As far as I’m concerned, you’re throwing away most of the time and energy you invest in preparing a speech or presentation by not rehearsing it.
Rehearsing a presentation takes maybe 5%-10% of your speech preparation time, but it pays off big time. (For more on that, see “How to Prepare a Presentation.”)
By rehearsing, I mean standing up and talking your speech through out loud. (Both actions — standing and speaking — are required.)
Rehearsing a speech or presentation allows you to:
- Listen to your thoughts and judge for yourself their logic, clarity, and wisdom.
- Find the right words and combination of words to articulate just exactly what you mean.
- Get a sense of how much time your presentation will actually take.
- Internalize your speech (make it your own) by externalizing it (speaking it out loud).
- Become more polished.
My advice is always to rehearse your speech or presentation at least once, preferably twice or three times. You just don’t want the first time you say something to be in front of a crowd of people. Try rehearsing your next speech, if you don’t believe me, and see if you don’t benefit from doing it.
Are there any other benefits of rehearsing a speech or presentation that I’ve overlooked?