We loved Harvard Business Review's piece on strategies to nail an important business speech. There’s no quick trick…it’s all about rehearsing! It’s a simple equation: extensive preparation equals less panic and more confidence. Public speaking icons embrace this strategy to deliver presentations that seem spontaneous but were extensively rehearsed – which frees them up to enjoy the moment and deliver their message through an energized and passionate lens. Here’s a teaser of some tips, and scroll down to a link at the bottom to the full Harvard Business Review story.
Practice under pressure!
Rehearsing under even a mild stress level can prevent you from choking when you're in the real high-level stress mode of your speech.
Keep repeating your practice sessions.
Do this, and your perception of the speech will shift from foe/threat to friend/opportunity.
Perfect the beginning and ends of your presentation.
Focus your practice sessions on the start and finish of your speech, and improvise in between to make it less rehearsed and more natural.
This would be hard for many of us, but be brave enough to record your speech using your phone and watch it to catch things you need to work on like eye contact, hand gestures, using words like "um," etc. And look for where you seem less confident and practice those parts of the presentation more than others.
Full article HERE