1. Keep it Simple. I break my presentations into three parts that can all be practiced separately. Within each of those sections, you have a two-minute intro and a two-minute conclusion, and in between you have point-example-point or example-point-example. In other words, introduce the concept, give an example of that in action, then re-phrase the point.
2. Break it Up. I strongly believe that declarative and procedural knowledge are consolidated during sleep cycles, so I do the vast majority of my preparation the night before. Practice each section separately. It's much easier to ace your delivery if you practice Section A, which is 10 minutes long, 10 times in a row, and then Section B 10 times in a row, then Section C. Only then do you string them together.
If I nail a given portion in rehearsal, I listen to a specific piece of music to anchor it to that section. I anchor all my good deliveries to that track, and then I listen to it again before I go onstage. I like "Splinter," by Sevendust, but that's just me; it's very heavy.
3. Fuel. If the presentation is anytime other than evening, I eat a small breakfast. But the night before, I eat a meal very high in saturated fat and cholesterol--I'll have the double portion of rib eye--to facilitate testosterone production, which helps mental acuity as much as physical performance, something a lot of people don't realize.
I've also found that caffeine dosing is perfect for me. I get the perfect concentration of caffeine with a 16-ounce Diet Coke, 10 to 20 minutes prior to going onstage.
As told to Inc. editor-at-large Tom Foster.