Practicing a Presentation: Importance, Techniques & Feedback

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  • 0:01 Practicing a Presentation
  • 0:31 Importance of Practicing
  • 1:40 Techniques for Practicing
  • 3:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
This lesson will cover the importance and techniques of presentations. You will find out why critical feedback is also necessary to make improvements to the speech.

Practicing a Presentation

Did you know that the more you practice a presentation, the more you will sound as though you are presenting spontaneously? It takes great practice to pull off a flawless, professional presentation. In this lesson, you will learn the importance of practicing a presentation.

Let's examine a common business scenario for presentation development. Jessica works as a marketing manager of a candy company and has been assigned to present product research information to the marketing and sales team.

Importance of Practicing

There are many reasons to embrace practicing as part of a presentation repertoire. Practicing helps eliminate speaking flaws, such as tongue twisters, poorly worded sentences, or difficult-to-pronounce words. For example, if Jessica's candy presentation contains the tongue twister 'World Wide Web,' it would help if she would practice saying the phrase so that it flows off her tongue. In addition, if her new candy flavor is espresso-flavored, she should pronounce it 'espresso' and not 'expresso.'

Practicing sets good timing for the presentation delivery. For example, Jessica might assemble a presentation and estimate a time of 30 minutes based on the number of slides. Unfortunately, if Jessica doesn't actually run through the presentation, she could end up with a speech double the length.

Practicing reduces nervousness and gauges a speaker's energy level. Many presenters quickly realize that giving a speech without any practice creates instant nervousness and trepidation. If Jessica is able to practice and gain confidence, it will make her presentation engaging and professional.

Techniques for Practicing

There are different techniques available to presenters to choose how they want to practice their presentation. The first method is to recreate the presentation environment. This can be achieved by practicing the speech in the room where Jessica will be later speaking.

In addition, it is helpful to use props and practice moving around the room. Jessica would want to practice her visual cues by bringing examples of the new espresso candy, setting up her technology needs, and moving around the room while delivering her speech. It would also benefit Jessica to arrive an hour early to do a dry run through of her entire candy presentation. This will help her gain confidence and will work out any last minute issues.

Another technique for practicing a presentation that Jessica considered is to get audience feedback before the actual speech. It is important to not just ask for a peer to watch the presentation but also provide Jessica with critical feedback so that she can make improvements. Critical feedback is when someone tells a presenter the areas that need improvement through suggestions. If she invites a co-worker to her candy speech, it would be necessary to ask them example questions, such as:

  • How was my eye contact?
  • Is the speech engaging?
  • Did I speak too quickly?
  • What areas need improvement?

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