You’ve worked with a speech therapist on achieving your language, speech, or vocal goals – what’s next?
Practicing your new voice techniques is an important step in communicating with others.
Whether you’ve been working on reducing your stutter or confidently speaking in public, there are many opportunities for you to talk to others and flex your new skills.
Working with your speech language therapist is the first important step to conquering your speech concern, but practicing is just as important.
Here are some approachable ways you can practice your new voice techniques and ensure your long-term success.
It Takes Practice
Practicing can help highlight areas you may still want to work on.
You may notice your volume is too quiet or too loud, or the accent you worked to modify slips during conversation.
Additionally, practicing your new voice techniques will help you gain confidence.
Speech therapy can give you the tools and techniques you need to overcome speech issues, but a crucial step of the process is practicing with others.
Speaking with your speech therapist can be very different from communicating with people, especially strangers, in the real world.
Self confidence is a big factor when it comes to speaking, and it’s important to build yourself up through experience in order to truly overcome your speech issues.
Here are some ways you can find to practice your new skills.
1. Join A Toastmasters Group
Public speaking may seem intimidating, especially when you’ve been working on a new vocal or speech technique.
The best way to be more comfortable speaking in front of others is to practice in a comfortable, welcoming environment.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills.
Everyone in your local Toastmasters group is working together to practice public speaking and also improve listening and interpersonal skills.
There are clubs all over the world, including several in Washington, Arlington, Alexandria, and the surrounding areas.
You can find the chapter closest to you through the Toastmasters website.
2. Join An Improv Group
The great thing about improv, or improvisational theatre, is everyone is on an equal playing field and everyone is there to experiment and have fun.
Improv is a low-pressure way for you to socialize and practice speech.
Because you’re thinking on your feet, improv helps you practice speaking clearly and off the top of your head.
There are many local spots where you can join a beginner’s improv class, such as the Washington Improv Theatre.
3. Join A Meetup Group
Maybe you’re looking for a social outing more geared towards your specific interests.
It can be easier and more comfortable communicating with others when you’re talking about something you love, or while doing an activity you enjoy.
Meetup is a platform where you can find groups in your community that meet up for various social events.
From hiking to game development to philosophy lovers, there really is a Meetup group for everyone.
These groups are a great way for you to practice your speech techniques in a comfortable and safe environment.
Find a group that caters to your interests on the Meetup website.
4. Join A Book Club
Book clubs are yet another low-pressure way for you to engage in conversation and practice speech skills.
Typically, a book club chooses a book and meets once a week to discuss each chapter.
This is a great opportunity for you to formulate ideas and opinions, and communicate them clearly and thoughtfully.
Participating in a discussion with others about a shared experience will help you practice listening and responding.
Everyone gets time to speak when and if you so choose, which gives you space to feel confident and comfortable.
This can be especially helpful if you’re overcoming a reading impairment – there’s no greater test of your reading skills than reading a book and talking about it.
There are many book clubs for you to choose from, depending on your interests.
5. Attend A Work Conference
One of the best places to practice your voice techniques through small talk and introductions is a work conference.
There’s common ground — your field of expertise — and everyone is there to network and engage in conversation.
Usually, discussions at work conferences are brief, which gives you the opportunity to practice speaking one-on-one with many different people.
It can especially help if you’re at a work conference in another city – after all, if you make a
Practicing your speech skills while helping others is mutually beneficial and rewarding.
Try seeking out a local volunteering opportunity that interests you.
You can get to know other volunteers and give back while you practice conversing.
Plus, through volunteering you may make connections with those in your immediate community, providing long-term friendships and further opportunities to practice communication.
7. Take A Class
Individuals of all ages can enroll in classes to gain new skills while practicing voice techniques.
There are many local classes for adults in various disciplines, including cooking, first aid, dancing, martial arts, and many more.
Asking questions and sharing with classmates are great opportunities for you to try out your speech skills and techniques.
8. Join A Washington Club Event
Washington Club is a non-profit organization with the goal of connecting women who were born in the United States with women who have moved from another country.
This club hosts many special interest groups, from literature and cooking to sharing one’s life story with the group.
If you’re looking to communicate with other women who have shared experiences, the Washington Club may be the social group for you.
9. Strike Up A Conversation With A Stranger
Interacting with a new person outside of a group setting is another low-pressure chance to practice speaking.
Try striking up a conversation with a stranger, whether it’s the cashier at your favorite coffee shop or someone next to you in line.
Maybe you admire their clothing, or have a comment about your surroundings.
These short talks can help you gain confidence and become more comfortable talking to people you don’t know.
10. Spend More Time With Your Friends And Family
Some of the best guinea pigs for you to practice speech and language techniques with are those closest to you.
Your friends and family are particularly good conversationalists because they can give you feedback and encouragement.
Book An Appointment At District Speech
If you are experiencing an issue with speech, language, or voice you would like to work on, contact us at District Speech.
We can help with a wide range of concerns that may be impeding your ability to communicate confidently.
Speech issues can go much deeper than the way you talk.
They can affect your quality of life and hold you back from achieving your goals.
At District Speech, we’ve dedicated ourselves to helping you overcome your speech issues.
Book an appointment at District Speech at our Washington DC & Arlington VA speech therapy clinic today — we can help.
If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our speech and language therapists, feel free to contact us.
Until next time,
District Speech and Language Therapy
1331 H St NW, #200,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech & Language Therapy specializes in speech and language solutions from children to adults in the Washington D.C and Northern Virginia area.