One of the common conversation topics on presentation that I encounter is that employees feel that they are not having enough confident to present. Especially in a meeting where there are bosses and top management staff sitting in.
I would then ask them, "Did you rehearse your presentations?" The answer is common: No or not much.
You see, whether in SEA Games, Asian Games or Olympic Games, when race starts, the 100-metre athletes take their stride, race with confidence and win that elusive medal; much to their joy. Similarly for actors doing live performances, the moment the curtains open, they put up convincing performances that delight the audience; and sometimes receiving standing ovations.
So what makes them be good at their crafts? The answer is, practice.
Athletes will train every day building up their muscle and in the process, build up their confidence to face other athletes in the competition. Of course, some may win, others may not, but for sure, they are so much better than when they first started training.
For actors, rehearsals started 4-5 months in advance prior to their first matinee or premiere. In the process, the actors gain confidence to play the characters convincingly.
Similarly, there is a need to rehearse your presentation; even if it is a mere 5-minutes! Constant rehearsals will help to make your delivery "second nature", thus making you look good presenting. Never underestimate the power of rehearsals.
So how to rehearse?
I would suggest 3 parts to this:
Part One: Once you have your scripts or slides done, go stand up and rehearse. Don't just stand, move. Use gestures where appropriate. Do this a few times until you feel "second nature".
Part Two: Gather a few of your close friends and make them your audience. Let them watch your presentation. Appoint some of them to be the devil's advocate, asking you tough questions, so that you can be prepared for such situations at the actual presentation site.
Part Three: Just moments before the actual presentation, do a visualisation exercise. This is a powerful way to gain confidence. Find a corner or place, close your eyes and recall the rehearsals that you have done - mentally. Once done, take a deep breath, smile, and walk your way into the meeting room (or your presentation venue).
When is your next presentation? Have you rehearsed?
Towards your speaking success!
Speaking & Creativity Strategist
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
From the Editor
The Speaking Factory is founded by Hazriq Idrus, Asia's Trusted Applied Creativity and Public Speaking Strategist. He is the author of The Stage Fright Antidote and co-authored four other books. His mission is to help professionals & entrepreneurs innovate, communicate and grow with impact by tapping on their inner creativity.
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