If you find that public speaking unnerves you and makes you uncomfortable, you can use public speaking exercises to put yourself at ease and practice your technique. Many public speaking exercises work well with groups.
On the Spot
This is one of the public speaking exercises you can use to help you be creative and to learn how to speak spontaneously. You will receive a prompt from someone in your group. After you receive your prompt, you stand before your group and give an impromptu talk on the prompt. The prompt can be a topic, word, phrase. For instance, if your prompt is the green movement, you can launch into a talk about a variety of things, such as composting, recycling, or rooftop gardens.
The Never Ending Story
This public speaking exercise gets the entire team involved. With this exercise, the group sits in a circle, and someone in the circle begins to tell a story, using thirty seconds to a minute. When that speaker reaches his or her time limit, the next person in the circle continues the story, using the same timeframe. This continues around the entire circle, with the goal of telling a story that actually makes sense. This exercise will boost your comfort level as you work with others, improve your creativity, and hone your listening skills.
What’s in your Wallet?
With this exercise someone in your group will remove an item from his or her wallet. You will stand before the group and talk about what the item is, what its importance might be, and maybe even why that person might be carrying that particular item. Use this exercise to stretch your creative skills, and keep in mind that a little humor can go a long way.
Walk the Talk
This is one of the more fun and engaging public speaking exercises. With this exercise you will stand before the group and tell a story that entails a lot of action. As you tell the story, you will act out those actions. For instance, I looked out the window this morning and saw it was a beautiful day. I went to the sink to drink a glass of water, and then I put on my hat and went outside. Continue on to the story’s end. This exercise will benefit your use of gestures and body language while speaking.
Sell it Well
When you do this exercise, someone in the group will give you a random object. The object could be anything—stapler, flower pot, phone, etc. Your task is to come up with a thirty second to one minute commercial for that object. You want to sell that object to your group! Focus on telling the team members why they can’t possibly live without the product. This exercise will help you learn how to be innovative and convincing.
Use Public Speaking Exercises to Your Advantage
You can definitely use public speaking exercises to make public speaking easier, fun, and more comforting. If you do enough public speaking exercises, you will actually learn how to enjoy giving speeches in the future. The task will become one that inspires you, rather than a source of dread.