Never underestimate the power of rehearsal.

If you are about to deliver a major keynote, a team update or a 1:1 meeting with your boss, rehearsal can be your secret weapon.

I used to be the person that would “wing it” on the day of a major presentation or speech.

When I was preparing for my first TEDx talk in 2014, everything changed. TED demand an awfully high standard from their presenters – and it shows.

I remember going over and over my talk in a backstage area at the Royal Geographical Society hours before I was due to talk, and my friend Jeremy Waite was my audience.

The secret is to absolutely nail your first 90 seconds. If you can get that pitch perfect, then the dopamine kicks in and I find myself on auto-pilot.

From that talk onwards, I always rehearse.

Sometimes for hours the day before a talk, and I always go through the entire talk 4-5 times. Rehearsal can also involve deep research.

Tomorrow I have an important keynote to Partners at a major Accounting firm.

I’ve already met their senior leaders several times and also connected with key people in the firm.

I’ve read as much as I can about them, next is to rehearse out-loud the talk until it is perfect. They say “practice makes perfect” and I firmly believe this.

Do you rehearse before you present?