Throughout my career, people have asked me how they can improve their public speaking skills.

I’ve spent a lot of time working on becoming a stronger public speaker. Practice and preparation are some of the most important things you can do to ensure your success for speaking in public.

I’ve gathered my top 10 easy tips for becoming better at public speaking for this blog series, How To Be a Great Speaker. With each tip, I’ll explore in detail how to become a confident, effective and powerful speaker.

Take a look at how practice can enhance your presentation and help improve your speaking skills.

Tip 8: Practice Before Presenting.

Practice is critical.  I know some extremely smart and talented people that practice for hours—even weeks!— before presenting. Know your strengths and weaknesses and address them accordingly. Be sure to write out what you will say. Have notes, highlights, and outlines and practice in front of someone at least once or twice to see where you trip up. This is a game changer!

When I hear that someone is nervous to present and they haven’t practiced, I laugh. That is setting yourself up for failure! You will get out what you put in.  Getting feedback from others is extremely helpful, so if you have friends and co-workers that have seen you speak before, ask for their feedback. I constantly ask people how I was, what I could have done better and what they took away from my speech. This way, we can begin to gain some insight into how others see us.

Professional and powerful speakers take the time to prepare by practicing. That’s why they’re able to make it look so effortless!