Speech Rehearsal

You should do both of the following types of rehearsal:

Mirror Rehearsal

• Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror. Watch yourself carefully.

• If you'll be using notes for the actual speech, use them during the rehearsal. (If not, not!)

• Be sure to time each rehearsal.

• Do at least four mirror rehearsals, but not more than six.

• Each time you rehearse, vary the wording of the sentences at least a little.

• If you're using notes, make a new notecard for each mirror rehearsal.

• Never do two mirror rehearsals in a row, and never do more than two on a single day.

Audience Rehearsal

• Rehearse your speech in front of an audience. (One or two people is not an audience! An audience is three or more people.)

• Make the audience as similar as possible to the real-world audience you'll be addressing.

• Tell them what the assignment is and ask them to look for specific things you're concerned about.

• Have the audience members take notes about what they like and how you could improve.

• Have an audience member time each rehearsal.

• If you'll be using notes for the actual speech, use them during the rehearsal. (If not, not!)

• After the rehearsal, discuss the speech out loud with the audience. Welcome their comments!

• Do at least four audience rehearsals, but not more than six.

• If at all possible, rehearse in front of a different audience each time.

• If you can't change the audience, at least change the seating arrangement.

• Each time you rehearse, vary the wording of the sentences at least a little.

• If you're using notes, make a new notecard for each audience rehearsal.

• Never do two audience rehearsals in a row, and never do more than two on a single day.

If you have access to the relevant technology, you should also do either or both of the following types of rehearsal:

Audiotaped Rehearsal

• Set up a tape recorder and record your mirror and/or audience rehearsals.

• Don't hold the microphone in your hand, unless you'll be holding one during the real speech.

• After the rehearsal, listen carefully to the tape and note areas which need to be worked on.

Videotaped Rehearsal

• Set up a video camera and tape your mirror and/or audience rehearsals.

• Don't look directly into the camera. Look at the mirror or the members of the audience.

• After the rehearsal, view the tape and note areas which need to be worked on.

Be careful not to do the following type of rehearsal:

In-Your-Head Rehearsal

• You're most likely to do this when driving or occupied with otherwise-boring tasks.

Don't! If you do in-your-head rehearsal, you'll memorize your speech, and you don't want that!

• It's okay to think about your speech. The idea here is to avoid rehearsing it mentally.

• When you find yourself rehearsing inside your head, start singing out loud to distract yourself. (Maybe not if you're in class at the time. If you're in class, try listening to the professor!)

 

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