Hi all. I'm giving a mini presentation this afternoon, and have just done a run through, at home, alone. Does anyone else find that these rehearsals are so artificial that they are close to useless - I know that it won't matter if I make false-starts, let a bit of gibberish go etc, because NO-ONE'S REALLY WATCHING! Admittedly, I did pick up a few murky points on my slides, but it just feels so odd to be talking to myself. How do you all practice for your oral presentations?
I definitely find it unnatural going through a presentation on my own. What I find helps is getting other people to sit through as practice run (or two). it helps to see what bits aren't comprehensible etc.
Good luck with the presentation though. Hope it goes well.
i've noticed that if i have a practice run on my own i'll quickly find out if the presentation flows (or doesn't) when i speak about it out loud. you don't want to notice a logical error or a missing argument in the middle of your talk... embarassing. i've seen it happen often enough to other people.
Good luck! Despite my moans yesterday (and the fact that my presentation became more of a discussion in the end), it's a worthwhile exercise to do. You'll get to know your material better and check pronunciation of names/terms - easy to miss when you're reading the whole time.
I had a presentation the day before yesterday. It was a really bad experience. First, I was told that there was no specific theme, and I could do whatever I wanted. So, I prepared some very good meterial. Then 3 days before the presentation, I learned by accident that there was a theme, which was completely different from what I had done!!!!! So, I prepared anothre presentation. I was told that I was having 10 minutes to talk. So, my prepsentation was excactly 17 minutes. On the day of the seminar, I learned that we had 10 minutes to present our work!!!!!!
I had to cut out a lot of my material. But overall, the audience seemed to understand what I was saying. So, I guess it was bad experience as far as preparartion is concerned but it was a good one as far as the presentation is concerned!
I have heard of people talking in front of a mirror to practice and timing themselves. I think sticking to time is VERY critical, and its important to be able to stick to time without having to toss away half of your presentation, and losing the whole value of it in the process.
Lots of preparation is good...but sometimes at some points, less is more. What is your natural style and comfort level? Will you be reading a script, talking from notes, using power point?
I am happiest not tied to a script, but have notes as a security blanket to keep me on track and to keep me on time, and then, if I have that lost my train of thought moment, I can glance at the notes and get oriented and carry on. I try to know where I am timewise through out the presentation ( mark 5 minute intervals on my PP slide notes for myself, or other notes) and so if I am running behind, I can make subtle adjustments as I go to stay on target for time.
Its too hard to remember that you started to talk at 2:15 and must end at 2:35... half way through you might look at your watch or the clock and think...ACK!!! when did I start, when do I end?
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