When you stand to present information - be it to 2 or 200 people - does your audience hang on your every word, or hang out for you to finish?
Oft quoted research demonstrates that people have a greater fear of public speaking than they do of death! That is a pity really, because at some stage we are all likely to be called on to 'say a few words', whether professionally or in a personal situation. We have an opportunity to make those words memorable, either through their brilliance, or through their lack of lustre...
Sales professionals have generally got this point under control in that they 'know their stuff '.
One part of this phase that is often overlooked however is preparation regarding the audience.
Who are they, and what's going to be important to them during your presentation?
Sales people - whilst knowing plenty about their product or service - are frequently lacking in consideration of their audience. They tell their customer all the things the sales person, and the company, believes the customer needs to know about - whether the customer cares or not.
What the customer wanted to hear most is information that would address their WIIFM's in your message. (What's In It For Me).
Take every opportunity to rehearse your presentation. Recognise that knowing your material in your head is one thing.
Opening your mouth and letting the words come out is the very best way to practice. It does make a difference.
If you want to be taken seriously, treat this seriously, and prepare yourself through practice.
Never 'practice' on your live audience.