An Ounce of Prevention: Rehearsing 242 Then play back the recording and listen closely. Where do you need to pause for emphasis? Which words were hard to pronounce? Were there any words that were hard for your audience to understand? Which sentences were too long to say in one breath? Take careful notes to assess your performance. Talk Soup The word rehearse suggests the importance of continual practice: re means "to repeat." 3. 4. Videotape the speech.Videotaping combines the benefits of tape recording and practicing in front of a mirror. You may be embarrassed watching yourself on tape, but you'll learn a great deal about your performance. It's the quickest way I know to get rock-solid improvement. Deliver the speech to a single person.Choose a friend or family member to listen to your speech. The success of this depends largely on the friend and your relationship. You need someone who can be honest but not cruel, and forthright but not nasty. Loyal spouses or love- stricken suitors are rarely good choices because they are too biased; instead, go for someone who can realistically assess your performance. Try to match this rehearsal as closely as possible to the actual performance. Set up a stage, lectern, and chairs. Be especially sure to use all your visual aids, too. At this point, try to enjoy yourself--even just a little. Smile. Let your eyes twinkle a touch. If you pretend like you're having a good time, you may fool yourself into actually enjoying the experience.