How many of you play sports? If you do, you would probably agree with me that it takes time to master a sport. This is especially true for some of you who decide to become a professional sportsperson.

If you are a soccer fan, I believe you should know David Beckham. For those who do not know him, he was formerly the captain of the English national soccer team and a master of free kick. The truth is that even though he is now a free kick expert, he continues spending countless hours practising his free kick as he believes practice means improvement.

In my opinion, public speaking is the same. It takes time for a trainer to refine and improve his public speaking skill. There is a saying that practice makes perfect. I beg to differ. My belief is that "practice makes improvement and not perfection." The reason is that the moment we reach the stage of perfection, our mind will stop looking for further improvement. Therefore, practice makes improvement. The more we practise our public speaking skill, the better we will be as public speakers.

Many authors have written on the topic about the importance of pracisting public speaking skill. One reason why they argue that it is important for a trainer to practise is to help him to overcome anxiety and fear in speaking in front of a group of audience. Let's think about it - fear causes anxiety and fear comes from unknown. What these authors advocate is for a trainer to gain familiarity and confidence by practising the speech before the actual delivery. This makes sense to me.

Apart from the above, I would also like to share with you my own reasons as to why I believe it is important to practise public speaking:

1. Pronunciation

I am not a native English speaker. As a result, I have to practise many times to make sure that my pronunciation of certain words is clear and proper.

In my early career as a trainer, I was surprised to receive feedback that I did pronounce words such as "this" and "that" properly. The word "this" sounds like "dis" and "that" sounds like "dat". I received such feedback positively and have made conscious effort to improve my pronunciation through practices.

2. Breathing

As my mentor suggests, breathing is important in public speaking. My role as a trainer is to help my participants to learn. I know that if I am speaking too fast or if my breathing is too shallow, it would create roadblocks for my participants to learn.

Again, I received my mentor's feedback positively. Knowing my tendency of speaking too fast, I have made conscious effort to control my breathing. I am also aware of breaking my long messages into pieces so that my participants will be able to handle them. By the way, proper breathing also helps me to improve my pronunciation and voice projection.

3. Voice projection

In my early career as a trainer, I received feedback that my tonality was flat. I did not believe this until I listened to my own speech. Frankly, it was weird. It is through a lot of practices that I have improved my tonality, especially when I have to emphasise certain key messages and/or engage my participants in their learning.

4. Formulate Your Own Style

I do not know about you. Practice helps me to identify my preferred style in public speaking. As a trainer, I always pay attention to what other trainers do in their training sessions. When I find something useful, I will test it out in my own training. The more I practise what other trainers do, the more comfortable I become in adapting their style and turning it into my own style.

I hope you will find my sharing insightful. If you have any tips to share as to why you believe it is important to practise public speaking skill, please leave your comment in my website. I would love to hear them.

Author's Bio: 

After working in the corporate world for 16 years as an international tax lawyer, Jack Wong is now an entrepreneur working from home, allowing him to spend more time with his family. He specialises in coaching his clients to identify their passion in life, and how to make money from home.

For more details, check out Jack's Website at and Personal Blog at