There are many ways in which a speech can be rehearsed and practiced ahead of its delivery. Practice is very important in order to assess when vocal variety and body language can be incorporated for maximum effect. It will also help remembering the contents of your speech which will reduce or even eliminate your use of notes.
Rehearse and practice your speech in a large room and if you can do so if front a mirror, do it. This will help you simulate audience interaction to a degree and also enable you to directly observe your body language. Stand up as you rehearse your speech and stand as tall as you can. Time yourself as you do your rehearsals. Try to vary your pace of speaking and observe what the impact on timing is. Do note that it can be difficult to translate exactly how these timings will be when you actually deliver your speech.
Rehearsals are also where you’ll start to add body language to spice up and enhance your delivery. Don’t hesitate to experiment here and see what works or what doesn’t work in terms of gestures. You should also try to look for ways in which you can use the stage to enhance your delivery. Same for vocal variety as well, and here pay particular attention to key words within sentences that might benefit from extra emphasis.
The number of times you should practice your speech before giving it out is something for you to choose. Don’t hesitate too to rehearse your speech in front of family and friends if the opportunity arises. You might receive some very valuable feedback this way. Videoing yourself as you rehearse your speech, is an alternative approach since remember that we are our own worse critics!
Memorising the contents of your speech is part of the rehearsal process. Try to use your notes less and less as you go through your various rehearsals. In order to help you remember your speech further, consider recording it and playing the recording back to yourself in a loop. This is an effective technique as you can play the recording anywhere!