Presentations 101: The Importance Of Practicing

Growing up, there were three words we lived by: “practice makes perfect”. Whether it had to do with properly throwing a baseball, learning to do algebra, or even as simple as tying our shoes, those three words came into play more often than not.

As we’ve gotten older, it seems that most of us have outgrown that motto for numerous reasons. We’re too busy and simply don’t have time, we have no reason to practice because we’re already a subject matter expert on our topic, and well, who needs to practice when we have the World Wide Web sitting in our pockets?

All valid reasons, but they can’t be applied in all situations. Sometimes, we need to revert back to our childhood days and remind ourselves that “practice really does make perfect”, especially when it comes down to nailing your next presentation.

Often times, we’re left with no choice but to just “wing it” and hope for the best, but for important speeches and sales pitches, it’s crucial to set aside some extra time in our busy schedules to review our plan. Below are some tips and tricks on how to prepare so you nail your next presentation:

  • Make flashcards. Write the slide header on one side and the talking points on the other. When the slide appears on screen, all you have to do is remember what the back of that flash card said!
  • Read through your presentation numerous times. Seems pretty obvious but for those of us with a tight schedule, sometimes we only have enough time to create the presentation. Reading what you wrote down will only help you familiarize yourself with your outline and allow you to think through how you want to explain your bullet points in detail.
  • Don’t procrastinate. If you know you have a presentation on Friday, try to at least give yourself 2-3 days in advance to start practicing, even if it’s only for 20 minutes each day.
  • Practice in front of a mirror. This method might seem obvious, but in all honesty, it’s one of the most important and helpful tools. By watching yourself, you’ll be able to see exactly what your audience will be seeing on your big day and allow you to adjust where you see fit.
  • Get a good nights rest the night before! Sleeping your full 8 hours will only help you think clearer and be more confident when you’re front and center… we promise!
  • Don’t focus on memorizing. Last but not least, there’s a fine line between practicing your presentation and MEMORIZING your presentation. Don’t try to memorize each slide, you’ll only run the risk of drawing a blank and forgetting what slide 5 said.

Confidence is key and trust us, practice makes perfect! Want more time to practice? Check out GoPrezo for all your custom presentation designs. We’ll take the heavy lifting (designing) off of your hands so you can focus on other things, like PRACTICING. 🙂

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