Never underestimate when someone makes a pitch, presentation or meeting that looks easy. Winning performances have been practiced in private over and over.
No one ever nails a presentation when they just "wing it". Some people may say that they are better when go with the flow or wing it , but these statements are false. No matter how big or small your presentation, meeting or pitch is it is crucial that you practice it. Do you know how many shots LeBron James makes, not takes in practice? More on that later.
The first time you truly say a presentation out-loud and this means actually using your voice, not just running through it in your head it always sounds choppy, rough and in the need of a good do-over. That is why no matter how good you are or how well you know your topic you always need to practice. Here are some suggestions to get prepared for your next presentation.
Present To Yourself In A Mirror
I know this is hard, awkward and sometimes plain silly, but trust me you will look a lot silly doing your first run through in front of your peers or customers. Plus winning is hard and a lot of work! When did you ever hear a winner say...that was so easy!
Get Feedback From Your Biggest Critic...YOU!
You will be harder on yourself than anyone else would be, so that is why it is important to present to yourself first!
Kids Say the Darnedest Things
Ask a child for feedback. They might not understand the content, but they are honest! My son calls me out when I use filler words or if I am stumbling around.
How To Ask For Feedback
Whether you’re asking a friend, peer or mentor ask them to provide you with two things you did well and two things you can work on. This way you won't get the vanilla answer of "You did great!". Also, if your skin isn't thick enough for the critiques, then just ask them for what you did well and the silence on the other aspects will speak itself.
Lastly, Prepare Beyond Practice
Check out the room and do a run through so you see how the stage us set up, seating is, how the sound works and check the AV. It sounds simple enough, but get a good night’s sleep! Lastly, if you have a Q/A portion have some people prepared to ask questions in case there are not any. It is so hard when you kill a presentation and then ask for questions only to look out into a blank sea with no hands raised. Stack your room and make sure you have one or two questions planted and ready.
Oh and Lebron MAKES 164 shots in every practice...imagine how many he must have to take to make 164! Winning performances are always practiced in private! Winning is hard work, but I know you are up for it!