Basics of Innovative Presentation Rehearsals vs. Practices

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

Rehearsing differs from practicing your innovative presentation, which is improving your general speaking techniques through a simple form of repetitive behavior with the goal of becoming articulate and polished with a custom-designed presentation or speech, especially one that you give for the first time.

Rehearsing is standing up, using your presentation visuals, and delivering your material word-for-word out loud — without missing any detail — as if you were doing it for real. Even though actors, theater performers, and entertainers of all kinds are seasoned, successful professionals, they still have to thoroughly rehearse a new movie scene, play, or musical show so that it looks effortless and natural when they do it for real.

Regardless of the venue, numerous rehearsals ensure that a performance is silky smooth, credible, and of utmost professional quality. When you can communicate your information and key messages fluidly and effortlessly, you can then better engage your audience because you’re relaxed, sincere, and conversational. Knowing your material cold enables you to be at ease and enjoy speaking in front of people.

How to memorize your lines for innovative presentations

There’s something about speaking out loud that helps you retain and communicate your content effectively. Depending upon your knowledge and comfort with the topic, it is recommended you have anywhere from at least five to as many as ten out-loud rehearsals using your laptop and prepared slides.

Move and gesture as you would in the real situation. Gauge your success by having the last two try-outs being the best you can do.

How to ace your innovative presentation introduction and conclusion

Always rehearse the opening of your presentation more than any other part. You want to start off in a smooth, self-assured, and polished way. Doing so helps you make a great impression, sets a positive tone for the rest of your talk, and reduces your speaking jitters.

Consider having memory-jogging notes (not full sentences) in the event you need them; most presentation apps have a presenter’s view feature in which you see the slide or visual and your notes but the audience only sees the visual. The same advice applies to giving a compelling summary and confident call to action at the end of your presentation.

How to internalize your innovative presentation message

You give the most impressive presentation when you have such a mastery of your topic that the content seems part of your DNA. With repeated rehearsals, you won’t read from your slides but use visuals primarily to help your audience better understand the value and application of your information.

During your preparation and rehearsals, don’t memorize your presentation as if reciting from a script — that’s not only difficult, but also comes across as rigid and produces anxiety because if you lose your place or forget one line, you may stall the whole presentation.

Aim to internalize and familiarize yourself with the stories, points, facts, and connecting messages that are most important for you to highlight and make sure you have the flow of your talk down pat. Know what comes on each following slide so that continuity is fluid as well.

You want to be conversational and be able to randomly talk about any information in your presentation using different words to get you there.

Basics of innovative presentation timing

Many presentation apps have a timer that gives you the individual time for each major part of your presentation as well as the total time — or you can time yourself with your smartphone. Remember, it almost always takes longer than you think.

By timing each section, you can gauge how the total presentation time is divided and decide which parts you want to dedicate more time to and then make appropriate adjustments. If you are given an hour (60 minutes) to deliver your presentation, allocate at least 15 minutes (one quarter of the time) for questions, comments, and discussion time.

Don’t think because you have an hour, you need to talk for an hour. Most audiences expect to interact with you. If you find they only ask a couple of questions, and you end before your scheduled time, they will love it!

Why to get feedback on your innovative presentations

Any presentation with a lot riding on it deserves to have a group you select to sit in on a rehearsal and give you constructive feedback and advice.

Choose people who closely resemble your audience in terms of job positions, expertise levels, and needs as they will give more useful comments. You may also consider hiring a seasoned professional presentation trainer or coach to help fine-tune your content, visuals, and speaking skills.