An athlete’s success is not determined by their brief time on the track, but by the months of hard work and dedication leading up to that moment.
The Key to Success
What’s the greatest thing you can bring to a presentation?
Confidence? Originality? Humour, perhaps?
No. It’s preparation.
Confidence comes from preparation and experience. Originality is wonderful but, like humour, will be worth little – and could possibly be damaging – without being part of sufficient preparation. Give yourself enough time to prepare and you’ll maximise your chances of success. So:
- Research: make sure you know exactly who you are talking to, and why.
- Write: create something that you’re proud of, and test it on someone you trust.
- Rehearse: become one with your material, and try to make your delivery conversational.
How Much Time Should I Spend Preparing?
Well, that depends on how long you’ll be speaking for; an hour of prep for every minute of speaking is ideal.
“What?! An hour?”
That may seem excessive, but what we’re talking about is considerable: a confident, natural presentation. Much like the significant challenge of running a 10k race, you’re not going to do a good job unless you’ve put in the work with frequent practise under the same conditions as the actual event. The goal in each case is something rather wonderful, so is definitely worth it, right? Better get to work, then. Chop chop.
On the day itself, yes, you’ll be nervous to some degree. But correct preparation will help considerably. Each speaking experience will also help a great deal, forming part of the preparation for each subsequent presentation: increasing your familiarity with the material while also smoothing out your delivery.
Make sure you’re ready, and you’ll be fine. Promise.