I’d like to think that if we all realized the importance of public speaking and took enough time to prepare for every speech that we give then each speech would be a success. However, that’s not the way that life works. There will be times that we give speeches where things just don’t work out. We’ll end up giving a bad speech. When that happens we generally feel quite bad about it. What should we do now?
What To Right After Giving A Bad Speech
Have you ever had a car come up from behind you really fast and all of sudden it is the only thing that you can see in your rear view mirror? Well, when you give a bad speech it seems to get larger and larger in your memory and pretty soon it’s the only thing that you can think of. What you need to do right off the bat is to put it into perspective. Blowing a speech just means that you gave a bad speech, it does not mean that you are bad speaker or that you will never give a good speech again.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, what you need to do is to sit yourself down and give what happened some serious thought. Your goal should be to analyze what went right with your speech (something always goes right) and then what went wrong. Your goal needs to be to learn from this bad experience. There are a lot of different ways to go about conducting this evaluation. Sometimes there are completed session evaluation forms, or you can ask a member of the audience what they thought, there may even be a video of your speech. Make sure that you are specific in your analysis – exactly what did you do that you never want to repeat again?
Once you understand what went wrong with your speech, your next step has to be to understand why it happened. In all honesty, more often than not what you are going to discover is that most of our bad speeches are a result of simply not taking the time to prepare correctly, There could also be personal factors such as not getting enough sleep or being distracted by the size of the crowd that could also be throwing you off.
How To Bounce Back From Giving A Bad Speech
One bad speech should not cause you to give up speaking forever. Instead, what you need to do is to get back up on that horse. The first thing that you are going to need to do is to create a plan. What you are going to want to do is to create a plan that will prevent the things that caused your last speech to bomb to never happen again. You need to be very specific with your plan – make sure that you spell out exactly what you will be doing and when you will do it.
Of course one thing that you are going to have to do after giving a bad speech will be to get back up on the stage. You are going to want to do this as quickly as possible. The good news is that you don’t have to repeat the speech that gave you so much trouble or even speak in a similar situation. What you are going to be trying to do is to rebuild your confidence as a speaker. No matter if it’s small steps, just the fact that you are taking any steps is good news.
Every time you give a speech, you need to understand you are repairing some of the damage that the bad speech did. You are going to want to measure your progress. Take the time to record your speeches and ask members of your audience for feedback. As you see evidence that you are getting better, your self confidence will start to improve. If you have any speaking strategies that don’t seem to be working for you, take the time to modify them.
What All Of This Means For You
Life is unfair. What this means for us speakers is that there will be times that we give speeches that fall flat on their face. This can be rough on us when it happens. However, the good news is that it is not the end of the world.
When we give a bad speech, we need to remember the benefits of public speaking and pick ourselves up again. We can accomplish this by putting our bad performance in perspective. We need to take the time to figure out what went wrong – and what we did correctly. This all leads to us troubleshooting the speech that failed – what happened and why? After you know what went wrong, you need to start to prepare for the future. This includes creating a plan, getting back before an audience, and then measuring how much better you did.
As with all such things in life, there will be some point in the future that you will give a speech that does not go so well. When this happens, you need to get back up, dust yourself off, and then get back in the speaking ring. Having the skills to turn a bad speech into a valuable learning experience is what it takes to use this kind of experience to become an even better speaker.
Question For You: When you give a bad speech, should you talk to your audience to get their impressions of how you did?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
The quality of your next speech will not be determined by the amount of effort that you put into your PowerPoint / Keynote slides. It won’t be determined by your clever use of pauses and hand gestures. Instead, your level of success will depend on how well you are able to connect with your audience. It turns out that it’s not their job to connect with you (although that is what you want to have happen). Instead, due to the importance of public speaking it’s your job to connect with them. Do you know how to do this?