Rehearse. Record. Review. Revise. Repeat.
It’s natural to want to know what you look like before going out in public. Is your hair brushed? Is your makeup looking good? Are your clothes fitting nicely? And depending on the level of the social interaction you may be having, you check, double-check, and check again.
I’m sure you do the same as a speaker. Before leaving home or the hotel room, you check. Yup. Everything looks good. Then, when you get to the venue where you’re going to speak, you check again. All set. Then, just before you’re about to go on, one last check.
Yes, it makes sense that you want to know how you appear in front of people. But are you as curious about how you look and sound?
Are your mannerisms distracting? Are your gestures over the top or barely noticeable? Are you varying your voice enough, i.e. inflections, pace, pitch, etc.? Are you pacing too much or planted like a tree?
What about your presentation? Is it dynamic enough? Is it easy to follow? Does it engage your audience? Do you grab their attention at the very beginning? Do you hold their attention? Do you have a compelling finish?
You need to know the answers to these questions and others. Fortunately, when it comes to being a public speaker, you are living in the greatest of times. You have so much information at your fingertips. You have so many options for learning. You have so much technology you can utilize.
You have the tool ever devised for public speakers
In fact, you already own the greatest tool made to assist both burgeoning and veteran public speakers. And unlike some technology that can be confusing, this is easy to use.
You see, before this technology was available, the generations before us rehearsed in front of mirrors. And although mirrors provide an accurate reflection of what you are doing, looking into one while practicing results in your trying to think, critique, correct things as you are speaking. There’s just too much going on to truly be helpful.
Then video cameras came along. They were a huge leap forward. But let’s face it, even with all their advancements, video cameras could be cumbersome.
But now we have the best tool to date … a phone. More specifically, the video capabilities in your phone. It’s easy to use, and you can record anytime and just about anywhere. You can play it back anytime you want — in your home, a plane, a restaurant. Anywhere. It’s fantastic!
You have this little miracle of technology in your hands each and every day, so I’ll ask again … are you using it?
Oh, I get it. You’re afraid you won’t like what you see. You’re afraid that you’ll discover what no one would tell you. The illusion of your speaking ability might be shattered.
Well, first you need to realize that you indeed may not like what you see. Second, you need to realize that this is the point! You need to see how others see you. Once you do, you can make corrections, if needed.
Don’t like your gestures? Change them until you do. Don’t like how you’re using your voice. Work on it until you’re satisfied. Pacing too much? Good to know. Work on it.
How to use it
Here’s how I suggest that you use your phone’s video to help you become the dynamic public speaker you want to be. Record yourself delivering your presentation. Do this as if you were in front of your audience. Include every gesture, inflection, pause and movement you would normally use.
Next, listen to your presentation without looking at it. How did it sound? How was the pace? Your inflections? Did you emphasize the words you wanted to? Did you hear opportunities for triads or alliterations? Would your opening grab the audience? Did you end on a powerful note? Make notes as you listen.
Then, with the sound off, review the video, taking notes along the way. What did you see? What did you like or not like about your body language? Be honest with yourself.
Now, watch and listen to the video, again taking notes. What did you like? What do you want to change?
Once you have done this, rehearse with your changes in mind. Once you are delivering your presentation well, record it, and start the process all over again.
If you’re serious about being a public speaker who is more than proficient, if you are serious about being a speaker who moves people to action, then take advantage of this tremendous and easy-to-use technology.
Remember … rehearse, record, review, revise, and repeat!