Public Speaking:
Practice Aloud and With an Audience

by Jim Tunney, EdD, CSP, CPAE 

Practice, practice, practice. The reason you have heard it over and over and over is because it is true. Saying your speech aloud into a tape recorder and then listening critically one time is worth ten silent read-throughs. In the same way, one stand-up practice in a mock setting with friends and family members as an audience is worth ten read-alouds. 

Preparation is more than fact-finding and effective writing. Gaining the more subtle skills . . .voice control and modulation, paper and equipment handling, posture and presentation, humor and timing, ease and confidence . . . requires preparation. Preparation includes practice, "real" practice. Heed the coach'S maxim: Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. 

Jim Tunney is a Past President of the National Speakers Association, an educator and best known for his work as an NFL referee for 31 seasons. Jim delivers compelling keynote speeches and seminars on leadership, teambuilding, motivation and productivity. Contact him at,