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It is beneficial to have both a video camera and a tape recorder running, during practice presentation. This will provide a "game film" enabling you to see and hear yourself as your audience will see and hear you.
Perhaps fundamental benefit of recording practice session is that you will have a record of questions asked in give-and-take of presentation, as well as your answers. Without an electronic record, questions stimulated by your presentation, and your answers, could be lost, thereby negating many of benefits of Murder Board.
5. Critique of presenter's Style and Substance
You have now completed your Murder Board, and, in process, have used valuable time of your colleagues. Now is time to ask them for a robust critique of substance of your presentation and your delivery style.
Keep video camera and tape recorder rolling. These colleagues may be more expert in certain aspects of your presentation than you are, and you certainly want to tap into this expertise.
Additionally, they have just seen you presenting in a stressful environment - presenting before your colleagues may be more difficult than before potential customers - and their comments on how you looked, how you sounded, and your overall presence can be invaluable. Thank them for giving up their time, and remind them that you are ready to pay back when their time comes to make an important presentation.
6. Recording all questions asked on cards
Now it is just you, a VCR, a tape recorder and a stack of 3x5 cards. Why cards? Because you are now going to go through painful process of listening to how you answered questions posed by your colleagues. Place each question asked on front side of a 3x5 card. On back - in pencil - place answer you gave, or a better one if it occurs to you now, and it probably will. Why pencil? Because you are going to come up with better answers more you think and research.
When you are at home watching television, have that stack of cards nearby. When a commercial comes on screen, select a card at random, look at question, give an answer, and turn card over. If your new answer is better than one on back of card, make correction.
Go through this procedure a few times, seeking each time to improve your answer so that you not only address specifics of question, but also find ways to reinforce your main points.
Following this procedure will do much to remove fear of unanticipated question, which has such a direct influence on fear of public speaking.
7. Revise presentation
Having completed your Murder Board, you are now faced with a dilemma. What do you do with all new data generated by this most intense practice session? What if audience doesn't ask questions for which you have developed such great answers? Do you just leave this information in your files?
The answer is a resounding NO. Remember, your responsibility as a presenter is to provide maximum relevant information in minimum time in clearest manner possible.
You must make a judgment as to which information best fits your objective and informational needs of your audience. Some of material you had originally had in your presentation may well have to be dropped, replaced by information that surfaced as a result of questions and discussions in Murder Board.
The bottom line on Murder Board
You need to conduct a Murder Board for same reason that professional football teams, despite having injured players who could benefit from a rest, go through physically demanding practice sessions before next game.
It is foolish to deliver an important presentation without going through an intense Murder Board. The wise presenter realizes that he or she should put as much effort into presentation as has been put into product or service being sold.
This article is excerpted from Larry Tracy’s book, The Shortcut to Persuasive Presentations. Larry, a retired Army colonel, was called “an extraordinarily effective speaker” by President Ronald Reagan. He has been cited in numerous publications as one of the top presentation skills trainers in the US. His website is at top of Google for “persuasive presentations. Visit it for FREE tips and articles: http://www.tracy-presentation.com