After you write your speech, you need to practice it. While preparing for the International Speech Competition, I practiced my speech every day in front of the mirror until I was sick of it. When I didn’t want to practice it anymore, I practiced it one more time.
Give your speech to yourself in front of a mirror to watch your eye contact and gestures. Being in front of a mirror should help you to act naturally. It may reveal distracting habits that you have, like jangling loose change in your pockets or wringing your hands.
If you can, record your speech and listen to (or watch) the recording. This will help you to enunciate correctly and talk at a natural pace.
You must practice your speech out loud before you give it, because the spoken word sounds different than the written word. Some things just don't make sense when you say them out loud. You want to identify the rough spots in your speech before you give it.
I prepared for my speech: wrote, revised, practiced, recorded and listened, watched myself in the mirror--and then I finally gave the speech in the competition.
Did all of that preparation give me confidence when I stepped onto that stage, in front of all those people, to deliver my speech? Yes, it was show time. I wasn't worried about the competition or the judges. Win or lose, I was going to do my best. I was ready. While you may never feel the same excitement about "show time," preparation will give you confidence.
Don't focus on your nerves or the urge to throw up. Focus on the fact that you have a message to deliver and you're ready to do it. Let that preparation give you the strength and confidence to do whatever public speaking you have to do.
Preparation leads to confidence: plan your speech, practice your speech and become a confident speaker.