Warning: Practicing your delivery should not be your first step to having impact with your presentations.
A practice session is like a dress rehearsal in a play or musical performance. You are there for the purpose of practicing the delivery of a script or score.
A practice session is NOT a way for you to get to know your content. It is not a place to learn your lines or learn the music or even to write it as you go.
How do you get the most from your practice session?
1. Know your content before you begin your practice sessions.
How do you do that? If you did the initial research and assessment in the prep phase, and if you did the minimal steps in design and development, then you should have a knowledge of the content that goes beyond just memorizing the script.
2. Allow time to practice several run-throughs.
The first practice will be to know your strengths and find the road bumps. The second will be to fix the road bumps. The third will be to strengthen your delivery. The fourth and following sessions are to polish and punch the delivery.
3. Get a coach.
If this presentation is important enough to apply the full treatment, you need to have an objective critique. You need someone who will tell you what you need to do and stop doing, not someone who will rubber stamp what you already have done. You need to have a director for your dress rehearsal.
Practicing your delivery is essential for mastering your impact. If you want to win the contract, motivate your team, or get a ‘yes’ of any kind – practice more than you think is necessary – then practice some more.