Can Talking to Your Pets Make You a Better Public Speaker?


No votes yet

Can Talking to Your Pets Make You a Better Public Speaker

If you only read the title of today’s article then you’ll probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out.

Public speaking is like any skill. The more you practice it, the better you become. Practicing in front of your pets should make you a better speaker in the same way that practicing in front of your houseplants should help.

But there are other potential benefits to talking to your pets as a way to practice public speaking, as well as several fairly obvious drawbacks.

And so in this article, we’re taking a look at both sides of the argument to see if we can figure out whether or not talking to your pets can make you a better public speaker.

1.  You can practice varying your tonality

Varying your tonality is a great way to make your speaking more engaging, but the only way to get good at it is to practice. Talking to your pets is the perfect opportunity to do that. You can also see the impact of varying your tonality by observing their reactions. Try saying the same word to your pet first in a playful voice and then in an aggressive voice. Chances are they’ll react differently to the same word.

2. You can practice your pacing

The pacing of your presentation can make or break it. If you speak too slowly, people will get bored and stop listening; if you speak too quickly, the audience won’t be able to take everything in. When you talk to your pets, you can practice speaking at different speeds to see which works best with your delivery style. Even though they can’t give you any feedback, you’ll have a good idea of whether or not you’re speaking at an appropriate pace.

3. You can practice your improvisation

Improvisation might seem like a skill better suited to comedians and talk show hosts, but it’s also a vital tool for public speakers. It allows them to vary their talks and to ad lib as needed, such as if there’s a tech problem and you need to kill some time while the technicians fix it. Improvisation is also important when fielding questions at the end of the presentation.

4. You can work on maintaining eye contact

Eye contact can help you come across as more professional and trustworthy, but it can take a lot of practice to get good at it. When I first started, I struggled to make eye contact because it made me uncomfortable. Practicing with my pets allowed me to get better at establishing and maintaining eye contact without feeling judged, and that then carried over into the way I delivered my presentations.

5.  You’ll learn to enjoy public speaking

Spending time with our pets is enjoyable and therapeutic, which is why we get pets in the first place. If we’re able to practice public speaking in front of them, it can help us overcome any fears and anxiety that we might have and learn to love it. With a little bit of support from your furry friends, you can go from being someone who hates the thought of taking the stage to being the next big public speaker.

1. They don’t understand you

Despite what it might seem from time to time, our pets don’t understand us. Sure, they might be able to pick up on things like our emotions, but they’re not going to follow the nuances of your marketing plan as you practice delivering it ahead of a meeting with the CEO. Without the ability to listen to what we’re saying and formulate intelligent thoughts and responses, we have no way of knowing whether the talk we give is any good.

2. They can’t provide you with feedback

Building from the last point, this inability to understand what we’re talking about and to tell us what they think means that our pets can’t provide us with feedback. Constructive criticism is vital if you want to continue learning and improving and to become the best speaker you can be, and that kind of criticism can only come from a fellow human being.

3. They can’t ask you questions

You might have noticed by now that there’s a theme to our first three points. Another of the challenges posed by presenting to pets is they can’t ask questions, and it’s the questions that can pose the biggest challenge of presenting. If you decide to practice by presenting to your pets, it’s still a good idea to practice the Q&A part of the presentation by asking a friend to draft a list of questions that you can respond to.

4. There isn’t any pressure

It might sound like a good thing that there isn’t any pressure, because pressure doesn’t normally help if you’re learning a new skill. But in public speaking, pressure is important. It’s like how diamonds only form under pressure; public speakers only form under pressure, too. Talking to your pets can be useful in some ways, but you’ll still need to practice and perform under pressure before you know what you’re made of.

5. There’s no variety in terms of your audience

Another key element of practicing public speaking is knowing what it’s like to present to different audiences. The problem is that your pets will always be the same audience, and so while they might offer one opportunity to learn, that’s all you’ll get. There’s not much to benefit from practicing in front of them over and over again.


If you’ve been expecting a definitive yes or no answer to the question of whether or not talking to your pets can make you a better public speaker, you’re in for disappointment.

That’s because, with such good arguments on either side of the debate, the best we can give you is a solid “maybe”. It’s a good idea to try it out for yourself before you decide which side of the argument you most agree with.

Now that you know our thoughts on whether talking to your pets makes you a better public speaker, it’s over to you. Have you given it a try?

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to keep the discussion going in the comments. You can also follow us on your favorite social networking sites for more. We’ll see you soon for another article!


No votes yet


See also:

  • Public Speaking Lessons From Mindfulness Content Creators

    Public Speaking Lessons From Mindfulness Content Creators

  • Enhancing Your Podcast with the Right Visuals

    The Complete Speaker's Toolkit: Enhancing Your Podcast with the Right Visuals

  • I Speak Too Softly–People Can’t Hear Me

    I Speak Too Softly–People Can’t Hear Me