There was a well-known businessman in the US who was renowned for his keynote addresses. His presentations became so well anticipated that the world’s media would fly in just to hear what he was about to announce.
Some would say that he was a natural. He was born to speak. And while he may have been gifted in many ways it was not his gift but his process that made his presentations so exceptional. What was his process? He would rehearse like a theatre actor.
His name was Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.
Why is rehearsing so important?
Not only is it essential to ensuring your body language and vocal tone are congruent with your message, it is the only way to improve your ‘performance’. You can have the most amazing structure, most colourful script and have well thought out tools that will help you bring your presentation to life, but if you can’t execute through your delivery, a lot of your hard work will go to waste.
The 3 key ingredients to becoming 100% congruent when speaking to groups of people is to
- First: know your content.
- Second: rehearse like a theatre actor.
- Third: seek feedback.
In this article I’m going to focus on Number 1: Know Your Content.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW YOUR CONTENT?
Knowing your content is the key to freedom. I’m not just talking about having the depth of knowledge behind what you’re talking about (that is a given). I’m talking about knowing your talk so well you could say it in your sleep. This gives you the freedom of allowing your brain to focus on truly having a two-way connection with your audience.
Can you remember back to when you were learning to do something significant in your life? For example, learning how to drive.
To begin with you have to think about every move you make, you need to think about steering, putting your foot on the accelerator and brake, turning on the indicator to change lanes, looking in the rear vision mirror on a regular basis – and it goes on. Every move you make is a conscious thought.
Then there comes a time and, I wonder whether this has happened to you, where you drive from one place to another and when you get there you can’t remember the drive at all. Your brain has been able to perform the task on autopilot and you’ve been able to think about other things.
This is what happens when you know your content so well that you can shift your conscious thought to respond in the moment to your audience, and not worry about what is coming next in your talk.
HOW CAN YOU ACHIEVE THIS?
Achieving this requires repetition, practicing aloud and dropping your script.
When we’re coaching clients who are specifically working on an important Public Speaking engagement we say to them, “Practise aloud or you will scare yourself with your own voice”! I know it sounds crazy but think about it. How many times have you practised what you are going to say in your head – and it sounds amazing. And then you go to say it aloud and it sounds nothing like you have practised – you scare yourself (put yourself off) with your own voice and it all goes downhill from there. So practise aloud in the shower, in the car, anywhere where you’re not going to scare other people……
Finally, drop your script while you practise. I teach my clients to use a tool that allows them prompts without scripting word for word. It is much easier to memorise your presentation this way.
Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you start unlocking your potential so that you can become clear, confident and compelling in front of your audience:
- Join our IS Rehearsal Room and connect with other leaders and business professionals: It’s our fast growing Facebook Community where driven leaders and business professionals are leveling up their Presentation Skills – it’s FREE to join.
- For just $XXXUS join us on the inside where you will gain access to our members portal Rehearsal Room. Here you will find invaluable body language and vocal techniques, as well as tips and tricks sure to help you increase your influence in your next presentation.
- Work with me and my team to immediately start elevating your presentation skills. If you’re sick of putting up with where you’re at now and want to make sure you’re ready to do it better next time, let us help you create and deliver a presentation you can be proud of. Apply here and we look forward to understanding more about you and your goals: