An illustration of a brain and the words "trick your brain"

Outsmarting our brain and getting into practice

Working on a presentation isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. And thus ‘preparation time’ can easily become ‘procrastination time’.

This very quickly leads to underprepared presentations, greater anxiety, middling or negative feedback, and a worsening of our relationship with public speaking.

However, you can rewire your habits with a little trick (Which I’ll tell you in a minute). This little hack can help you prepare your presentation. And the sooner the presentation is done, the more practice time you have.

The benefits of practice

And as you practice, you’ll get more comfortable with the material and the flow. And as the familiarity builds, it will melt away the discomfort you often feel while presenting.

This will translate to the presentation itself. As your comfort level increases, your onstage persona will become more likeable, you’ll be more able to handle questions or unexpected hiccups, and your message will land with more impact.

A tip for working on your presentation

When you have a presentation to prepare (or anything to work on) don’t try and do it all at once. That can feel daunting and unproductive. It can often lead to procrastination.

Instead, just say to yourself, “I’m just going to work on this for five minutes.” And then do that. After five minutes it’ll probably be easier to keep going. And if not, no problem. Just take that five minutes as a win and move on to something else. You can come back to your presentation later.

In this way you can build your presentation five minutes at a time, or – better yet – give yourself an easy onramp to a longer period of preparation.