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Importance of Practice

Updated: Apr 8

While everyone understands that practicing a presentation is helpful, few actually practice enough and in the right format.  Why is this?  Since each presenter, pitch and environment is unique, there are so many inputs that ultimately determine what will create the best outcome.  Some presenters know their material well in advance, others do not.  Some are more natural presentations and others may not be.  Furthermore, it’s really hard to know the best format and forums for practicing.  Should you practice in front of a mirror, should you memorize parts / all of it, should you practice in front of friends or family members…?  Ultimately, all of this is helpful, but very little of it truly mimics the environment or feeling of the actual presentation (whether it’s a pitch for sales, investment, etc.).  If you have ever played golf, you know there is a big difference in hitting golf balls on the driving range versus standing on the first tee on the golf course when the pressure is on, people are watching and you, literally, just have one shot.   No matter what, here’s the rule of thumb:  practice more than you think you need to and do so in front of various audiences.  Get feedback and then, practice some more.  In this way, you not only get better at your presentation, but you FEEL more confident when the actual presentation or pitch begins.

Does practicing really make a difference?  Isn’t it just subjective?  When you arrive a the presentation and once the presentation is over, you will be VERY happy IF you prepared sufficiently.  The more you practice, the more fluent and comfortable you become and the more your audience, in turn, feels comfortable with your offering (increasing the chances to make the sale, close the deal or win an investor’s affection).  And, while you cannot control many aspects of a presentation, you can definitely control your own level of poise, confidence, comfort and impact.  Walk out of a presentation knowing you absolutely crushed it and, without a doubt, put your best foot forward. 

Practicing a presentation is crucial for delivering a compelling and confident pitch, especially in sales and investor scenarios. Here are some key reminders regarding the importance of practice and effective methods for honing presentation skills:

1. Builds Confidence

  • Practicing the presentation multiple times helps the presenter become more familiar and comfortable with the material.

  • Confidence is essential in sales and investor presentations as it instills trust and credibility.

2. Refines Delivery Timing

  • Practice ensures that the presentation fits within the allocated time frame.

  • Investors and clients appreciate speakers who respect their time, making a well-timed presentation more impactful.

3. Enhances Articulation and Clarity:

  • Rehearsing allows the presenter to refine their articulation and pronunciation.

  • Clear and concise communication is crucial for conveying key messages and maintaining audience engagement.

4. Identifies Weak Points:

  • Practice sessions help identify areas of the presentation that may be unclear or need improvement.

  • Addressing weak points in advance ensures a smoother and more polished delivery during the actual pitch.

5. Fosters Adaptability:

  • Practicing in different settings or scenarios prepares the presenter to adapt to unexpected situations.

  • This adaptability is valuable in handling questions, interruptions, or changes in the presentation environment.

6. Improves Body Language and Gestures:

  • Rehearsing allows for the refinement of body language and gestures, contributing to a more confident and persuasive presentation.

  • Non-verbal cues play a significant role in conveying enthusiasm and professionalism.

7. Builds a Connection with the Audience:

  • Practicing enables the presenter to establish a connection with the audience by maintaining eye contact, varying tone, and gauging reactions.

  • A strong connection enhances the chances of winning over potential clients or investors.

8. Encourages Memorization of Key Points:

  • Repetition aids in memorizing key points, reducing reliance on notes and slides during the actual presentation.

  • Memorization enhances the presenter's ability to speak authentically and engage with the audience.

9. Utilize Feedback:

  • Practice sessions allow for feedback from peers or mentors.

  • Constructive criticism and suggestions help refine the presentation and address blind spots.

10. Record and Review:

  • Record practice sessions to review and analyze the presentation.

  • Watching recordings helps identify areas for improvement, including verbal and non-verbal communication.

11. Simulate Real Conditions:

  • Create a presentation environment that simulates real conditions as closely as possible.

  • Practice with the same equipment and setup to minimize surprises during the actual pitch.



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