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Put Your Thoughts Where Your Mouth Is
by Andrew E. Schwartz

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Many experienced presentors feel that there is something lacking in their rehearsals, even after mentally reviewing their notes and presentation aids. They’ll know their style and method of delivery. They’ll already have experience with their subject, and have pre-established methods of getting points across. Many of their facts and supporting material will already be committed to memory. Still, experience indicates that there must be a way to be better prepared to deliver a presentation. At this point, an auditory rehearsal can have great value. Practice and polishing specific effects, smoothing out the use of visuals, or trying new ideas out on someone may be of additional benefit.

There are several steps to performing an auditory rehearsal each of which must be done in order for the rehearsal to have its maximum effect.

Choosing an Auditor: In an auditory rehearsal, a presentor can serve as their own auditor by recording their presentation, listening to it (or observing it, if they use video tape), making notes, and re-recording it, but this method lacks the objectivity which other people can provide. The best way to achieve this objectivity is to choose one or more reasonably qualified persons to act as “rehearsal critics.” If a group can be assembled approximating the size of the real audience, have them ask questions that the public group might ask. Auditors should have technical knowledge sufficient to criticize or check the accuracy and validity of the presentation’s substance. They should possess the ability to evaluate the presentor objectively. Their interest and willingness to serve as critics must be genuine and if possible, they should have read this article.


Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.

Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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