You know your topic inside out.
You have spent ages structuring your presentation in a logical way so it’s easy for the audience to follow.
You’ve got a real attention grabbing opening line.
You’ve found some great images for your powerpoints.
You’ve crafted a strong finish that is going to leave your audience on an emotional high.
But on the day it just doesn’t come out as you intended…You unintentionally digress as you elaborate on a point in the presentation. You forget to include that amusing anecdote, you start saying “ok” all the time and it goes on.
What’s the problem?
You forgot to rehearse.
Or more to the point, you forgot to rehearse PROPERLY.
When I ask my clients how much they rehearsed for that important presentation, I get answers like “yes, yes, I went through the presentation several times”.
“That’s good. How many times?”
“About 3 or 4”.
“Great! Did you speak it out loud? Did you stand up and practice in real time letting your words flow and noticing how you were responding with your body language?”
And that’s when I get the sheepish looks and a look of understanding on their face as to why their presentation didn’t flow as they expected after all the attention they had given it beforehand.
Here’s the bottom line – it’s imperative that you rehearse your presentation exactly as you will be giving it.
And it’s imperative that you rehearse it fully at least THREE TIMES.
Below is a checklist for effective rehearsing:
- Rehearse your presentation out loud, not in your mind to discover which words flow.
- If you are a non native English speaker, practice any difficult words.
- Rehearse fully with timings, standing up and without skimming over any details.
- Rehearse at least three times.
- Rehearse with all your props.
- Try to rehearse at least once in the room where you will be speaking.
- Check the space you have to move around in and feel it.
- Make sure that you have somewhere to put any props or notes.
- Check from the back of the room that all your visuals can be seen and you can be heard.
- Pre-empt any technical problems and prepare a back up plan in advance of the day.
So there you go, please don’t skimp on this important part of your presentation preparation.
Effective rehearsal and knowing that you have spent time really ‘feeling’ your presentation will do wonders for your self-confidence which feeds in directly to you giving a good performance.