The most important part of prepping for a big presentation is practicing and familiarizing yourself with the presentation. Due to practice being so important, these seven tips will help you practice your presentation leading up to the big day.
1. Allocate time each day to practice
Practicing each day does not necessarily mean presenting. It can be working on the design of your presentation. If your presentation is done, then you should practice the presentation of it, but do not overlook the layout and design.
Slide Master PowerPoint is a tool that is offered within PowerPoint to assist you in designing your presentation. The layout of the presentation can make understanding the material much easier, so you should take advantage of this tool.
2. Verbally practice your presentation
Verbally practicing your presentation means saying it out loud. Many people go over their presentation in their head, but it is different when it is said aloud.
When practicing your presentation, you should make sure that you are speaking in the tone you would while presenting, and you should annunciate. This will allow you to simulate a presentation setting and help you communicate the information in your presentation.
3. Use a mirror to practice your presentation
Using a mirror while you practice will allow you to see your body language and facial expressions. If you are trying to portray certain things through body language and facial expressions, then this can be crucial.
It might be a bit uncomfortable to watch yourself in a mirror, but it will be worth it when you present.
4. Practice in front of family/friends
Practicing in front of a group of people will also allow you to overcome the nerves that accompany public speaking. It may be different because it is your family in friends, but it will be good practice.
This will also allow you to practice your eye contact with your audience. Maintaining eye contact will keep your audience engaged with your presentation.
5. Avoid reading from your notes/presentation
Reading from your notes can be very discouraging for an audience. Your audience is looking for you to know about your material, and it helps to have a conversational tone. When you read off your notes, it can make it look like you are unsure of what you are talking about.
If you read off your presentation, then it will be nearly impossible to maintain eye contact with your audience. It is perfectly fine to look back occasionally, to jog your memory of what is on your slide but avoid reading every word on each slide.
6. Prepare questions that you would ask yourself
The question-and-answer portion of a presentation can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of a presentation. This is because you do not know what questions are coming. Preparing questions beforehand will help you tremendously.
Preparing questions beforehand will allow you to research the required information to answer those questions. This will allow you to show your audience that you are familiar with what you are talking about and knowledgeable about the topic.
7. Time your practice reps
If you are required to present for a certain amount of time, then you will want to time your practice reps. Timing each time you practice your presentation will allow you to get a good idea of what parts of your presentation need more information.
It can also show you that you may have too much information in your presentation. You may need to eliminate some information from your presentation if your timing is too long while you practice.
If you practice using all these tips, then your presentation will likely go well. You may not have to use all these tips because you feel comfortable in a particular area, but you should always time your presentations. This practice will make the presentation feel effortless come presentation day.