On the tenth day of Christmas…

On the tenth day of Christmas…

…my true love gave to me ten presentation practises.

tenth day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ten presentation practises. The delivery of a presentation (p3) is an essential factor in the equation of the value of a presentation (p cubed). Practise is the most effective tool in improving this and sadly, the most likely component to be squeezed by lack of planning. It is not simply repetition. Ten presentation practises will deliver the best presentation ever.

Once a complete and edited script has been constructed this should be read through at performance speed twice noting the time taken. (1,2) This must be 80% or less of the allocated time. The script must be then edited down and a further practise undertaken to ensure that the timing is correct. (3) Overrunning is unacceptable and attempting to make cuts on the day is never effective. This practise must be under time.

A script cannot be used in delivery. A useful tool to establish the flow of the piece is to undertake a practise at this point with no script and supportive media as the only prompt. (4) This forces the presenter to understand the flow of the piece using the slides as way points. It is a most effective performance tool. Reviewing the script after this highlights opportunities to improve the linkage between sections and other editorial improvements.

Clearly the importance of a presentation affects the total number of practises that should be undertaken. At least three full performance deliveries must be undertaken to embed the whole piece for the presenter. (5,6,7) The focus should be on completion of the task and development of flow and rhythm rather than on timing. This concretion of the piece is important before further review is undertaken.

Post performance review is essential before the final delivery. This can be personal, recording a practise on a mobile phone (8), by delivering the piece to a trusted presentation buddy (9) and a final rehearsal in as large an auditorium as possible even with only three or four confederates in the audience. (10)

Practise is the most effective tool in maximising the value of a presentation. True loves, friends and confederates will all offer the gifts of assistance and feedback, if requested. After ten presentation practises you will be able to deliver your best presentation ever.

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