17 Dec Prepare aloud
This is a great article written by Speech Coach Susan Trivers on how incredibly important it is to prepare and rehearse for a presentation (written February 2008) :
Public speaking and presentations provide great opportunities to the person doing the speaking: status grows, promotions become possible, sales increase, you’re recognized as a leader and an expert. So why don’t you find the time to practice? I’m dismayed when people tell me they have to put meetings, emails, and teleconferences ahead of practicing their presentations. None of these activities has more potential than standing up in front of an audience and making a difference in their lives or they way they do business or work. None of these activities requires the other person to spend time and energy getting to the speech and expecting it to be worth their investment.
People also tell me they’re better when they wing it. They say they have more energy and passion when they’re not practiced. Simply put–baloney! This is a story you tell yourself to avoid the hard work required to practice and the effort it takes to schedule in the time to practice. If you calendar in a hour a day for a week, you have to tell everyone who wants you for that hour that you’re not available. Because you don’t believe you need to practice, you feel guilty protecting that hour each day. So you don’t do it. Many times I find that people use these excuses not to practice because they really don’t know how to make good use of their practice time.
I totally agree with Susan. People often say they have no time to prepare because they think preparing for a presentation means sitting behind a desk, opening the PowerPoint program and start creating slides….many, detailed slides… For me it is much more important to think of your storyline and how you would say it if you only had a few minutes. This helps you to focus on what is essential in your talk. Once you have prepared your whole talk, prepare aloud! I prefer to do this in my car as you can time it as well. Really important!!!!