Warning: this can be painful…. and that’s why most people avoid it. But, don’t fall victim to not putting in the time. 

If you want to deliver an engaging presentation, you need to invest in practicing and rehearsing. 

It’s the L in the S.I.L.V.E.R. methodology. L stands for learning.

Here are some tips to be more effective when learning your presentation.

First, rehearse out loud and try to mimic your actual setting for the presentation. Are you standing or sitting? Ditch standing in front of a mirror.

Second, know the difference between practicing and rehearsing. 


To quote Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, we talking about practice. Practice allows you to work on shorter sections of your presentation. Just like a basketball player will practice key elements of their game…. like free-throws and lay-ups, there are two specific areas you should focus on.

In “Silver Goldfish: Loud & Clear: 10 Keys to Delivering Memorable Business Presentations” Alan Hoffler and I recommend practicing your beginnings and endings.

Practice the open and close of your presentation at least twice as much as the middle. Think of practice along the lines of flying a plane. 

When are planes most likely to crash? 

Most accidents occur during take-offs and landings. Take the extra time to prepare, practice, and nail your opening and closing.

– What’s your opening story? 

– How are you closing and what’s your call to action? 

Don’t forget the old New York City joke. A tourist stops a New Yorker on the street and asks, “Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The New Yorker thinks for a second and responds, “Practice, practice, practice.”

In contrast to practicing, rehearsing is running through your presentation from beginning to end. This is important from a timing perspective but more critical for establishing familiarity.

Ideally, you should rehearse your presentation at least three times. Only after that third or fourth run-through will you start to feel comfortable. 

And you want to be comfortable. This comfort level allows you to get out of your head and be more present with the audience when presenting.

What are your tips and techniques for learning?

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Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.