Public Speaking Exercises at Home
The quote you see above is from one of my favorite all-time Martial Arts stars, Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was known for his diligence in training to be one of, if not THE best Martial Artist in history.
He was super dedicated to his craft and it showed. He believed in practice.
Things aren't much different when it comes to holding a conversation with an audience. You have to practice just like you would with anything else in life. It'll make you better.
I can remember as a child being involved in strings classes playing the violin, as well as band class as a trumpet player. Some of my classmates were much better than me starting out. I had a burning desire to get better. So I practiced day in and day out.
My father worked 3rd shift so he definitely got tired of hearing those awful, screeching notes coming from my instrument while he tried to get some sleep from work.
I never gave up and eventually I got much better, taking the first chair spot in band. Boy was it a great feeling!
I know you've done some things that required you to practice over and over again until you got better. Developing good public speaking skills requires practice as well.
I've put together a list of a few exercises that will help you to speak well when delivering your next speech. Some of these will require one other person to assist you. No need in signing up for any expensive speech classes. These conversation games boost your confidence instantly.
Exercise #1: Your Friend's Life Story
For this exercise you will need a couple friends. It's actually quite fun and can be very humorous. I know that my friends and I got a kick out of doing this little exercise.
What you want to do is tell a fictional story about your friend's life. Start off by introducing them, then proceed with who they are and so forth. As an example you could say something like, "Hi everyone this is Allison. Allison is a Neurosurgeon who has helped save the lives of many people. She got started a few years ago when she finished college for [name of school]."
This little exercise helps you to master getting thoughts together in your head. If you're the kind of person that gets tied down to their notes, this will help you to avoid that. You'll be more focused on what you need to say, rather than the material on paper itself. It really works.
Exercise #2: Last Minute Decision
This exercise is one of those speech games that will really help you deal with random questions people may ask you. If you ever have to deliver a presentation in which you'll take questions from listeners, this helps you to be ready for a response.
Here's how it goes. You'll stand in front of a group of friends and one of them will give you a random topic on paper that you'll have to talk about. This can be a random topic, one word or just a one sentence line of text.
As an example it could be "ghostbusters", "President Donald Trump", "what is your favorite color?" and so forth. As you can see, this is really a fun way to help you overcome stage fright and train your brain to handle impromptu material.
Exercise #3: Fill In The Blank Stories
This is one of those public speaking games that I actually learned from work. I was being trained in a different department on the job. This new position required learning how to ask people open ended questions in order to avoid a simple yes or no answer.
Well this same method of speech training applies to speaking before an audience. You'll need a few friends in order for this to work effectively.
Start off by telling a story that's about two to four sentences long. The next person will add on to the story, and you just go back and forth taking turns. Let me tell you, this is absolutely hilarious sometimes but it'll really help you get in the habit of thinking ahead. If you've had any fear of what to say when public speaking, this easily helps you overcome it.
Exercise #4: What's In Your Wallet?
I like to nickname this speaking activity the Capital One game. This involves taking something from a friend's wallet or purse (with their permission of course), and mentioning why it is important for them to have the item.
For instance let's say you're using someone's driver's license. You could say something like "this is a driver's license owned by Amy. It's important for Amy to have this so that she can legally drive her car around town and take care of her business. If she didn't have a license she might go to jail. That's something that Amy wouldn't want to do. Jail is not a fun place."
You could go on and on about jail and then end up talking about something else. This is a unique mind training game that will help you speak well before anyone.