Battle Conditions Presentation Practice

by Dan Bond on 11th March, 2013

Practice, rehearsal call it what you may you have got to try out what you are going to do before you present.  We have all met the people who say “I am much better off-the-cuff” to those I say, bullshit.

Content needs to be researched and written in peace a quiet and not made up on the spot standing in front of your audience.

To come across as clear, casual and confided you need both weapons grade content and practice.  In fact you need more than that, when you practice it must be under ‘Battle Conditions’.

By ‘Battle Conditions’ I mean practice that involves every aspect of the presentation process and practice that does not allow you to do anything that you could not or should not do in front of an audience. This can apply to job interviews, radio interviews, presenting seated in a meeting or standing up in front of people.

Practically this involves not stopping, going back or just folding.  You must press on no matter what happens.  There must be no apologising or pausing for errors. You must press on no matter what.  Your eye line with the audience must be maintained, layout some chairs to talk to.  Your use of notes and/or slides must also be the way you intend to do it on the day.  Practice doing it without being fixated with your notes or the screen. Your practice time is the time to take risks and see what you really can do so experiment, but don’t stop.

The start and the finish of you presentation must be exactly as you will do it.  Every time you start a run of your presentation start from sitting down and finish by returning to your seat.

The aim is not to just practice getting it right, you must also practice getting it wrong and seamlessly fixing the difficulty.

Whether it is talking at a networking event, Daniel DayLewis’s Oscar acceptance or an off-the-cuff TV panel show that takes all day to shoot due to retakes, it all takes practice.  

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