The three golden rules for presenting

Image of lady presenting

Practise, practise, practise…….

My dictionary’s definition of the word practise is “to do repeatedly as an exercise to improve a skill”. To me, this proves two things: first, the more you practise something, you better you get at it. And second, the people who compile dictionaries aren’t necessarily the best writers in the world.

It’s a funny thing, though: no one doubts that you have to practise to get better at most things – playing a musical instrument, playing a sport, driving, cooking, you name it – but for some reason, lots of people don’t think this applies to presentations.

Maybe the thinking is that, hey, I work with this stuff every day, so I don’t need to practise it.

Well yes, you might work with it every day, but you don’t present it every day. You may never have presented it before. So practising it would be a smart idea.

Making a presentation involves public speaking, which can be seriously scary. Famously, speaking in public has been voted scarier than dying (which says something about its lack of popularity).

One reason for this is that everyone will be staring at you. If you make a mistake, fluff your lines or go blank, there’s no escape and nowhere to hide.

Practising beforehand will reduce the chances of those things happening. It will also give you more confidence: something which makes you better at almost anything you do.

A couple of tips: practise out loud. Even better, record your presentation on tape and play it back. You’ll hear how you sound to others. You’ll probably be speaking too fast, and listening to yourself like this will help you slow it down.

Also, listen to your tone of voice and your volume. Try and keep your presentation easy on the ear and on the eye: add pauses, gestures, intonations and so on. You may well find that some sections work well presented a certain way, while others work better another way. Practising beforehand will help you get a natural flow to your presentation.

So there it is. Practising may not make your presentation perfect; but it will improve it, probably by a big margin. After all, would you rather make your mistakes on your own and fix them – or make them in front of your important and critical audience?

By David Vickery


Published On: 19th Sep 2011

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Public Speaking,Speaking Articles ,

  1. I agree. One of the big dangers in presentations is the belief that you can wing it.

    Tommy 27 Jan at 2:59 pm
  2. Hi Thank you for the template, I have been looking for one for ages to set up a Payroll Calendar.

    Well done & Thank you

    Ellie 15 Feb at 6:42 pm
  3. thank you for this template ‘i agree that practicing is very important.
    thanks & goodluck

    heba mohammed 25 Feb at 2:30 pm
  4. you spelled practice wrong

    Anonymous 11 Jun at 3:18 pm
  5. I don;’t think that we have it wrong

    Practice = the noun, Practise = the verb (spelling). 🙁

    admin 13 Jun at 7:32 am
  6. very nice webside

    khalil 22 Jan at 3:12 am
  7. you should add some more tips

    maria shaikh 17 Mar at 6:33 am
  8. itis so good

    ramin 9 Apr at 12:59 pm
  9. Research with students shows that practice alone- with no one there- is far less helpful than with an audience and practice where you will speak, with an audience is best-if possible.

    audience 18 Apr at 11:07 pm
  10. wow thankyou so much i followed all your steps and i got school captain so thankyou so much

    Anonymous 29 Nov at 6:07 am
  11. wow thankyou so much i followed all your steps and i got school captain.<3 you

    Anonymous 29 Nov at 6:08 am