If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete ~ Buddha
Samantha is a good presenter, but doesn’t know it. Whenever she concludes a presentation, she immediately begins to focus on what she didn’t do well, or what she forgot. This negative focus keeps her from growing faster as a presenter.
Barry, on the other hand is a student of speaking. Whenever he speaks, he analyzes the best parts of his presentation, and then reviews the areas that could be improved.
As a speech coach, one of my roles is to help speakers understand and correct parts of their speeches that need improvement. However, a more important task is to help you understand what you already do well. This is a challenge because there are many more Samanthas than Barrys in the speaking world.
If you want to be a better speaker, more quickly, develop a process of analyzing your speeches:
The first step is to record your presentation.
The second step is to watch/listen to the recording. This seems obvious, but many people never do this. If your response to this step is “Oh I hate the way I look and sound on video!”, remember the words of one of my mentors, Darren LaCroix. “Aww, you don’t like to watch yourself? Well, too bad! We had to watch you.” Although he says this with a smile on his face, his point is taken.
The third step in this process is to first focus on what you did well in your speech. There are key lines, critical delivery styles, or important pauses you used that impacted the audience. If you don’t look for these, and make note of their impact, you’ll probably stop using them. Why cheat future audiences out of the best parts of your speech because you didn’t realize how well they work?
The fourth step is to look for areas of improvement. When you’ve focused on the best aspects of your speech first, the weaker areas don’t seem quite as bad… and usually, they aren’t. You can review these parts of the speech with a more balanced approach because you know there are aspects that already work.
Improving your speech requires a critical eye, and honest assessment. However, it’s important to conduct these reviews in a proper frame of mind. Use a process that focuses on the best parts of your speech first, and you’ll give yourself a better chance to improve faster.