A lot of time and thought goes into building a powerful presentation. Generally, the start is conceptual, building on the identification of audience and objectives. From there, outlines and scripts are developed and then refined often through a number of revisions to really hone the message. Once the script is in a good place, work starts on the elements that support the speaker including graphics and video, and sometimes props, sound effects, special lighting cues and other ways to enhance the delivery.


If the presentation involves multiple speakers, then determining how they juxtapose with one another and how the supporting elements weave together is another level of preparation. This becomes more complex if all of the presenters are not appearing in the same space (stage) at the same time. It’s not unusual for presenters to be part of a presentation by performing remotely and coming in via some form of video or computer conferencing app.


Needless to say, there’s been a meaningful investment by the time the week of the show comes around. At this point in the process, most Producers will schedule one or more rehearsals in preparation for the big presentation. More frequently in this day and age, we have encountered busy people who feel they have worked so closely with their presentation leading up to this point, that they don’t feel the need to participate in a rehearsal. Here’s why that’s a presentation killing mistake!


Most presentations done on a large scale, whether it be in a ballroom or on a virtual stage, require a range of specialists or technicians who are responsible for making the execution flawless. However, beyond the Producer, many of those people have come onto the team presentation week to perform very specific tasks. They were on a different show last week and they will be on another show next week. To that end, they are not intimately familiar with your content like you and your Producer are. When you add in multiple presenters, this multiplies the challenge.


Presentations at this level are a team experience and everyone has to have clear visibility to how their role interacts with every other team member. Going through the entire presentation in real time in the venue, or something that closely resembles the venue, is the equivalent of a sports team practicing on a full size field or arena. This is where the technical team learns to anticipate appropriately where the presentation is going next.  It’s where co-presenters get familiar with each other and start to interact more naturally.


Rehearsal is the final step in polishing that presentation and getting positioned to realize the return on the weeks of investment that have led to show day. It’s where the whole team get’s to work together to make sure every aspect of the presentation is executed flawlessly. As Vince Lombardi is credited with saying, “Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Please don’t let the team down by saying “I’m good, I don’t need to rehearse.” The success of your presentation counts on it!