Whether it’s your first time in front of an audience or you’re a seasoned public speaker, practice is essential. Make sure you build in extra time for it. Go through all your material each time you rehearse, including how you are going to stand and move, and how you will incorporate any visuals. To prevent technical gaffes, use the equipment you will have during the real presentation. Speak your lines out loud until they no longer sound memorized. While rehearsing, concentrate on your message and your desire to communicate it well, rather than on your notes. If you’re speaking to a large group or it’s a high-profile event, consider videotaping your practice session so you can evaluate and tweak it more closely.
Adapted from the Harvard ManageMentor Online Module: Presentation Skills.