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How to practice public speaking in your own home (without feeling stupid!)

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

This is the year! You’ve put it off for long enough and you’re tired of it holding you back so now is the time. You are going to overcome your fear of public speaking once and for all, eeek!

But while you may be all fired up and ready to go… the thought of getting started terrifies you. How do you go from fearful to fearless?

You CAN do it! I’m here to help you move past the overwhelm and figure out how to get started TODAY from the comfort of your own home.

Let’s break this down into bitesize chunks and start with the basics.

What is public speaking?

When you think about public speaking do you imagine a polished presenter on a stage in front of hundreds of people? Maybe the speaker is the one with the microphone, standing at a lecturn confident and in control.

Yes ok, kind of, but it doesn’t stop there. There are so many different types of public speaking.

Over the last couple of years (thanks largely to a global pandemic) we’ve had a digital boom and it’s easier than ever to connect with people (even my mum can now face time my sister in Australia!)

Examples of public speaking

I’d like to bet that you speak in public at least once a week these days without even leaving your house.

Here’s what I mean:

  • That online appt you had with your GP last week

  • Chats with your bestie in the pub that you’re hoping no one is listening to

  • The face time with your brother in New Zealand

  • Your weekly team meeting on Zoom where no one wants to contribute

  • Every single online session with your coach

Any time you are speaking to another person, that could be considered public speaking.

Is it time we changed how we think about public speaking?

Here’s the thing, the main reason that the majority of people have a fear of public speaking is because of unrealistic expectations. As a recovering perfectionist, I can relate to your anxiety over making the slightest mistake. But I’m here to tell you, it will happen. You will make mistakes and you will mess up.

Those entrepreneurs you see on stage sharing their story about the highs and lows of their business journey have been practicing for literally years to get to that point! Not to mention the hours and hours of coaching they’ve had to improve their technique too.

You cannot possibly expect to be as good as them. It’s like walking into a karaoke booth and expecting to be able to sing like Beyoncé - that girl has been singing since before she could walk!

So how can you improve without actually stepping on stage and making a fool of yourself?

Here are 6 simple ways you can practice your speaking skills without leaving your own home. The great news for all you introverts is you don’t even have to speak to anyone if you don’t want to!

1. Voice notes

you know those messages you send to your friends, family or business associates over WhatsApp or Messenger? Why not start doing more of those? As you play them back, listen to how you sound.

I know what you’re thinking - that’s the last thing you want to do, you hate the sound of your own voice! In the last 10 years I’ve been a speaking coach every single person says that to me! That’s because it sounds different to how it does in our head. It’s a fact, you can’t change it. But you can get used to it by listening to the sound of your voice more often.

2. Short videos

Mobile phones have incredible cameras in them these days so everyone can make their own videos. You’ve no excuse! I recommend buying a selfie stick (there’s something I never thought I’d say!) which doubles up as a tripod.

Set it up on your desk and film a short video every single day. This is a great way to practice speaking out loud. You can talk about your day or a win you’ve had that week. It helps you get into the habit of sharing your thoughts.

Yes you’ll mess up, get mad at yourself, have to stop and start again. That’s what practice is all about right?

3. Watch the videos

OK so I’m not gonna lie this is the tough bit. It might take you a while before you pluck up the courage to watch what you recorded. I’d recommend recording a week of vlogs then watching them all back. You will be able to see yourself improving as the week goes on.

What to look for?

  • Notice your body language, how is your posture?

  • Are you using eye contact - top tip: look at the camera not the screen

  • Are you fidgeting, is it distracting from what you’re saying?

  • How is your pace? If you’re saying lots of erms try slowing down

Try turning off the sound and just focus on your body language - would you still want to watch? Is it engaging?

4. Share the videos

You could do this for a year if you wanted with an incredible back catalogue of content ideas before you ever have to share with anyone. At some point you’ll get curious and wonder what other people think.

You don’t have to immediately share with the world, I’d recommend choosing a critical friend. It’s no good choosing someone who will tell you how wonderful you are! You want someone who will be prepared to give you some constructive feedback about where you can improve.

Then it’s back to step 2 again - keep practicing! Eventually you’ll get to a point where you feel comfortable to share with your followers on your socials. This takes real courage and when you get to this point you should be really very proud of yourself!

5. Upload the videos

Hold on, I’m not suggesting you become a Tik Tok sensation over night! But you will need to put all the videos in one place to free up some space on your phone.

There’s several ways you can do this, I’ve used both Instagram and YouTube. Both provide an opportunity to create a private account. You can film and upload videos to your heart's content without anyone ever seeing them.

6. Join a supportive community

You don’t have to do this alone! If you’re really serious about improving your confidence in speaking about your business why not join the Bold Voices Speaking Academy?

Here’s what some of our members have to say:

Find out more about the Bold Voices Speaking Academy here.

There will never be a better time to start public speaking - start before you’re ready. Start today!


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