#TalkTips

30 tips in 30 days on writing and giving talks at conferences.

#TALKTIPS DAY 17: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "PRACTICE"?

Practicing talks is hard for me. I go through all this effort putting the thing together, I feel like if I don't know it by the time I get done making it I'm never going to. And practicing feels weird. Most of the energy that comes out of me during a talk is energy I get from the audience in attendance. And nerves. So... do I even need to practice?

I mentioned recording or reading your talk into your smartphone camera or some other audio or video player in an earlier tip... Awkward as anything, but it works. Another thing I've been experimenting with is playing my recording over and over through headphones while advancing through the slides. The visual + audio association helps cement it all into my brain, thus, there are no surprises when I'm presenting. I've found that to be a good thing. 

Practice may mean something entirely different to you than to me, but whatever it does mean to you, definitely do it. No matter how great you think you are at last-minute preparation, it's remarkably easy to tell who spent time with their material and who didn't.