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  • Writer's pictureShannon Malkin Daniels

Don't Skip Dress Rehearsal

Practice makes prepared

Previously I shared with you my #1 tip for being a drop the mic worthy presenter - Avoid Being "Me Centric" and put your audience at the center for a presentation that grabs their attention and leaves a lasting impression.

In this post I share with you another common mistake people make when giving a speech or presentation and how to overcome it. Read on to learn how you can wow your audience and be a more confident speaker.

MISTAKE: Skipping Straight to the Stage

I can't tell you how many people don't practice their presentation before they deliver it to their audience. Would an actor hit the stage or step in front of the camera without rehearsing? Would a singer go out on tour without preparing? No. It's no different for public speaking. You've likely spent a ton of time outlining your speech, laying out a killer presentation deck and running through the your head. This is a big no no! Think of it this way - if the first time you stand up to deliver your presentation is in front of your audience, they're seeing your dress rehearsal, and you can do much better than that. 

SOLUTION: Practice, Practice Again, Then Practice Some More

Before you ever step up to the podium, you should practice your presentation just as you would if you were delivering it to your audience. This means getting up out of your chair and out of your head. Things sound and feel much different when said out loud than run through in your head or read off of a screen. It's important to stand and deliver. You don't need an audience to do this. Stand in front of the mirror and watch your gestures. Go to the conference room and talk to the chairs (they're a friendly audience, I promise). Record yourself and watch it back. And don't just practice once, do it multiple times. The more you practice, the more comfortable with your content you become and the better your delivery will be when you step in front of your audience. It also helps lower anxiety because you've had the chance to work out the kinks, make adjustments and build your confidence.

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