Under Pressure

A recent article in Fast Company referenced a universal problem: very few of us have the time to prepare and rehearse the presentations that are essential to our jobs and vital to our advancement. Fast Company pulled from the latest neuroscience research for how to make speakers more efficient. Utilize the following tips when you have to learn and remember that all-important presentation.

Write out your outline and notes by hand. Type and print a final version in Word, but handwriting imprints material into memory.

Like a high intensity physical workout, we learn better in short bursts. Rehearse for no more than thirty to fifty minutes at a time.

Variety rules. When rehearsing, paraphrase the content, mix up the order, or do it as an over-the-top diva, bad Las Vegas entertainer, or alien. But then deliver your presentation in your own voice. This forces the brain to examine your content through different filters.

Feet up: If possible, take a twenty-minute nap between rehearsals. Your brain keeps working on the presentation, and you will often come up with fresh material when you resume rehearsing.

Don’t keep to a precise schedule but rehearse often. Working on material at different times of the day gives you a different perspective and keeps the brain alert.

Teach the content of your speech to a colleague or friend. Having to teach someone makes you acutely aware of your weak spots. It also puts the content in your voice, giving you ownership.

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