One of the most challenging – and confidence building – places to practice your public speaking is your local park.
Find a park where there are lots of people engaged in activities:
running, picnicking, dog walking.
Go there by yourself or with a friend. Have your speech ready to deliver. Set up your speaking area (you can do this using just a few sticks laid on the ground). Take a deep breath…and deliver.
Is it difficult?
I’ve done this many times. The first time I did it I felt completely self conscious and could barely get a word out. Then I started to speak, and realised that I had nothing to worry about.
Everyone in the park is engaged in their own activities. People are walking dogs. They’re hula hooping. They’re romancing. They’re exercising.
They’ll glance at you, but 99% of the time won’t even stop to say hello. Parks are common areas and everyone knows that everyone’s engaged in doing their own thing.
It’s a completely safe environment and, yes, it’s also a challenging environment. The external stimulation around you is overwhelming. People are doing their own thing, and that’s what’s distracting. Dogs are being taken for walks, people are running by, and planes are flying overhead. There’s noise from a hundred different sources: dogs, birds, runners,
conversations, nearby traffic.
It’s not a controlled environment, but that’s for the best.
Too often we stay at home or practice our speaking in the office. Those environments are unnatural. We’re caught unprepared if something unexpected happens during our speech. Practicing in the park is the ideal place to practice some of your other speaking skills: your ability to focus and your vocal projection.
Parks are both tough and easy environments in which to practice your public speaking. If you do go there by yourself to practice, no doubt no one will even come near you.
It’s amazing how many people leave you alone when you’re talking to yourself!