As speakers, the one thing that all of us want to do is to become better. We may go about doing this in a number of different ways. We may take courses. We may watch videos of other speakers. We may have our friends listen to our speeches and then provide us with feedback. However good all of this is, in the end we may still not be getting all of the feedback that we need in order to become better speakers. What we really need to be able to do is to look at ourselves. We need to see how we look and how we act while we are delivering our speech. In order to do this, we need to see ourselves on camera.
It’s All About First Impressions
Although you may be the best speaker who has ever lived, you need to understand that in order for your next speech to be effective you have to understand how your audience is going to be viewing you. This means that all of the little things matter: eye contact, filler words, posture, etc. We need to understand that the first impression that we make is going to be critical to getting our audience to listen to what we have to say. What we are going to want to do is to say less, and say it better.
You need to come up with a headline for your speech: what is the most important thing that you want your audience to walk away with? When we give a speech, we have to teach ourselves to become very direct. We need to remember that brevity is going to be key. In our speech, we’ll want to start things off with a succinct statement and then go on and elaborate from there. In the world of journalism this is called the “inverted pyramid”.
You Must Rehearse
Hopefully this goes without saying, but we all need to rehearse. The big question that we all face is how best to go about doing this. The best way to do this is to set up a smartphone or a video camera and then deliver your speech. What you’ll discover is that your camera is going to pick up things that you may not have noticed when you were giving the speech. This can include such things as facial expressions, eye contact, body language, and how your clothes fit you.
You need to run though each of these aspects of your presentation. How are you using your eyes? Are you looking around the room or do you have a steady gaze? If you have a camera watching you, you’ll want to speak directly into the camera for most of your speech. Your goal here has to be to be able to look at the camera as though you were looking through it at each and every person who is watching your speech.
Take A Look At You
One of the harsh truths of life is that mirrors lie to us. The problem with mirrors is that when you stand in front of one and look at yourself, you are not necessarily seeing what your audience is seeing. A much better way to get ready for your next speech is for you to have a friend take a video of you wearing what you are planning to wear when you give your speech. By doing this you may learn a number of very surprising things. You may learn that the clothes that you are wearing make you look heavier than you are. You may discover that the colors that you are wearing don’t go well with you. You should also use the camera to take a look at the body language that you are using. The camera can end up exaggerating your gestures and that may be how your audience is seeing you.
What All Of This Means For You
As speakers we want to always be improving. We want the speeches that we give to be able to connect with our audience and perhaps change their lives. In order to make this happen we need to find out how our audience views us. It turns out that we can make this happen by using a camera.
We need to understand that the success of our next speech starts with the first impression that we are going to make on our audience. We need to make sure that we speak concisely and that we make our main points first. In order to do a good job of delivering our speech we have to rehearse. The best way to do this is to film yourself giving your speech and then take a look at the details and find out how you are doing. We need to understand that mirrors don’t always show us the way that our audience sees us. We need to film ourselves and then study the film to determine if our clothes and our hand gestures are being seen the way that we want them to be seen.
The good news is that we can become better speakers. Using the magic of cameras, we can finally see ourselves the way that our audiences see us. When we have this ability we will be able to determine what is working and what needs to be corrected in our speeches. When we know this, we can make the needed changes and our speeches will become that much better.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that you have to film your entire speech or just parts of it?
Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
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
Every speaker wants their next speech to be a successful speech. We do the things that we know that we have to do: we select a topic, write a speech, practice it, and then we end up just hoping that the importance of public speaking will make everything work out for us. However, it turns out that we can take matters into our own hands. Our success is something that we have control over. If we know what we need to do, and if we do it, then we can ensure that the next speech that we’ll be giving is going to turn out to be a success!