ed scannell, csP,
rehearses his material by
reading on the airplane
when he flies to speaking
Then, Kamp goes through the opening and closing of his presentations.
Standing in front of a mirror, he practices over and over until they’re perfect. He rehearses being with different
types of audiences. If he’s going to be
with a group of older women, he’ll
practice his presentation so that it’s
markedly different than if he were presenting to a group of young people.
Kamp solidly knows the beginning and
end of his presentation, and he can do
everything in between from memory.
Mental Preparation and
As America’s Inspirational Executive
Presentation Coach, Surina Piyadasa,
MBA, helps CEOs
neurs prepare for
said she’s always
keep her skills fresh and up-to-date.
Most of her rehearsal is mental
preparation. She believes you need to
visualize positive outcomes to be successful. Piyadasa gets into character in
stages, working on breathing techniques first. She focuses on her
diaphragm, visualizing her presentation
with her eyes closed. Through that
focus, she draws in love, acceptance
and nonjudgment. Piyadasa focuses on
positive outcomes as she inhales. As she
exhales, she releases anything that can
hold her back.
Piyadasa doesn’t use a mirror, but
sometimes she’ll use a video camera
and review her presentations later. She
also practices nine different types of
pauses to optimize her stories. They
are: transition, emphasis, reflective,
Tyrone Holmes, EdD, a communica-
tion and conflict resolution expert, also
uses visualization—getting a very clear
picture in his mind of each specific point
he wants to make. He chooses an activity
to follow every one of his objectives and
then talks through that activity. For
example, if he knows his first component
is at the five-minute mark, he practices
that to get a clear vision in his mind.
Then, he chooses an activity to go with
that component. He goes through the
same process for the 10-minute, 30-
minute and 45-minute marks and so on,
making adjustments depending on the
length of the presentation.
words to make
sure he articulates them well.
He thinks of his
a conversation. He practices alone in
his office, and sometimes in his car, but
knows that if he’s very clear on his
objectives and knows his material well,
everything will fall into place.
Preparation, Not Memorization
Ed Scannell, CSP, has a wealth of experi-
ence as an expert on change, creativity
and training. He was NSA’s national
president, he is a past president of the
Arizona chapter of Meeting Professionals
International (MPI), and he was Ameri-
can Society for Training and Develop-
ment’s national president. Forty percent
of his work is keynote and 60 percent is
training; plus, he does board retreats.
Early in his career, he would
rehearse his notes over and over with
cards and practice the keywords. In his
early days, he practiced his entire pres-
entation beginning to end—“a wonder-
ful way to get all of your materials
committed to memory.”
But these days, Scannell has five to
six topics that he facilitates so often,
and are so popular, it really doesn’t
take much rehearsal anymore. He has
files from past
ments that he
reading on the
airplane when he flies to speaking
engagements. He’s low-tech, too, using
standard notecards for his keynotes.
As part of his preparation, Scannell
asks meeting planners for names and
profiles of members of the organization
to whom he’s speaking, so he can get to
surina Piyadusa, mba,
gets into character in
stages working on
first. she focuses on her
her presentation with
her eyes closed.