by Geetesh Bajaj, April 17th 2012
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Practice without Perfection

Geetesh Bajaj
As presentation training gets more commonplace, you see more presenters who do everything by the book and some of them do take this quite far. One of the worrying trends is too much practice I have seen presenters who rehearse everything from their body movement to their talk, and I suspect some of them even rehearse when they should smile and cough! Contrary to what you may read in the books, too much practice for your presentation is not necessarily a good thing. Yes, it's great to practice your slides try speaking what you want to say during the time that each slide is being shown but you must stop after a while, and let your natural personality take over. You need to be candid, and engage with the audience while presenting and that is something that cannot be practiced. Yes, if you do practice well, you will be confident about your presentation and that will actually help you lower your stress levels. This in turn will allow you to be more candid and engaging.
Recently a member on our LinkedIn group asked a similar question, and I happened to provide her with an analogy: "And practice again but remember to let your free flow work as well depend 80% on practice and a script, but let the other 20% of being free within a framework also work for you! So in effect you will know your slides like the back of your hand, but you should be able to move your hands as you like."
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