When tasked to give a presentation, to one or to many, at work or in school, rehearse it until you feel that one more rehearsal will not improve the product. The word rehearse, which means “practice (a play, piece of music, or other work) for later public performance”is used to emphasize the importance of practicing. If you were going to perform in a play, you probably wouldn’t want to face the audience without rehearsing until you were confident that you knew your lines. Tests and presentations are performances, often with much more at stake than saying one’s lines correctly in a play.
The old adage, practice makes perfect, is true throughout life, as every business consultantwho thrives on “dry runs” for client presentations can attest. These dry runs usually involve testing answers to tough client questions. Students can practice alone by taking practice exams. In both cases, it is like an actor rehearsing his or her lines.
Some people enjoy reviewing their materials with a small group of friends, colleagues or classmates. It is useful because they can work as a team, that is, have a sense of shared purpose and the goal of combined success.
Different formats work for different groups and different purposes. Professionals can review materials together in a “group read” format, meaning that even if materials were distributed in advance the group goes through them end-to-end, together. Among college students, groups can work through chapters together, quizzing one another as they go through it. Another technique is to compare class notes, ensuring they haven’t missed any critical points.