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Practice Presenting While Waiting for Luggage? Three Everyday Practical Practices

It's true, you need to practice, practice, practice when you're preparing for an important presentation, but you can find creative ways to practice your delivery skills during your everyday activities.  

#1.  Body Language:  I travel a couple times a month.  Waiting for luggage is part of my routine.  As I look around most people are standing casually, resting their weight on one leg or hunched over, closed up, certainly not smiling or making eye contact.

As I wait for my luggage I practice getting grounded, weight balanced, standing upright, open body language with my arms at my sides.  I practice making eye contact and, unless the baggage is taking a really long time, I smile.  If you don't travel, practice in grocery or post office lines.

#2.  Eye contact:  A colleague of mine is an avid Starbucks customer.  She was out of the country for a couple weeks and upon her return, went to her local Starbucks and was greeted by her favorite barista.  He said he had missed her terribly.  She thought that was nice.  Then he told her why.  She was the only customer who looked him in the eye when ordering her coffee.

We know how important eye contact is during a presentation.  Now you can practice that skill when ordering your coffee, greeting your bank teller, your dry cleaner or even your ticketing police officer.  It's all about making a solid connection, in public and during your presentations.

#3. Voice:  There are all kinds of ways to practice using your voice.  My favorite is a technique I talk about in my training classes.  I call it the 'Radio Parrot'.  It's best done in your car while you're listening to a podcast or a talk radio station.  Turn up the volume a bit.  After the announcer has spoken three or four words, repeat those same words using the identical vocal intonation of the announcer. (announcer) "In the news today"' (you) "in the news today"' You'll have to keep starting and stopping but soon you'll realize that a good announcer modulates his or her voice, changing pace and volume frequently.  It will feel like you're exaggerating but the practice will help your vocal presentation when you're in front of a group.

Remember, "Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."  If I practice hitting the tennis ball on the practice lanes 100 times incorrectly, there is a pretty good chance I'll hit the ball incorrectly on the tennis court during a match.  Same is true of presenting.  We must practice new habits properly throughout the day so our body language, eye contact and voice projection feel natural during our presentations.  

What practical presentation practices do you use during the day?  Send me an email with your ideas.

For more information about presentation skills coaching or training, or if you're interested in attending the April 22-23 UPFRONT Persuasion Through Presentation workshop in Chicago, please contact us at And like us on Facebook please.

Next time, let's talk about the elements of persuasion.



Categories: Delivery Skills
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