What’s the key to feeling really comfortable when making a presentation? The Ugly Rehearsal.
Aren’t we the most comfy when we speak from our hearts about something we know? Conversely, aren’t we the most uncomfy when we know we have X-number of slides to cover and someone else has given us our talking points?
The path to real comfort is to conduct an Ugly Rehearsal. Why do we call it “Ugly”? To lower expectations — it’s supposed to be a train wreck! Here’s what to do:
- Everyone on the team prepares their portion of the presentation.
- Everyone shows up with bulleted notes written on a piece of paper.
That’s the prep. Here are the five rules of the Ugly Rehearsal:
1. Sit around a table. Everyone gets to sit; no standing.
2. Say what you’re planning to say. Don’t talk about it, “I’m going to talk about the design, and Joe, you’ll cover the logistics.” No! Go through the presentation and actually say your part out loud.
3. Don’t stop. Don’t interrupt each other. Instead, everyone should take notes to use during a discussion after the rehearsal.
4. Time it. Don’t worry about speaking in your allotted time. This rehearsal is for getting everything out on the table, but knowing how long it took will give the team a big-picture sense of where they are time-wise.
5. Here’s the biggie – NO graphics! That’s right – NO PowerPoint or any other graphics for this rehearsal. This rehearsal is all about story.
Follow these rules, and you’ll be amazed at the results! Why is this technique so powerful?
- Telling your stories without graphics is wildly freeing. Most of us are ruled by our PowerPoints. “What am I supposed to say to this slide?” The Ugly Rehearsal allows you to experience the freedom of telling your story from your heart.
- Getting people to rehearse is crazy tough. But, once you’ve conducted the Ugly Rehearsal, you’ve done your first practice, gotten the ball rolling and now rehearsing is easier!
I believe that the Ugly Rehearsal is the most transformative step you can take towards improving your preparation process. Try it and let us know how it goes. Go Ugly!