Big investor pitch coming up? Do you have a critical client presentation next week? With 3 easy steps, creating masterful presentations is faster than you've ever imagined.

It's not just about getting all the stuff together: the slides, handouts and charts. If that were all it took to give a good presentation - more slides, more handouts - then you could give the list to a summer intern and head out to the beach instead of slaving over your deck.

But if you've ever given a presentation that didn't go quite how you planned (or seriously bombed) you probably know that kicking the tires in the parking lot is not the best solution.

Far too many business people wait too long before asking for help. If you want to improve your skills, start now. Ask for help from colleagues. Take a presentation skills course. Don't go it alone.

There are times to talk wide and far to everyone about your plans and business. And there are times to protect it. Often before a big pitch or public talk, it's a good idea to opt for silence and protect yourself from criticism.

The only problem with this approach is this: if you keep your presentation to yourself, you won't get any objective feedback. This makes it hard to get expert coaching, input, and advice. It makes it impossible to refine the presentation you have in mind so it really hits the mark.

So, I truly understand this deep desire to keep things under wraps before the big day. But I urge you to find a trusted advisor. This could be a mentor, friend or objective presentation coach. Pick someone who is non-judgmental and ready to give you candid feedback.

With this in hand, you are ready to prepare, rehearse and refine your presentation. Use these 3 quick and easy tips and you'll set yourself up for success.

Step 1. Get Input on Your Story
It's easy to get carried away with your story. Especially when you get a brainstorm at 3am and see everything perfectly while sitting in the moonlight. It's just so darn easy to get all the pieces lined up but then not really pull the thread of connection all the way through.

That's why it's very helpful to get outside input. If your mentor or coach can understand your story easily, you're on the right track. If they get lost or confused, that's a good sign that you need to do some more work.

Step 2. Rehearse Your Presentation
Rehearse mentally. Rehearse verbally. Rehearse with movement and whiteboard sketches. Practice. And then practice again.

The best way to practice is to rehearse in an environment that is approximately like the one where you'll do your final presentation. This helps you get ready for logistical details, space arrangements and room set up.

Hint: If you only practice in your bathroom in front of the mirror, you won't know how it feels to be standing in front of 10 or 100 people.

Step 3. Listen To Input
Once you're working with your coach, be sure to listen. Don't be one of those arrogant and cocky presenters who don't truly listen.

Pay attention. What is your coach telling you? Should you talk louder? Is your voice deep and resonant? Are you showing a combination of poise and purposeful leadership?

Whatever feedback and coach gives you, write it down. Often in the heat of the moment, it's easy to nod and listen but forget the details. Take notes! And be sure to read them after your coaching session is over. This will help you integrate and use the feedback for a full benefit.

By working with a trusted advisor, you'll make rapid progress on your presentation skills. Tackle your tough problems - before you get in front of your audience. You'll be so glad you did!

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through online presentation skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: