). It is important to get comfortable enough with your content to take a beat and not lose your place. This will make your speech sound as though it was not rehearsed even though it was. As you get closer to your event date, begin using a countdown stopwatch to ensure you don’t go over your time.

time your speech

Get used to moving in your clothing on speech day

Treat it like a costume if you must, but it is beneficial to rehearse your speech wearing the clothes you intend to don the day of your event. Some do’s and dont’s include avoiding dangling or loud jewelry that may clank against your microphone. Solid colors of dark, neutral or even pastel colors are better than stripes or puzzling prints and patterns. Wear something that’s comfortable but appropriate for the venue and event.

Professional Speech Writer

The key to delivering a speech that is better than good, better than great—one that is memorable and phenomenal, is to begin rehearsing as early as you can.

It is understandable that many C-level executives may not have the time for intense rehearsal, but it is in your best interest to make rehearsal a habit if you are someone who can make it work with your schedule. If you are a doctor, top-level sales person, university president, a local politician, or anyone else who may have more notice, don’t skip this step. Rehearse as often you can. Use the time to get used to using your visual aids if your speech incorporates them. Do a run through with background noise because one thing is for sure: audiences can be noisy even when they’re trying to be quiet. If it isn’t a cell phone notification, it is a cough, or sneeze, a baby, or shuffle of chairs. Going over your presentation with distractions will help you get accustomed to the little disturbances.

To get more tips for public speaking sign up for new post updates (to the right of the raccoon in this post). If you’re ready to hire a speechwriter for a custom speech, contact us today for a free consultation.

Social Share

1 Comment

Leave a comment

"Cheril is an incredible writer and professional communicator. She's extremely prompt and has been wonderful to work with."

Daniel Stringer, CEO, Total Care Connections

"Cheril did an awesome job on my speech! I had a tight deadline and she turned it over in just 24 hours. The speech was well received by about 100 folks at a city council meeting and local news media even asked me for quotes. Highly recommended!"

K. Bush, A Concerned Citizen

"Cheril is a strong writer and delight to work with. She’s adept at handling a variety of writing projects with professionalism and flexibility. Always quick to turn assignments around, Cheril is a great addition to our team when we need freelance help."

Todd Speranzo, Vice President of Marketing at Avella Specialty Pharmacy

"Great work! Always on time and passionate about the message, speaker and audience. I could always count on Cheril to perfectly capture my voice."

Michael Rashid, Managed Care Executive - Retired CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas

"Cheril is one of the most gifted speechwriters with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. She has the uncanny ability to quickly capture the distinctive voice of the people she’s writing for, and turns out effective, memorable speeches. Reliable, focused and a joy to work with, too. I recommend her without reservation."

Michelle Davidson, Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing - Health Partners Plans

"It is always a pleasure working with Cheril. I admire her passion and love for her craft."

Saunders Sermons, Two-time Grammy award winning musician and vocalist