3 Steps for Last-Minute Prep for a Presentation

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Millennial businessman make flipchart presentation training diverse employees during office meeting, male coach mentoring or training company interns at business briefing, presenting business plan

After a post I wrote for Six Minutes, I was surprised to hear some of the responses from readers. The post was a workout for the voice, and several people said they didn’t know that you could train your voice like you do the rest of your body. What else do you want to know about your voice? I’d love to take some questions. If I don’t know the answer, I will find out for you. Just contact me via my contact form here, or on Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you!

Now, to go along with strength training for voice, here’s a 3-step recipe for practicing a presentation. Try it out and let me know what you think.

3-step guide for practicing a presentation

Step One, Physical: Practice leading with your heart.

  1. The way you sit is important. If you do sit down, sit on the edge of your chair with one foot under the chair and one in front of you. Put your weight on the foot in front of you as if you were ready to stand up. Keep your energy forward. Lead with your sternum … or your heart!
  2. Your arms and hands need to be open. Create space between your elbows and your torso. When you speak with your hands, keep them in front of your chest. Make sure your hands do not cover your face.
  3. When you stand, keep your weight forward. Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart and one foot slightly in front of the other. Put your weight evenly on both feet and your knees relaxed rather than locked so that you can easily move by pivoting or walking as needed.

Step Two, Voice: Practice creating clear, confident resonance

  1. Go through several deep, complete breaths, leading with your heart/chest and dropping the air in low.
  2. Warm up with five to ten minutes of mask resonance exercises using “Mmmmm,” and “Mm-hmm.”
  3. Use tongue twisters. (Ahead of time, you can create a list of words you will use that might trip you up during delivery of your content. Use those as a warm-up drill.)

Step Three, Content: Focus on intention and alignment with content

  1. Review your intention and state it out loud.
  2. Go over any areas that seem to be troublesome or about which you are still not clear or confident. Edit your notes accordingly, but keep editing to a minimum as you get closer to the actual presentation.
  3. A quick run-through of highlights out loud. (with slides if you are using them)
  • Run through the opening slide
  • Run through the transition into each section
  • Run through the transition into “closing”
  • Run through the final “closing”

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