Tips to present better

If you want to improve your ability to create powerful business presentations you have to master three aspects: preparation, design and delivery. In these articles I'll show you how.

One of the most common mistakes people make when rehearsing a presentation (if they rehearse at all) is that they don’t do it under similar conditions they will face during the actual presentation.

Let me explain. If your presentation involves you standing up, you shouldn’t rehearse it at home or in the office while sitting. Because if you do so, then when you’ll find yourself standing in front of an audience, it may be disorienting.

You may remember what happened last year with regard to Facebook’s processing of our personal data. In that situation, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to go and talk directly to the U.S. Congress. If you saw those sessions, I’m sure you would agree they were tough ones, where for many hours Zuckerberg had to answer lots of questions about what happened, why it happened and what they were going to do in order to fix the problem. Do you know how he prepared himself? Together with his team, they did mock hearings over the previous week in a conference room at Facebook set up to look like a congressional hearing room. They did so in order to get used as much as possible to that moment when he would find himself in front of lots of angry politicians who were ready to fight.

Of course, when we prepare our own presentations, there is no need to refurbish home or the office. However, it does help to try and rehearse under similar conditions we will face during the presentation. If you are presenting at a big conference and have the opportunity to rehearse on their stage the day before the event, then do so. But even for lower-stakes presentations, the idea remains: if you’re planning to give a talk while standing, you can't rehearse while sitting.

If you'd like to learn more about how to make better business presentations, check out my free report Top 7 Mistakes People Make When Creating Business Presentations.