The Struggles of Improving a Speech
Imagine this scene: You’re practicing an important speech. You’ve spent time to write the first draft. You have struggled to craft the message you want to convey. You’re now ready for feedback to see how the speech is being received.
And the evaluations aren’t positive. One person after another shares his ideas on how you can improve. The more they talk, the more demoralized you feel.
You leave your practice session. A mixture of thoughts fill your head.
Forget it, I’ll ask someone else to do this speech!
What do they know? They’re stupid!
I’ll just make a few little changes, give the speech, and get it over with.
Go ahead, admit it. You’ve felt this way after receiving detailed negative feedback. Every speaker has.
The Reality About Your Speech
Imagine that you get past your initial frustration and anger about the feedback. You realize that the evaluators were correct. Your speech requires more work if it’s going to have an impact.
This conclusion puts you at the most important point in the development of your speech. Do you commit to crafting the best possible version, or, make it just good enough?
What do you do?
How a ‘Star Wars’ Movie Can Improve Your Speech
The importance of this question became clear while I was reading an online article. It was about the upcoming Star Wars movie, ‘Rogue One.’
There have been an unusually large number of reshoots and editing to improve the movie. This has cast some negative light on the director, Gareth Edwards. A movie of this scope – and importance to the studio Disney could make or break a career. It could also destroy the self-confidence of the director.
After reading Mr. Edwards comments about the many changes the movie required, I’m convinced he’ll be fine. He understands his job and the legacy he is creating. He said:
“Making “Star Wars” is a team sport, really. You can’t make these massive movies completely on your own… it’s a real team effort.
…(eventually) things kept improving and the film was getting better and better — and if you’re improving it, you don’t stop. I think any other movie you would say, “That’ll do. We’re going to get a hit.” But “Star Wars” is going to live forever if you do it properly. We just can’t let it go. You’ve got keep going until they prise it out of your hands.”
How Can This Make a Better Speech For You?
His comments bring up three points:
One, making a movie is a team effort. The director, actors, and writers need feedback from others. That’s how they craft the best-possible message that impacts the audience.
Two, because this is a Star Wars film, he could simply make a few changes and release the movie. It’s a Star Wars film! It’ll take in a minimum of half a billion dollars based on that fact alone.
But, that wasn’t good enough for Mr. Edwards or the entire production team. They wanted to create the best possible experience for the movie-goer.
Three, his sentiment that “the movie will live forever, “if you do it properly.” Mr. Edwards understands that he can have a lasting impact long after he’s gone. This will only happen if he puts in the work now to craft the best possible film.
What Would You Do?
Based on the early reviews of ‘Rogue One,’ the efforts and dedication of Gareth Edwards and his team have paid off. The movie should be a major worldwide hit.
The three key points that Mr. Edwards raised lead back to the question at the beginning of this post. Faced with a similar situation for your speech, do you deliver one that’s just good enough?
Or, do you put in the time and effort to create the best possible message?
Your answer is the difference between a speech that is politely received and quickly forgotten, or an experience that touches lives long past your time on stage.
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