“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good.
It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” (Malcolm Gladwell)
Nobody just walks out on the stage and makes a great speech. Practise so that you can work out problems in advance. Know your material inside and out by rehearsing your presentation over and over and over again. Catch and fix errors. Improve the sections that don’t flow properly. “Confidence, not perfection, is the goal,” explains Scott Berkun.
Experienced presenters recommend identifying and memorizing the key words and phrases for each segment of the presentation. You should also memorize the most important points from your introduction and closing and be very sure of the sequence and connections between the different segments of your speech.
If you have memorized your key points, you’ll be confident enough to improvise and respond to unexpected events (equipment failure, tough questions, bored audience).
Practise using the equipment as well – a new laptop, new presentation software, the remote – and make sure it’s working perfectly. Arrive early enough to walk around the stage and do a tech. and sound check.
For more helpful advice on public speaking, read Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun.
Public Speaking Tip #4