You might think that a speaker should fully rely on spontaneity and effortlessness during a speech to come off as natural. If we pull back the curtain, this vision is actually far from reality.

For example, it is well known that Steve Jobs – widely regarded as one of the most powerful business speakers of our generation – practiced every word, movement, gesture, and step numerous times before each demonstration. This amount of practice gave Jobs the confidence to leave room for spontaneity and creative moments during his presentations. 

Think about it: people become really good at a certain skill because they spend countless hours repeating a routine until reaching perfection. Invariably, you can improve your presentations by practicing. Below you can find some tips to follow:

First key: Commit to 10x improvement: There is no way to avoid the mantra: practice makes perfect. If you want to deliver a speech better than anyone, be prepared to practice 10 times harder than ever. Practice while you drive around or take a walk.

Second key: Start as strong as you end: The most important parts of your speeches are the start and the end. Start by giving your audience a reason to care, and conclude with something your listeners will walk away thinking about.

Third key: Practice under mild stress: Practicing in front of a small crowd makes a world of difference. Doing so will prepare you for when the time comes.

Fourth key: Record your rehearsal: By watching your own presentation, you will be able to spot any bad habits or moments when you stumble.

Fifth key: Ask for feedback: Listening to feedback from your small crowd will make you focus on any weak spots in your skills or presentations. Once you’ve fixed up the little things they point out, you’ll be ready when the time comes to deliver the real thing.