I cannot tell you how many of my clients have admitted to me that they do not prepare for their presentations. When I hear that I am always stunned. If you know in advance that you are to speak to a group of people for whatever reason, how can you not prepare in advance? This is a no-brainer in my opinion.
Do you not think that every single athlete, musician, singer and actor prepares for the big game or opening night in advance? Yes, they may be extraordinarily gifted in their abilities but that does not mean they can afford not to practice or rehearse. Part of their gift is achieved through practice, through exercise, through daily drills.
Your chances of stumbling, making mistakes, or losing your train of thought are much more likely if you do not plan and practice in advance. It is also important to understand that preparation for a presentation does not mean creating your script and then reading it over in your mind a few times. That isn’t practicing your material – that is part of the planning and creating of it. Solid preparation involves:
1. Creating your script by means of an outline;
2. Practicing it OUT LOUD, making any necessary changes; and then,
3. Practicing it OUT LOUD on a daily basis several weeks in advance if at all possible.
One of the secrets is to know your material, inside and out. Not to memorize it, not to read it, but, to be able to speak around your subtopics. Make note cards listing your subtopics and sub-subtopics by means of just a few words and then practice speaking around that paragraph or that group of paragraphs. Learn your material in this fashion, looking at each subtopic or sub-subtopic as a block of information.
That does seem like a lot of work, doesn’t it? If you are serious about becoming successful in public speaking, it is not going to happen without applying yourself.
Your job may depend on your ability to address an audience successfully. A promotion in your job may depend on your ability to address an audience successfully. I have heard from so many people who tell me that they are unable to advance in their career because they are not good at public speaking. If you do not practice, you will not be good. There is no other way to say it.
Find the time and make the effort; and, I guarantee your diligence and hard work will pay off in the long run.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To see how voice training can improve your life, both professionally and personally, visit Voice Dynamic or watch a brief video as The Voice Lady describes Dynamic Public Speaking.
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