The best speakers make presentations look effortless precisely because they put so much effort into perfecting their delivery, and rehearsing is the single best use of time before a critical presentation, Harvard Business Review reports.
More preparation means less panic and more confidence. Far from making you appear robotic or canned, rehearsing frees you up to enjoy the moment and deliver your message with passion and energy.
These five guidelines will help you get the most out of your rehearsal time:
• Commit to improvement and put in the time to perfect what you’re going to say. Use downtime while driving, walking or taking care of chores to practice.
• The two most important parts of your presentation are the beginning and the end so make sure you finish as strong as you start. The intro sets the stage for the rest of the presentation and gives your audience a reason to care. Your conclusion determines what parts of your idea people will walk away with, and how they will feel about the presentation overall.
• Practice performing under stress by rehearsing in front of someone.
• Record your rehearsal using your phone and play it back for yourself. Take notes on weak parts and work on those.
• Ask people close to you for feedback.
Read the full story about giving presentations for more in-depth advice.