Delivery: Practise makes perfect

Effortless delivery can turn a good speech into a great one. Far too many people spend 100% of their preparation time writing their speech or presentation, forgetting that it’s the delivery that will make or break it.

If you’re preparing to give a presentation or a pitch, this is even more essential. An under-practised script can sound hollow and unconvincing to any client or colleague.

So how do you go about practising for the big moment?

Let’s start with defining ‘practice’.
‘Practice’ doesn’t mean silently reading the speech or Power-Point notes to yourself on the train, or in bed each evening. Nor does it mean running through it until you can recall the key headings and a few words here and there.

Practice means trying to get as close as possible to how you’ll deliver the speech on the day itself. Here are my top tips:

1. Stand up and read it aloud. But don’t just recite it; put some feeling into it, emphasising key words, pausing at appropriate moments and looking up at your (imaginary) audience as you would on the day.
2. Hold a tube of toothpaste or something similar to recreate the microphone.
3. Ask your other half or a good mate to listen and make suggestions if things don’t sound right.
4. Imagine that you have an audience in front of you, and create as much eye contact with them as possible.
5. Use the same cards, paper or laptop that you’ll be using on the day.
6. If you’re getting bored with the speech, then stop practising so frequently.  Just have a run through as and when you’re worried you’re beginning to forget it.
7. Perfect your posture. Good posture can make you look and feel more confident.
8. You may want to rehearse in the clothes you’ll be wearing on the day. If it’s formal clothes, it can help to become familiar with the feeling of tightness around the neck that comes from wearing a suit.

If you feel this is bordering on the obsessive, remember that stage shows never go ahead without a full dress rehearsal, so why should your speech?!

I hope that’s helpful. If you would like some help rehearsing, or on the writing part for that matter, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)207 118 1600.

I look forward to hearing from you.


(Technorati code: 4G8JXMRCPVUH)