No matter how long you spend preparing a presentation there is a big possibility that when the time comes to deliver it in front of an audience, you might end up ruining it. And this is where rehearsing comes in. Rehearsing your presentation is key and can make the difference between an amazing and a not so amazing presentation.
So the question is: should you rehearse? And the answer is a big YES.
A lot of people argue that rehearsing can make your presentation seem monotonous and robotic. That’s not true. While spontaneity is great, it takes a lot of practice to become spontaneous. So if it’s your first, second or tenth time giving a presentation, it’s best to stick to rehearsing your presentation and avoiding a faux pas.
Another misconception that people have about rehearsing presentations is that they try to memorize their presentation. And it’s the same way every time. Doing this every time is setting your audience up for a monotonous if not an absolutely hellish time.
Would you ever send a client a letter or a project brief without carefully scrutinizing it as many times as possible? Most people would even laugh at the prospect of doing that. So how is your presentation any different? Thorough rehearsing gives a presentation the necessary edge and your audience will appreciate a presentation which is presented well rather than one which is not.
Why do you look at yourself in the mirror before leaving for work? To make sure that you are dressed well and look good. Wouldn’t it look awkward that you come to work with your face half-shaved or with crooked lipstick? And to avoid these awkward moments you look at yourself in the mirror. This is exactly what you should be doing with the draft of your presentation, till you get comfortable and like it.
And as you rehearse there would be so many points that seemed better when you drafted your presentation that you would want to change or edit, now as you read it again and again.
Let’s say that you are preparing an important speech, that is unique in your life, be it a presentation for raising capital, or a military retirement speech, rehearsing the presentation before the D-day can make a big difference.
The secret of great presenters is that almost all of them record their rehearsal presentations on video. Recording it and watching it later shows you exactly what your audience would be looking at it and it helps you make necessary amends too. Say some part in your rehearsal video doesn’t look natural or looks too forced; you can get to know easily and can make the required changes too. That’s the power of rehearsing.