By far, the most popular post on my site is 8 Steps for Practicing a Presentation with over 1200 views! To me that means, you are looking for help on how to practice a presentation so you can execute a successful speech. We know we have to practice, but practice seems like an abstract daunting task.
The biggest objection I hear from clients about practicing a presentation is…
I don’t have the time to practice!
I understand that problem. I don’t have time to practice my presentations either (and frankly I am the type of presenter who does not enjoy practicing at all. My little hater comes out in full force!)
Let’s go through step-by-step and make time for presentation practice and discuss some strategies that will save you time.
Step One: Divvy up your presentation into bite size chunks
If you are doing 30, 60 or even 90 minute speech, you do NOT have to practice your presentation all at once. Repeat you do NOT have to rehearse your entire presentation in one sitting.
Break-up your presentation in small bite-size chunk. Divide it up by introduction, each main point, and your conclusion. If it is a longer presentation, break the body of the speech down into its sub-points.
Think of this as portion control for practicing your speech. It makes practice less daunting.
Step Two: Find small chunks of time
Now that you know that you don’t have to practice the presentation all at once, start finding pockets of time for small presentation practice sessions. This means driving in your car is a great time to practice. 10 minutes between calls – practice. Taking a shower – forget singing – try practicing.
There’s all kinds of time to rehearse when you don’t have to find a huge chunk of time!
Step Three: Don’t always start from the beginning
You need to know your introduction well! In fact, I tell clients they need to know it so well they could deliver their introduction drunk! However, don’t always start your rehearsals at the beginning. Every time you are practicing think about what you need to go over the most! Which part of the presentation is the information most difficult for you? Which part of the speech have you not practiced yet? Start there!
Step Four: Practice does not always have to be out loud
Practicing your speech out loud is a must! However, you don’t always have to practice out loud. Visualization is a form of practicing. Going through the speech in your head is a way to rehearse. Even if you just want to write the speech out – guess what you are practicing.
Step Five: Do one complete run through with tech
You have to find the time to do at least ONE complete run through with your tech (microphone, PowerPoint, media, whatever). This insures that you are staying within the time limits, your transitions are good and that all your technology is in working order.
We have come to the point in our presentation destination where we have assessed for success, discussed the barriers that hold you back, talked about how to organize and craft content that wows and discussed the importance of delivery and how to practice our way to speaking success. Next week, it’s all about feedback.
Do you have any shortcuts for rehearsing a speech? If so, I’d love to hear your time saving technique in the comments below!