They say you should rehearse an hour for every minute of your speech. I’m not so sure.
I think rehearsing your talk is really important. But how you do it, probably differs by individual.
There’s a belief out there about saying it in front of a mirror. What’s THAT about? Forget it – it doesn’t work.
What I do is break down longer talks into chunks – subtopics or key points. I get the main point in my mind and then I write down a word or two on a cue card. I memorize or think through the logic of the argument I’m going to make so that a key word will trigger that chunk.
Memorizing your entire speech is about the worst thing you can do. It results in really “wooden” delivery.
And I’m the guy driving along talking to himself. Cause I like to think it through in my head and then practice the key lines out loud. And I tend to try to imagine myself – actually seeing myself in my mind on stage, delivering the really important lines. I visualize my delivery … like athletes visualize their performance.
Repetition is one of the most powerful tools you can use to rehearse. But don’t attempt to memorize word for word. Become “familiar with it.” Another technique is to write it out, or type it out. This is a way of committing it to memory without actually memorizing it. Ever see someone stand up on stage and try to deliver a speech from memory? It is painful to watch.
Rehearsal should not have anything to do with memorizing. In fact, memorizing a speech can make your delivery quite wooden or mechanical. I don’t think memorizing is at all effective, except for small, important “chunks.”
The things I do memorize are jokes and punch lines or lines that have to be delivered in a particular way to be effective.
And I memorize the first line. Because all of us are nervous when we get up to speak but once you deliver that first line or two, you calm down and become “magic!”
Repetition is one of the most powerful tools you can use to rehearse.
Forget about the “one hour per minute” way to rehearse. Visualize yourself giving it on stage. See yourself in your mind going over certain sections. Think about the logic of how one section flows into the next.
So, my take on how to rehearse … memorize chunks and visualize the whole thing. Identify key words you can just talk to. Remember, “natural” works best. Talk to key points. Use a small key card if you have to. Your audience will hardly notice. What most important is to: Be you, have fun, and you’ll be successful.