In this pandemic era of virtual communications, how do you practice your public speaking skills? Here’s an idea: Become a tour guide. Use your imagination. Build an imaginary group of people and take them on a tour. Limit the number of people in your imaginary group to a size that you’re comfortable with. Then, take your audience on a tour of your neighborhood, your house or apartment, a destination, or even a make-believe, sumptuous mansion. You could construct your own dream house and take your audience through it, or guide your audience through the various galleries in a museum. The possibilities are almost endless.
You can start with something like, “Today we’re going to visit (name).” And start out on the virtual tour. You can try winging it extemporaneously to see how you do, or plot your tour in advance on your computer or a piece of paper.
Set a goal. What do you want your audience to know about the place(s) visited?
Set a time limit. How long is your tour? It can be 5 minutes or more. It’s up to you. However, you’ll probably want to keep it under 10 minutes.
Then try these four steps :
- Do a run-through to see what needs improvement. Does it lack organization, are you lost for words, are you having trouble speaking to a nonexistent audience?
- Work on your problem areas
- Once you’ve worked out a few kinks, try recording your tour on your mobile device or computer.
- Playback your tour. How did you come across to a potential viewer? What did you like? What areas needed improvement?
Try tours of different places. By being a virtual tour guide you’ll become more comfortable talking to your virtual audience.