A big part of what I do when coaching events is run rehearsals.  This is when everyone meets each other,  participants frequently get to give their talk for their first time, and the real meat of presentation coaching happens.    When presentations are short, I like to run these as a workshop.  I’m sure some participants wonder why, but it’s done for very practical and subtle reasons.  Rehearsals aren’t just about the rehearsing.  Since various folks have asked me about this a few times, I figured I’d share what my rehearsal goals typically are:

  • Create a community amongst the presenters
  • Help each presenter improve (as best as one can in only one short setting)
  • Instill confidence.  Many of the most terrified are a lot better than they think they are and can benefit from having that pointed out.
  • Teach by example, some people learn by watching others
  • Give an opportunity to rehearse, some people learn by doing
  • Make sure the content is right for the curator.  This is a great time to correct any content issues
  • Instill a bit of fear.  Many don’t practice before they come, become overwhelmed and are then very motivated to practice more.  (A good thing!)

So, if you’re invited to a rehearsal, you should really go.  More will happen than just rehearsing your content.