Module 2: Film & Practice
🎯 Our goal in this module is to get your presentation on video, and then practice and tweak it until you are happy and excited with the final version.
Okay, you have your script with visuals, now it’s showtime.
The reason for filming yourself presenting to an imaginary audience is to enable you to create and perfect a powerful, persuasive, compelling presentation that will inspire others to join or support you as you bring your vision into reality.
Based on my experience working with hundreds of students and clients creating and perfecting their presentations, I can predict with confidence that you will probably be a little embarrassed by your first performance and that you will be amazed by and proud of your final performance.
Most of us just go over our notes and maybe practice a little in front of a mirror before going “on stage” and delivering our presentations.
That might be okay in some cases, but there is too much at stake here for this to be just “okay”. We’re looking for “inspirational”.
And that’s what you want your audience to feel. You are about to embark on an “adventure”!
Again, each time you go through your presentation, you will become more familiar with every aspect of your business model—your value proposition, marketing plan, operations, financial projections, etc.
There is no better way to prepare and inspire yourself to go out into the world and bring your dream into reality.
Film and practice your presentation.
What You Need
First, you don’t have to go out and buy any special equipment—camera, lighting, microphone, or anything else. All you need is your computer or smartphone.
You may also ask close friends or relatives to give you feedback, but you don’t need to create a “prime time” visual or audio performance.
If you decide later on that you want to send a video presentation to someone—investor, lender, potential co-founder or employee—you may need to improve the quality of the lighting or sound a little.
But even then, try to keep your costs to a minimum.
Let’s Get Started
First, open your presentation on your computer with slides and text notes and read through your entire presentation, verbatim, as you scroll through the slides.
Even though it’s just you and your script, imagine that you have an audience looking at your slides and listening to your words.
No filming yet, just read the script and scroll through the slides.
- If this first verbatim run through is between 12 and 15 minutes, you are okay.
- If less than 12 minutes, you need to check your content—is there any section where you need to add something important?
- If more that 15 minutes, you will need to trim down the content a little.
After you make time adjustments, try to go through your presentation by just referring briefly to your notes, rather than reading them verbatim. Again, your target time is 12-15 minutes.
Each time you go through your presentation like this, you should be tweaking words and phrases, and maybe changing some slides/visuals that don’t seem to be working as well as you initially thought.
With each run-through, you will become more familiar with your script and less nervous and stressed out.
After 5-10 run-throughs like this (maybe over a couple of hours), you will be ready to film a first “draft” presentation.
- Imagine your audience being about 10-15 feet in front of you, behind your computer or smartphone screen.
- Project your voice to be heard by the those in the back of the room.
- Try to maintain eye contact with your imagined audience as you speak.
- Put your notes at eye level, behind the camera or computer screen to make it easier to glance at them quickly and almost unnoticed.
- Try to relax enough to allow your personality to come through.
- Bring high energy, passion, and enthusiasm to your presentation.
- Maintain your high energy level throughout your presentation, and maybe even allow it to spike a little at the end—close on a high energy note.
- Your body language should reflect poise and confidence.
- Minimize nervous, distracting habits like: “uhh”, “uhhmm”, wild hand gestures, rocking back and forth on your heels, swaying left or right, etc.
- Be sure to synchronize or coordinate your slides with your narrative—change to the next slide a second before you start referencing it.
- The most important aspects of your video presentation will be the quality of content and the energy, enthusiasm, and passion in your delivery.
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So, there you have it. You’re ready. All that’s left is to practice your presentation until you have it “down pat” (mastered).
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