The secret to providing an excellent presentation is learning the skills of practicing in advance. When you practice in advance it triggers myelination. This is the process where the human brain processes verbal skills, sensory processing and the coordination of motor skills. When the brain recognizes something that has been done before it triggers the electrical pattern. When practicing it is very important to stay in the moment and focus on every word and move you make so your brain retains all the necessary information to implement your presentation.
3 Important Practice Areas
For a successful presentation, there are a few practice areas you should focus on such as:
- Body Language
- Vocal Tone
Psychologically for your audience, this is one of the most important parts of your presentation. When you look confident, your audience will have the impression that you know what you are talking about. However, if you appear nervous and unprepared, your audience will not have confidence in you that is required. Body language includes hand movements, your stance, facial expressions and posture.
It is important that your audience can hear and understand you. In order to practice vocal tone you must manage volume, inflection and speed. Your voice should be clear, concise and not be monotone.
When you are practicing your presentation, staying focused means you are actually learning all the details about the topic of your presentation. Many people think that memorizing it, is what they are practicing, but that is incorrect. If you memorize your presentation and have a lapse in memory, it could mean a disaster for your presentation. However, when you learn all the details about your presentation through practice you can quickly put yourself back on track. As long as you practice the format and know the logic, it will be a breeze.
Setting The Stage for Practicing
When you are getting ready to practice your presentation you want to make the setting as close as possible to the actual setting you will be in during your presentation. If you will be using equipment, make sure you practice with the equipment.
Always stand tall, as if you were in front of the audience. Never sit down when practicing, you want to simulate the actual presentation.
If your presentation is rather long, practice it in chunks. This enables you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about each aspect of your presentation. When you practice chunking, it is not as overwhelming.
Learn to Speak Without Filler Words
If you have videotaped your presentation rehearsal and noticed you use a lot of filler words like um, ah, and like, you need to change that.
The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with your presentation. Some people feel they can over practice but you can never practice too much. When you practice often, your presentation will become second nature to you. It will be a breeze.
Practice Speaking to a Specific Audience
Part of your advance practicing methods is knowing how to speak to your audience. If it is a fun presentation, make your delivery fun and exciting. If it is a business related presentation, make your delivery professional but memorable. When practicing speak the way you would speak in front of your audience.
It is always a good idea to videotape yourself during your practice presentations. This will give you a good idea of how you look, how you sound and if you have the proper content. It will also allow you to identify any weaknesses you may need to work on. Another tip is to perhaps practice in front of a family member, friend, or co-worker for feedback on your presentation.
At the end of the day, the ability to deliver a flawless presentation always requires a lot of practice. Planning for your practice presentations takes almost as much planning as your actual presentation event. You need to be fully prepared and set up to practice. This may mean practicing at the location of the event if it is possible to do so. You may have to improvise in some cases to simulate the setting.
Tsimulate the setting.