How To Practice A 5-7 Minute Toastmasters Speech
You will discover that some techniques for practicing your speech work well, while others do not. My approach for practicing a speech is unique to me, so it’s important for you to gather advice from others as well. Research which patterns, practices and procedures work best for you to present a 5-7 minute speech, without notes, while coming across as confident and natural.
I added Ryan Avery‘s advice and write my speech in as close to poem form as possible. Then I took the advice of a number of World Champions of Public Speaking, like Ed Tate, and I memorize every word (for a 5-7 min speech). I then take my printed-out speech outside to my practice area and practice my speech out loud at least 6 times. This is my first of many run-throughs to get a feel for the stage and timing.
I’m also going through my stage positions while practicing out loud. I discovered that my stage positions also help me remember my next line/story.
After practicing my speech in my practice space over a week (3-6 times per day), then I don’t need my printed-out speech anymore. The speech has become part of me because it’s been marinating throughout my practice sessions.
At this point, I start doing an exercise that Ed Tate recommends: saying my speech at 2x it’s normal speed. It’s tough-going at first, but I find it very helpful.
There also comes a time when I don’t practice my speech at all – because I’m sick of all the damn practice. I take a break and come back to it a week later. This break, like a much-needed vacation, does wonders for being confident and sounding natural.
World-renowned speech coach, Patricia Fripp, advises that writing out your speech in a logical sequence helps you remember it better.