Chapter 8 - Rehearse Your Speech
Rehearsing a speech is no different than test driving a new vehicle.
Would you ever think of going into a car dealership and purchasing a car
off the floor without first test driving it? A test drive is the best
way you have of thoroughly checking out a vehicle before buying it.
A test drive doesn’t obligate you to buy or even make an offer on a new
car, just as rehearsing a speech doesn’t obligate you to accepting
every idea and all the wording you have selected. You are simply trying
them on to see how they feel. Just as you want to thoroughly check out
the vehicle, you want to thoroughly check out your speech to see how
comfortable you are with it.
A car’s major systems are the brakes, engine, transmission, lights, and
the other electrical systems. A speech’s major systems are the
introduction, transitions, main points, sub points and supporting
material, visual support, and conclusion. How do they feel individually
as you rehearse them? How do they hold together as a complete unit?
In a test drive of a new car, you also want to check out the other
functioning parts such as doors and windows, trunk, engine, and locks.
The functioning parts of a speech are those revealed in your delivery of
the ideas. What about your facial expressions, gestures, and body
movement? How dependent are you on your notes? Or, to put it
differently, how well do you know your information? This ties into
another relevant question: how much will you be able to connect with
your listeners, notice their feedback, and respond and adapt as
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