This article from from TJ Walker asks the question “should I rehearse my presentations?” and answers with a resounding “YES!” Of course he’s right. He’s also right that it’s a great idea to record yourself rehearsing your talk and review it so you can get a better sense of how you’re doing. I especially like his advice to find the best part of your talk and do more of whatever it is that is working. Too many presenters focus exclusively on what isn’t working and find themselves paralyzed by it. Learning what you do well and emphasizing that is a much more effective strategy.
I worry, though that he puts too much emphasis on the idea of making a video, which many would-be presenters will simply find too intimidating or time-consuming. If you’re a politician or you’re giving a big keynote speech to a ballroom full of people it’s certainly a good idea to make and review a recording of yourself. But many of the small presentations we do every day don’t require this sort of preparation and we often can’t find the time to do this degree of rehearsal for those that really are important.
The truth is that any kind of preparation you can do is a good thing. Review your slides, study your notes, deliver your presentation to your cat if it helps you. Just try to find time for some sort of rehearsal.