Theres a reason our mothers always told us "practice makes perfect."
Sometimes wed rather not hear it, because it takes both time and effort.
However, the impact a little practice can have on the quality, delivery and
overall sense of professionalism cannot be underestimated. Without a doubt,
the more time you put into rehearsing your presentation, the better itll
be. Here are some ideas.
||Use a Tape Recorder
During your practice sessions, use a tape recorder to get a good
idea of how you deliver your message. Listen closely to your voice. Are
you speaking too quickly? What tone are you using? Are you stumbling over
your words? Do you often say "Um" between thoughts? Are you really
getting your message across? Ask yourself, "Would I want to listen
to this person? Would I find this delivery style interesting?"
||Ask a Friend or Colleague to Evaluate
Have a friend or colleague watch your presentation in its entirety
and provide feedback. Ask him to focus on clarity of the message, presentation
style and effectiveness of your visual aids. Also ask him to jot down comments
on paper as he watches your presentation. After youre finished, together
you can review and discuss each point.
||Practice in Front of a Mirror
you practice in front of a mirror, youll be able to evaluate your
every move. If you find yourself using the same gestures repeatedly, ask
yourself, "What does this movement communicate?" If the answer
is nervousness, thats a gesture you should get rid of! Try holding
two heavy books as you practice your presentation in front of the mirror.
If you gesture with the books, its likely a movement with meaning
so you should keep it. When you give your actual presentation and you feel
the urge to gesture nervously, try to visualize yourself with the books
in your hands.
||When You Practice, Use Your Visual
Aids or Multimedia at Least Once
Using multimedia equipment can really impress an audience
if its used correctly. Before your presentation, be certain youre
comfortable with the equipment or technology youll be using during
your presentation. A few hours before your presentation, go to the room
in which youll be presenting and ensure that all is working well.
||Videotape Your Actual Presentation
and Evaluate it After
Videotaping your presentation is truly the tell-all and can really
help you identify and improve upon your presenting skills. What types of
gestures are you using during your presentation? Are you making eye contact
with audience members? Are you smiling? Is your information being communicated
effectively and clearly? What did your visuals look like? What was the audiences
reaction to your jokes or anecdotes? Many of us dislike watching ourselves
on video, but doing this can be a useful tool to learn about your personal
presenting style and how to improve it.