How Beats How Much

How you practice is often more important than how much. Last month’s ‘Communicate Confidently’ eLetter article on practicing presentations generated several reader questions. Here’s a summary of some of the comments I offered in my email responses:

  • Practicing out loud, standing up, working with the slides is the most productive method. Pretend you’re talking to the audience.

  • Gaining feedback from colleagues can be very helpful … if they know how to give constructive, specific ‘Plus/Delta’ feedback. ‘Plus’ comments indicate what’s working well that you should continue. ‘Delta’ comments indicate changes that would improve it. Usually the changes involve doing more of something that’s working or less of something that isn’t.
  • Audio taping or video taping for self or group critique also can add value. You’ll be able to evaluate the message and delivery from the audience’s perspective.
  • Several complete run-thrus right before ‘ShowTime’ should reinforce the content in your short-term memory. Remember that the audience only knows what they hear, not what you should have said.
  • Make sure you practice for time. While you can’t control when you start, you can control when you stop. Allow enough time for the anticipated questions as well. If you have 30 minutes on the agenda, aim for 25 in your practicing to allow for the unexpected. No one will mind if you end five minutes early. Everyone will mind if you end five minutes late



  1. Dianne
    Posted November 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    It’s difficult too find knowledgeable people on this topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks.

    • Phil Stella
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Diane … I really appreciate your nice comments about my work. Keep on being an engaged reader and let me know how I can help you take away some of the pain with workplace communication. Regards … Phil Stella

  2. Hortense
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Very good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website. Continue the good work!

    • Phil Stella
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Hortense … nice of you to comment. Keep coming back.

  3. Internal
    Posted April 25, 2015 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    This post couldn’t be written any better! It reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

    • Phil Stella
      Posted April 27, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Hope he approves of the comparison. Thanks for the compliment.

  4. Business Coaching
    Posted July 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated it and I have you book-marked to see new information on your web site.

    • Phil Stella
      Posted July 9, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I appreciate your comments a lot. Hope you become a regular visitor and reader.