Why practice doesn't necessarily mean perfect?
The title might sound shocking, especially as I have constantly been strengthening the importance of practice. It is true practice puts you in control over your performance since it increases your familiarity with what you need to say and how to say it; however, the right practice for your public speaking skills has several aspects that must be considered to avoid useless repetition.
We all know that years of experience at any job are not the only indicator of a person's professionalism or expertise, as those years must be filled with various backgrounds and exposure to have real valuable weight. And the same goes for public speaking.
So now, what to consider?
Feedback and re-creation.
When you practice the same type of presentations or speeches in front of the same audience, you may own your familiarity with your content and speech flow. Still, without continuous observation of what could have been done better, you're not learning anything new; you might even be repeating the same mistakes.
Even if you get that encouraging applause each time, your presentation could still be better the next time, and you can achieve more significant results.
What to do?
1) Ask the opinion of those who could provide constructive feedback.
2) Set an eye on your performance, choice of words, the flow of the structure, and your delivery comfort, and decide what needs improvement and how it can be done. Then make sure to focus on 1 or 2 elements each time you deliver that same presentation to master what you do in that particular presentation eventually.
3) Monitor your audience since they might be the same each time, but they are not at the same status each time! They might be stressed, tired, or even bored. The background environment of that meeting can always be different each time.
Utilize those changes for your objective favor and try to add modifications based on your audience's status. This will be an opportunity for that same presentation to be a new challenge each time on its own.
Creating new challenges!
Public speaking situations usually hold many unexpected challenges. Whether those relevant to the time limit, your audience, the environment, or even you.
Instead of waiting for a new challenge to arise, start creating those challenges for the same presentation so you can enhance something new in your skills each time.
• Setting shorter time duration for your content.
• Using new visual aids or none at all.
• Adding more engagement tools with the audience.
• Trying different types of openings or stories.
• Integrating the audience's experiences differently each time.
Enhancing your public speaking skills is a journey that has no end and requires effort and dedication. But it's your choice either to be happy with the number of repetitive speeches you make, assuming this will make you a professional, or to utilize them better and create new challenges that could expand your potential and limits.
The right practice should hold continuous improvement and thorough evaluation, not just repetition.