January 5, 2010

One of the key aspects of preparation is practising your presentation.

When you practise your presentation, you should say it aloud not just in your head.  One trick I have used many times in the past is to give the presentation while I am driving to the location.  You are alone in the car and these days with hands free mobiles nobody even worries when they see someone talking to themselves in a car.  So switch off the radio or the CD and give your presentation aloud.  This is a great way to make sure you know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, before the event.  Do not just go over it in your head, it does not have nearly the same effect.

When you practise, make a note of the timings.  It is a good idea to mark every third cue card with the time you expect to start that part of your presentation.  That way you have a guide as to how you are going time wise.

With the widespread availability of home video cameras, an ideal way to practise is to film yourself giving the presentation.  You will learn a lot about what your audience will see and hear by watching the video.

Do not cheat when you practise!  There is often a temptation to skip over sections of a presentation, because you think you already know that part of the talk.  Maybe you are re-using a section from a previous presentation.  Maybe it is a bit where you are hoping to gain some audience interaction.  My advice is to rehearse the presentation in its entirety rather than make assumptions.

Presentation Training and Coaching is available from the author of this blog. Please visit my presentation training  website.

Give me a day and I’ll change your presentations, forever