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Become Famous in Your Field by speaking

Practice like a professional actor

Sick of hearing you should practice your speeches and presentations? You’re thinking, “Yeah I KNOW! I DO practice!”

Okay, so how do you usually practice?

Take a moment and review your Practice Best Practices:

  • Practice it as many times as possible. CHECK.
  • Practice standing up. CHECK.
  • Practice saying it in the mirror, in the car, in a BOX with a FOX. CHECK!

Well, my practice weary peeps, I’ve got some new tips will help you break out of your boring practice patterns and rocket your public speaking right Outa Heeeeere!

These are insider secrets, courtesy of my good friend Melinda Thomas, a professional New York actress and voice over artist.

Ready to put the fun back into practicing? Ha! I know that’s a tall order but I dare you try these:

End at the beginning.

Often we practice the beginning of a speech or presentation over and over again because we’re so focused on launching with a big bang. However that means the middle and the end get short shrift. You go out with a whimper, instead of a bang.

You figure they’ll magically fall into place once you nail the beginning. BAD plan.

Better plan? Start each practice session by reading the last paragraph first and move towards the beginning of your speech.

Sounds a little cray-cray, but I promise it will break you out of your rut and give you a new perspective on your speech. Plus you will find that your speech has consistent energy throughout and feels more cohesive when you run it from the top.

Actor secret: for a powerful performance, practice speaking in your “showtime shoes.”

O-Sole-o mio! 

Oh yes! Practice in your shoes! Heck, wear your entire ensemble if possible. What if one of your key moves is to point to the screen but your suit jacket only lets you point to the chair below the screen? Awkwaaaaard!
Back to your shoes – your mood, attitude and confidence are influenced by your comfort level. So those skis below your knees are key!

Here’s a Hollywood secret: stage, TV and film actors often wear their character’s shoes from the very first day of rehearsal. Those shoes are literally the foundation for the character. Once they slip those babies on, they become the part they’re playing. It’ll work for you, too.

Standing in your bare feet feels different than wearing shoes – whether they’re flip flops, stilettos, or wing tips. Your posture is different, the way you walk is different, and the way you feel is different. You want to be sure that you feel your most confident on the big day. If you practice your speech in your flip-flops and on the big day you put on a shoe that covers your foot completely or has a heel it could literally throw you off!

Try practicing in your bare feet. Then put on your shoes. I guarantee you’ll feel a big difference.

Throw these tips on your list of practice best practices and you’ll perform perfectly. Period.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

How easy were these? Try them out this week to give your presentation a little extra boom boom pow. Go on, I’ve got your spotlight ready!
Want to jump start your public speaking? Start here.



  1. Sarada on August 8, 2013 at 8:19 am

    This is brilliant Lori!

    I’ve never come across these strategies before, especially about the shoes!

    I’ve got a talk coming up next week – will be sure to do this when I practise!

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Hope it went spectacularly, Sarada.

  2. Lilia Lee on August 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Wow! great tips for practicing the speech/presentation. I love them, particularly the one about the shoes. It does make a difference when you are standing in your full regalia, particularly if your feet hurt!

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Ha! Foot pain is something I forget while I’m speaking, but the moment I step off the stage…ouch.

  3. Lori Manns on August 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Love this: “your mood, attitude and confidence are influenced by your comfort level.” The more comfortable you are physically the better you feel and the better you can deliver top level results!

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      You bet, Lori.

  4. Nancy Tierney on August 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Do I really have to wear my shoes? Okay… I will.

    These tips are great for show people like me who create and produce musical one-woman shows. It’s true, we often spend waaaaay too much time focusing on the beginning and/or those parts that feel tricky or difficult.

    One thing that’s helped me is to do the whole performance/speech in my head, visualizing the audience and feeling exactly how I want to feel when I’m up there. We focus so much on the “what” the content of our presentation that we rarely practice how we want to feel while giving it. Try it. It’s transformational.

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Omigosh! I’ll bet anchoring the feeling you want to have helps you remember the content so much more easily, too. Killer tip, Nancy!

  5. Alyssa Johnson on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    LOVE IT!! Lori – I love your writing style. It’s so conversational. It’s like we’re sitting over a cup of coffee, just gabbing away. I always enjoy reading your blogs. They’re fun to read and always power packed with content. Thank you so much!

    You’re dead on about the problem with practicing from the beginning all the time. I’m a member of Toastmasters, so I’m used to speaking and practicing. I find when I only practice from the beginning, it’s easier for me to get thrown off, because subconsciously I’ve developed a rhythm and speech pattern. When the audience laughs or comments in some way, it completely throws me off. BAD! You want them to laugh. You want them to participate.

  6. Laura on August 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

    As Nancy asks, do I really have to wear my shoes? I do love all the suggestions. Especially tweaking it up by beginning with the end!!!

  7. Cindy Key on August 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Lori, beginning at the end is a wonderful tip, so often we see presentations that fall flat at the end. People so recall what you say last!

  8. BizSugar.com on August 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    How to put more POW into your presentations…

    Sick of hearing you should practice your speeches and presentations? Well, my practice weary peeps, I’ve got some new tips will help you break out of your boring practice patterns and rocket your public speaking right outa hereeeee! (I guarantee you ha…

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