Talk to a clerk at the store. Call a friend from class to talk on the phone. Find a volunteer conversation partner through a local nonprofit or religious organization. Join an adult English class in your community. (Many of them are cheap or free.) Join iTalki or MyLanguageExchange and find a conversation partner in exchange for giving lessons in your native language. Work with a private tutor to build your confidence. You can even talk to yourself in English out loud for 10 minutes a day! (No one will know or laugh.)
Set aside 15 minutes a night with your roommates, husband, or wife, and speak nothing but English. . .even if the other person doesn't understand what you're saying. My daughter is learning Spanish, and I talked to her for a few minutes yesterday in that language, using lots of body language to help her understand that I was telling her to get her coat, put on her shoes, and socks, and get ready to go. She is four, but she understood everything I was telling her because I was pointing at my shoes and socks, etc.
Record yourself speaking English, and then listen to it. I know this sounds crazy and embarrassing, but it is a great way to identify your own errors. Record yourself again on your computer, smart phone, tape player, etc., and listen to how much you've improved. Time yourself speaking on a topic to see if you can speak faster if you tend to speak slowly.
If you're about to take the IELTS exam, in addition to working with a teacher to help you do well, try these tips:
- DO NOT MEMORIZE A SPEECH! Interviewers can tell when you're just repeating something you wrote. It's very obvious and does not give a good indication of how well you speak English. Instead, write a list of vocabulary words to use when you make the speech for each question you practice, and practice using those words in your everyday conversation in English. For example, if you're practicing a Part 1 question about your hometown, write down words you would likely say, like "town," "family," "large," "small," "rural," "urban," etc., and then write a list of synonyms for them. When you work with your teacher, conversation partner, or talk with a friend in English, try to use some of those words in your conversation. Also, try to use tenses that you'll use on those questions, like the simple past or the future.
- Join a forum like the IELTS Network, where teachers and students comment on each other's recordings of themselves answering IELTS speaking questions. You'll receive feedback, and it's free! (Here's a hint: I answer a lot of the students' questions there about their recordings.)