Be a Motor Mouth: Practice Your Speech in the Car

  • SumoMe

Diane in car

You can greatly improve your speech with practice, but finding the time . . . that is the challenge isn’t it?

One way that I have found to slip in practice time is to practice in the car.

I don’t suggest practicing in rush-hour traffic, because your attention will be divided and you might not react to changing traffic conditions as quickly as you need to. But divided attention can help you learn your speech.

Divided attention creates additional cognitive loading because you will be trying to do two tasks at the same time—driving and speaking/remembering your speech.  The advantage to practicing your speech with divided attention is that you are simulating some additional stress, stress you don’t have when practicing at your home.  Your speech will be easier to give when you aren’t driving.

Practice time in the car can be used at several different speech development times:

  • Brainstorming ideas.
  • Practicing small segments.  If you are presenting a longer speech, you can divide it into bite-size chunks:  introduction, main points, conclusion.
  • Evaluating your vocal expression.
  • Internalizing by listening.  Record yourself reading a speech you have written and listen to it while driving.  I just use my phone to record my speech.
  • Repeating small segments that you record.  Play a portion of your speech. Pause it and then repeat.
  • Speed speaking.  Try increasing your rate of speech and zooming through it.  You will have to think faster to speak faster.
  • Audio editing.  Bring a very brief outline of your speech in the car.  Record yourself giving your speech, following your outline, but not using any memorized phrases.  Later, at your desk, transcribe your speech (or use a transcription service).  Transcribe it exactly the way you said it and then edit it to make it more powerful by working on transitions, eliminating filler words, adding foundational phrases, etc.
  • Running through your speech on the way to your speaking engagement

So, go ahead, be a motor mouth and practice your speech in the car!