I was scheduled to deliver a presentation skills program this past Tuesday for 8 people. When I got to the venue, I was informed there was only going to be 4 people attending. Since practice is such a big part of our program I thought “Great!” this will give the participants more time to practice.
My “Great” idea of more practice was met with a little less enthusiasm from the participants. I said they could choose to deliver their presentation one extra time if they wanted to. I made it clear it was a choice. After lunch each participant was given time to make revisions to their presentation that they had delivered in the morning. I was very impressed with the progress each person had made from their original presentation. The power of practice was evident.
Surprisingly each person was eager deliver their presentation one extra time to further fine tune their message. At the end of day we debriefed the day and each participant agreed that the real key to delivering a powerful presentation is practice. Everyone agreed that in the world of athletes, that only with practice was how they improved, yet they all said they rarely practiced their presentations prior to taking this program. They committed that in the future they will run through their material as many times as it takes for them to be comfortable.
I think one participant summed it up best with their comment on the evaluation form: “Class was great because we were able to review presentation 3 times.”