“Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”
A variation on the 7P British Army Adage
Clients are surprised at the amount of rehearsal we encourage. It’s because we have learned the hard way how rare and difficult a thing it is to successfully recover from a poor public presentation or a poorly delivered sales pitch.
A couple of things tend to get in the way of rehearsal:
- Time management: you need to make time not only to get the presentation ready but additional time to rehearse and revise. Go ugly early, start well in advance from a rough outline and talk it through. You can revise and improve as you go.
- I know the material, rehearsal a waste of time: this can be valid if you have given the talk before and gotten satisfactory or better results. One dry run is probably still advisable if it’s an important opportunity.
- I like to wing it, I am better at improvising: even here role playing the Q&A portion as well as possible objections to a sales pitch can pay big dividends.
- Worry: I know it’s not going to go well and I just want to get it over with. Take a break, go for a walk, consider if there are deeper concerns than the presentation. If you cannot rehearse because you are convinced it’s not going to go well then cancel the presentation and save everyone’s time.
Obviously you can have too much of a good thing, but at least one or two rehearsals of an important presentation can pay huge dividends.