In this video, I answer the question: “Is it important that I rehearse a presentation before I present publicly? I’m worried if I rehearse too much I will lose my spontaneity and authenticity.”
Think about it this way: Actors rehearse a play for weeks so that when they perform, it appears as if everything that’s happening to them is happening for the first time— that it’s entirely spontaneous and that they are simply responding to the moment. That’s what a good rehearsal offers you: it lets you get your message and how you are delivering your message so in your bones that you are free to be responsive to who you’re talking to, as your fully present self.
So yes, I am a fan of rehearsal, and my clients rarely find that they over-rehearse. But they do often report back after a presentation that they wish they’d rehearsed more. I talk about why rehearsal is important and ways to structure rehearsal so that it’s useful to you, like:
— practice out loud, at the volume you intend to speak at, sitting or standing in the way you intend to sit or stand. It does no good to practice silently or quietly— a good rehearsal needs to get your message into your muscle memory.
— practice with all your notes and props. See my previous YouTube video for helpful suggestions about how to structure your notes.
— practice taking moments to breathe and making eye contact with your audience (and how and when you’ll do that). See my previous YouTube video for coaching around eye contact in presentations.
The more you can embed your presentation into your muscle memory, the easier it will be for your body to know what to do on the day of the presentation— and even to step in and help you if you are feeling nervous! Communicating a presentation is about so much more than content. It’s about bringing your best self to the table— and you are your best self when you are feeling most confident about what you’re doing. Rehearsal can offer you that. I wish you all the best— try these tips and let me know how it goes!
Check out my podcast for voice/body/mind warm ups that can help you prepare for public speaking events.
If you would like more personalized coaching, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.