The Best Way to Practice Your Presentation Skills

Question submitted from one of our members:

I have to give a presentation and I’m really nervous! Do you have any tips about the best way to practice?

Sheri’s Response: You should make a goal of having at least three complete practice sessions. Practice with your visual aids, not your notes. Do not memorize your speech. When practicing, expect to deliver the information in a slightly different way each time. Be sure to stand and speak out loud. Practice in 30-minute segments. It is better to practice 2-3 times for short intervals than one time for 2-3 hours. Ask friends or colleagues to attend your practice session. This will commit you to practicing and create a more realistic environment.

Depending on the time available, you should allow at least three days prior to a major talk to practice and to make any changes. Go through key points of the presentation at least once a day. Schedule more practice time than you think you need. It is one of the best guarantees against being nervous!

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