Presentation Skills – Golden Rules For Rehearsing Your Presentation

You have probably heard the phrase “practice makes perfect”, well it’s not strictly true.

In fact, what practice makes is habit, so if you practice good techniques then you will indeed approach “perfect”. Practice bad techniques and you get bad habits.

This means that WHAT you practice is as important as HOW you practice. You need to be sure that you recognise and eliminate any bad habits that you may have.

Practicing in front of a mirror is a good tip but with one VERY important caveat – only do this once or twice. This will allow you to make sure you aren’t using any strange postures, gestures or faces. Correct any weird physical gestures and move on and NEVER EVER practice in front of a mirror again.

If you keep practicing in front of a mirror two things will happen: firstly, you will obsess over how you look and move and will end up trying to orchestrate every move of the presentation and turn yourself into a nervous wreck.

As long as you eliminate any obvious flaws, you will develop a more natural style almost unconsciously. If you focus solely on how you look you are heading for trouble, which brings me to the next point.

In every presentation your focus should be on the audience, not yourself. So practice as if you have an audience. Imagine one, talk to a bunch of empty chairs, line up your kids soft toys and talk to them or whatever else works for you as long as it turns your focus out to the audience. Remember, practice makes habit and you need to be in the habit of addressing your audience not your reflection.

If you get the chance, do a trial run on family or friends and ask for brutally honest feedback. It’s better to find out from people who are on your side before presenting to people who may not be so forgiving.

Finally, when you have done all this, practice it again!

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