‘I learned so much. Being the “Presentation Lady,” I knew I couldn’t suck at it. The hardest part was getting [my talk] to fit within this finite amount of time.So I trimmed and trimmed, keeping in mind that you still have to nail why this is important to the audience. I had a person coach me and point out places where I could trim. “You took too long here, and that made this part of emphasis too long.” I worked with the timer counting up until I knew I was within the time window — then what I did was work with the timer counting down so I’d know, “When I’m a fourth of the way through, I should be on this slide. When I’m halfway through, I need to be on this slide.”
Sure enough, I finished the talk and I had six seconds left on the clock.
It was a great experience for me because I hadn’t gone through it myself. I’d coached people through it but — wow — to actually be a victim was interesting. I learned the power of rehearsing. If you rehearse really, really, really well — it looks improvisational. Some people rehearse to a point where they’re robotic, and they sound like they have memorized their presentation and didn’t take it to the next level. Going from sounding memorized and canned to sounding natural is a lot of work.”
AN : the flipside of thinking is the presentation of the thoughts. Nancy Duarte is a phenomenal communicator, partially because she analyses what makes for great speaking and also because she works at it. In essence she practises what she preaches.
The author Mark Twain was in real life Samuel Clemens. He was not only a noted writer, author and witisist, he was also a highly sought after speaker. In the days of yore before TV, people gathered in social settings to mingle and listen to speakers’ oratory. Clemens , in one biographical desciption which I read, had polished the art of speaking wherein he did precisely what Ms Duarte lists….he rehearsed and rehearsed to the point where the delivery seemed spontaneous but in fact was an artistic presentation of his thoughts.
Do listen to Ms Duarte’s TED talk(s) ( here and elsewhere ) and read her various writings on this topic of speaking and presetations.