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Chapter 10. Practice Skip It at Your Risk > What a Dry Run Can Do for You

What a Dry Run Can Do for You

A dry run serves several important functions:

  • Prevents Embarrassment. For example, you may find out during the presentation that the print on the visual aid is so small it can't be read beyond the first row or that several misspelled words weren't caught earlier.

  • Checks Scope, Balance, and Structure. Presenters are notorious for miscalculating the amount of material they think they can cover in the allotted time. It's not unusual for a presenter to show up for a fifteen-minute presentation with seventy-five viewgraphs that would require two hours to present.

  • Surfaces Fundamental Miscalculations. Often presenters are so close to the topic, they overlook basic points—such as that the vice president doesn't care about all the technical details they are planning to cover. The dry run can refocus you on the presentation's true purpose and the appropriate method for achieving it.

  • Uncovers Holes in the Material. You may discover while speaking that what you thought was valid or complete, isn't. A detached observer can often spot these holes more quickly than the presenter, who may be too close to the issue.

  • Prepares for the Unknown. Since most presentations are interactive, with listeners commenting and asking questions, you need to be ready for more than what you are planning to cover. The unthought-of question can sabotage an otherwise sound presentation. A good dry run can go far toward surfacing questions that are likely to come up.

  • Makes for a Smoother, More Professional-Appearing Presentation.

  • Enhances the Speaker's Self-Confidence.



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