I'm not a polished speaker. When I teach a seminar or give a talk somewhere--I'm way out of my comfort zone. Here is my routine...
- Write my speech.
- Rehearse it out loud.
- Re-write my speech.
- Rehearse it again. And again. And again.
- Rehearse it one more time.
Last week before Innovate, I asked my wife to leave the house several times so I could rehearse my talk at full volume in an empty house. I use the bar-height counter as my podium, and the kitchen cabinets become my audience. I keep a stop-watch next to me so I can cut and slash as I go to stay within the time alotted.
Evidently I'm in good company. Tim Sanders, author and speaker extraordinaire, says the following:
"If you give your speech either the day before or day of your scheduled time, when you give it to your audience, you have more of your brain free to work the room and connect with your audience. Think about how a band prepares: they write songs, rehearse them daily and give great concerts. Too many times, speakers think that they have it all in their head. Then they go out and fumble, stumble and ignore their audience because they need all their bandwidth to recall their remarks. Or, God forbid, they use power point slides and bullet points as a crutch to remember their speech.
Recommended: Next time you have a presentation, give it into a mirror three hours before your actual speak time. Do it all the way through. If you have a recorder, listen to it on playback. By doing this, you'll free your brain to read people's reaction and you just may move them to action."
Read more on Tim Sanders blog.