Does Practice Make Perfect?

When speakers prepare for a presentation or speech, they devote most of their time to writing it out, when they should spend as much (if not more) time speaking it out. They overlook the fact that the material will be heard by their colleagues and not read.  Therefore, it is critical to begin practicing aloud early on in the preparation process.

We all know that to do something well takes practice and practice takes time. Do not wait until you have crafted a perfect written presentation before practicing. As soon as you have your presentation outlined, begin rehearsing. 

Occasionally, speakers decide not to practice as they claim it will make them sound stale or robotic. But, by hearing it spoken, you will pick up on issues that weren’t obvious in written form. You will spot any tongue twisters or gaps in logic or explanation, and you can play around with pacing and tone. 

Your speech or presentation is a work in progress until you achieve the result you want.  As you keep practicing, you can course-correct and refine your presentation until you are happy with it.

If you put your energy into what your listeners will hear, you have a far greater chance of conveying your message effectively.