What to Rehearse when You Think You Don’t Need To

Start at the top and work down

Start at the top and work down

I’ve harped on the need for rehearsal often enough in this blog, sale so I won’t belabor the point that I think it’s always a good idea, and the more the better.

But I also recognize that it’s not going to happen for many of you. You certainly won’t rehearse all thirty minutes of your next presentation when you:

  • Are a very accomplished and experienced speaker
  • Deliver roughly the same material all the time
  • Have so many demands on your time

But some parts of your presentation are much more important than others, sick and you want to make sure they are absolutely as strong as possible. Here is a list of rehearsal priorities, in descending order of importance:

Opening: First impressions are enormously important in capturing attention and establishing your credibility. There’s never an excuse not to rehearse your opening.

Close: Almost as important as the first impression is the call to action or the feeling you leave listeners with at the end. Don’t leave this to chance by fading away at the end.

Key lines: This point applies more to an inspirational speech as opposed to a more workaday presentation. If there are one or two key lines you want the audience to remember, make sure you deliver them exactly as you intend.

Transitions: One of the best ways to look professional and in control is not having to keep looking back at your slides, and that definitely takes practice.

All the rest: I know you won’t, so nothing else to be said here.

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