When you want to present in a clear and confident way, “the happy midpoint is to speak extemporaneously, knowing the structure and the content very well, but choosing the exact words in the moment,”
writes Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator. Practicing on your feet—perhaps in front of a test audience is, says Broad-Bahn, the best way to reach the happy medium between memorization and improvisation.
Producing is more active and more likely to stick, rather than passively reading content or editing notes and slides. Perhaps that is why even “covert rehearsal” (practicing in your imagination) enhances speaking performance. And a recent Canadian study—the first to focus on hearing your own voice—showed that even listening to yourself recorded can be effective (Tweet it!).
What techniques do you use to prepare for a presentation? Have you tried covert rehearsal, practicing aloud or listening to your recorded voice? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.