5 reasons why you have to REHEARSE your speech or presentation
In my coaching sessions for public
speaking there is the recurring
topic of presentation rehearsal. I
usually ask my clients
how often they practice
their speech, do they time it, do they
already rehearse it exactly the way they are going to deliver it or
just roughly? The reason why I ask this is that proper
practice is key to boosting your confidence.
adds a risk to the already very unsure turnout of your presentation or speech. If you
haven't rehearsed what you are going to say to your audience, you
have to still think about it while you are already
doing it! This takes away a lot of energy and can make you
seem unprofessional, insecure and/or unable to engage with your audience. Scared
enough yet? Good, here are reasons
why you should take up the habit of rehearsing:
I know that with so little time on our hands and other more exiting
things to do, rehearsing
is not really on the Top 10 list of our favorite things. But it is
SO IMPORTANT! If I haven't stressed it enough yet: REHEARSE!!!
and you will feel much more confident
the next time you step in front of an audience.
I promise! You can also check out this interesting TED Talk
by Dr. Laura Sicola where she also
talks about the importance of
rehearsing before a public
- Time-Management. In 99% of the cases you are
you will have a time limit. Regardless of how much time you have
exactly – you have to manage it. If you want to encourage people
and ask questions you have to plan that in (and then make sure
they also stick to your time limit!). If you have a certain
amount of slides or topics that you want to cover, you have to
make sure that you have covered ALL of them within the time
frame given to you with a few minutes to spare for questions. If
your time is up and you still have several slides to show, you
and start talking really fast. People will leave with the
impression that they didn't get all the information and all you
can do is apologize at the end, saying there was more, but there
was not time...
→ Action: you don't want to
leave this kind of messy impression, do you? So before your
next public speaking event, time yourself so
you know exactly how much time you can spend on each point in
- Unnecessary information. We
all have had that experience
that we prepare something and then when we actually present it
to someone, we realize that some of the information was either
at the wrong place, in the wrong order or not specific enough to
be really useful. This is really not a problem, because
preparing a presentation
is a bit of a trial and error game. But it becomes a HUGE
problem, when we realize this while we are already in front of
and everybody is watching us. If you don't mind coming off as
the crazy professor, then that's fine. But if you want to come
off as professional,
and straight to the point – this is a problem.
→ Action: Rehearse
your next presentation out loud 10 times, so
you pay attention to whether the order of your slides makes
sense, whether all the information is really necessary or
whether you have forgotten something really important.
- Too much in your head.
When we are thinking of what we are going to say, we are very
much occupied by our own thoughts. We focus on our arguments, on
the next point, on what it was again that was really important
on this particular slide. We cannot focus
on what do do with our hands or whether our body is in a
comfortable position exuding confidence.
When we haven't rehearsed
what we were going to say, we also cannot give our energy to our
We are too focused on ourselves and on our topic to engage with the
people sitting in front of us.
→ Action: Rehearse
your presentation, so your brain remembers
what you want to say and goes on auto pilot on the day of your
presentation. It thereby leaves you energy to
focus on your body language, your audience
and be prepared for possible interventions.
- Smoothness of your voice.
Since I am a voice
coach, I help my clients
deliver their speeches
with their best voice
possible. Your best voice
is when you know exactly what you are going to say. Then you
have the right pace
, put the emphasis
on all the words that matter and make pauses where they are
necessary, so your audience
can digest the information you are giving them. You cannot project your voice
still being unclear about what words will come out of your mouth
exactly. Imagine a singer or actor going on stage without rehearsing the
songs or the play they were about to deliver. It would probably
not be their best work.
→ Action: When you are giving a
speech or holding a presentation,
you are very much like a performer. People
look at you, listen to you and (hopefully) pay full attention
to what you are saying. So in order to sound smooth and
winning, give your voice the chance to get
familiar with the content of your speech
- Confidence. This is the whole reason I do
what I do. I want people to feel confident
when they are stepping in front of their audience
and I want them to be in control of their nerves.
I am sure you are reading this article, because confidence
is a slight issue for you when it comes to public
speaking. It is for almost everyone, for me
too. If I don't rehearse
I will come off as a lot more insecure
than I want to. Since we are always
nervous before stepping in front of an audience, there
are things we can do to make us feel more secure.
One of them is to know exactly what we are going to say, how we
are going to say it and when.
→ Action: If you want to feel
more confident about public speaking, rehearse your speech or
presentation several times OUT LOUD before the day you are
going to hold it. I would say 10 times is a good amount,
depending on how scared you are (the more scared, the more
often you need to practice). Video-taping yourself will also
help you to feel more secure, because you will already know
what you sound and look like.
I hope these tips were useful. If you would like to get more tips
like these or tried them out, please let me know. You can also subscribe
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on tips about voice training and feeling confident as a public
speaker. You can even join one of my workshops or sign
up for individual coaching.
I look forward to hearing from you!