Practice your speaking with self-talks

Do you know what self-talks are?

They are short talks you prepare and do alone using a set time and topic. They can help you build your speaking fluency. They can also help you recycle language you’ve learnt. They are a useful way to practice your speaking when you don’t have other people to practice with.

So, how do you do a self-talk?

First, give yourself a topic. Then time yourself for two minutes to prepare to talk about the topic. Make some notes about the points you want to make. Then time yourself talking about the topic for three minutes.  

Start by giving yourself easy topics to talk about. For example, one of your interests or your hometown. Then, maybe later, you can try more difficult topics. For example, a movie you liked or a book you read.

Topic examples

Lower levelMid-levelHigher level
> One of my interests
> My hometown
> My favorite restaurant
> Things I do on weekends
> A place I travelled to
> One of my future goals
> A movie I liked
> Something I like about my country
> Living in the city vs the countryside
> A famous person I’d like to meet
> A problem I had while travelling  

Continued below

After finishing your self-talk, ask yourself some questions. Could you speak for three minutes? Could you make your points clearly?

It can also be useful to record your talk. Play it back and listen to yourself. Could you understand yourself? Were you speaking too quickly or slowly?  If you had problems, try doing the same talk again.

Extra tip!:  Try using some of the language below to organize your talk points
To start with…[Introduce your first point]
What’s more…[Give more information]
On the other hand…[Give a different opinion on the same point]
In other words…[Rephrase a point]
For example/For instance/such as[Give example]
As I said…[Repeat an earlier point]

Related links

Can you tell a funny story in English?

How can I explain my country’s food?

Three tips for improving your speech delivery