Practice Makes Perfect- Why Practicing Before Your Presentation Makes All the Difference

We’ve all heard it time and time again.  “Practice makes perfect.”  Although it has been repeated many times throughout your life, it still holds true.  In just about any skill you pursue, the more you practice at it the better you will become…and public speaking is no exception.  There is simply no way around it.  Unless you are just born with a natural knack for public speaking, the only way to sharpen your presentation skills is through practice.  Proper practice is the key to boosting your confidence and giving you the edge you need to deliver a dynamic presentation.  Here are a few reasons why you should take time to practice and rehearse before giving a presentation.

Practice Builds Confidence

If you are like most people then you probably aren’t overjoyed at the idea of giving a presentation.  In fact, most people dread the idea of speaking in front of a group of people.  It makes people nervous, tense, and anxious which will in turn take away a lot of their energy and make them appear unprofessional and incompetent. That is why practice is so important.  Rehearsing your presentation helps you to become more confident when it comes time to step in front of an audience.  A confident speaker immediately appears more competent and is more likely to gain the respect and attention of the audience.  Don’t let nerves and insecurity get the best of you.  You will feel much more secure if you have rehearsed your presentation and you know exactly what you are going to say.

Practice Helps with Time Management

When most people are asked to give a presentation, they will have a time limit.  Regardless of how much time you have, you need to know how to manage it.  You want to be sure you have time to cover all of your information, and if you plan to leave time for questions you will have to factor that in as well.  If you don’t practice, you risk running out of time and rushing through the end of your presentation.  This leaves a messy impression and you will end up apologizing for not getting through all of the information.  So, before your next presentation, time yourself so you can figure out exactly how much time you can spend on each point.

Practice Helps You Trim Down Your Presentation

Oftentimes when people are preparing their presentation, they try to cram every little thing into the presentation.  Not only does this make for a long and boring presentation, but it ends up confusing the audience when there is too much stuff.  You will end up losing audience attention and you will be staring at lots of confused faces.  Instead, practice giving your speech ahead of time so you can figure out which information to eliminate.  It is important to trim down your presentation to keep things clear and concise.

Practice Helps with Body Language

Believe it or not, what you do with your body during a presentation is just as important as what you say.  When you are in front of an audience, all eyes are on you and that means audiences will notice everything you do, from the way you hold your arms to the way you sway back and forth.  The movements of your eyes, mouth, facial muscles, and arms can build a connection with your audience. Conversely, they can make you appear insecure and unprofessional.  When it comes to communicating sincerity and credibility, nothing is more important than eye contact and body language.  By practicing proper body language, you will appear more relaxed and in control when it comes time to deliver your presentation.