Practice Your Presentation with a Friend or Colleague

Avoid Practicing Your Presentation in Front of a Mirror

Yes, you want to practice your presentation, but how you practice is really more important than the number of times that you practice a presentation. We are continuing with the 10 Ways to Reduce Public Speaking Fear series, and public speaking tip number 10 is to practice with a friend or colleague. The truth is that the ideas that we have in our head and how these ideas actually sound when they leave our mouth are usually fairly different concepts. So it is a good idea to practice your presentation before you get up in front of a “real” audience to deliver a presentation. However, most people try to practice in front of a mirror — or worse, video recording yourself as a coaching technique. Just so you know video recording can be a valuable way to get good feedback, however most of us are extremely self-critical. So when we practice by ourselves in front of a mirror or via video recording, we will most often nitpick ourselves so much that we actually get worse versus get better.

Practicing a Presentation with a Friend or Colleague with Increase Self-Confidence

However, when we practice with a friend or coworker, we typically increase the value of the practice. When we say something that the colleague agrees with, the person will likely nod and give us other types of valuable visual feedback to let us know that we are communicating well. If we say something that is confusing, we will see the expression on our friend change. This lets us know when we need to alter our deliver a little. These corrections can help us improve our delivery dramatically.

Just as an additional tip, if you over practice, you will likely violate Tip #3, Avoid Trying to Memorize Your Speech Word-for-Word. Practicing once or twice is usually your best bet.

The video above is just a small part of the full 25 minute Fearless Presentations ® Orientation video with all 10 public speaking tips and much more. If you’d like to watch the full video from start to finish, click here!

The key thing to remember about this tip is that when you practice with a person, you can more easily make corrective actions to improve your presentation.

<= Go back to tip #9: Enthusiasm is the Secret to Fantastic Presentations

Start over with Tip #1 Realize that Most of the Nervousness that You Feel Can’t be Seen by the Audience =>


Author: Doug Staneart, Date Published: 04/20/16

Doug Staneart is the CEO of The Leader's Institute. LLC and founder of the Fearless Presentations class. He is author of Fearless Presentations, Mastering Presentations, and 28 Ways to Influence People.

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