An Important Speech Reminder From My First Webinar

When you have an experience that doesn’t go as planned, what do you do?
Do you get mad and sulk?
Or, do you beat yourself up?
Or, do you try to learn from it and improve?
Two weeks ago, I presented my first “solo” webinar. The focus was ‘how to write a meaningful and memorable speech.’
I’ve been doing webinars for two years with other presenters,Speech Lessons From a Webinar but it was time to host one by myself.
I knew that this would be different, but I was also confident. I had experience.  I had good material. And I had an eager audience.

When Best Plans Go Awry

Before the 9 o’clock start time, I knew this was going to be more challenging than I’d expected. Technology issues – despite my testing and re-testing – reared their ugly head. Thanks to one of my attendees, Raymond, I was able to correct those issues before the start time. However, that distraction threw me out of rhythm.
Once we started, and I had been speaking for a while, I thought, ‘This is alright. We’re about 20 minutes in.’ Then I looked at the clock on my computer. ‘9:08! Are you kidding me? I’m already through a third of my material!’
I had to make adjustments “on-the-fly.” Thanks to several attendees, there was more audience participation that I had planned. They answered questions and engaged in meaningful conversation. The hour ended with no major setbacks.
As soon as it was over, I thought ‘That wasn’t very good.’
I was mad at myself. I started to beat myself up for what I perceived to be a poor performance.

A Reminder From My First Speech Mentor

Not long after, I texted with a couple of speaker friends. They reminded me of the wisdom that my mentor Darren LaCroix had shared with me years earlier:
‘The first version isn’t supposed to be great. It’s supposed to GET DONE so you can move onto the next one.’
They also pointed out that, “You can’t get to the second version of your presentation until you’ve done the first one. Who cares if it was a great? Just do it, study it, make changes and move on.”
Thanks to the wise counsel of my friends, I was able to step back and look at the event and dissect it

Three Key Presentation Points

I realized three important points right away:
Number One. I had good content. Unlike most webinars I’ve attended, I didn’t spend a lot of time talking about myself or trying to pitch a product. Based on feedback from attendees, they got useful information.
Number Two. Doing a webinar by yourself is not fun, at least, not as fun as when you do them with co-hosts or guests. I’ve grown accustomed to my weekly webinars with Stage Time University. There are always co-presenters. There is also Paul (our IT guru who also introduces us and keeps an eye on chat boxes, plays our videos, etc.)
This creates an energy that you don’t get from a single presenter. It’s better for your audience, and for you.
Number Three. I had decided that my first event would be “stripped-down.’ This meant no video, no audio, or no graphics. A simple discussion to share content about how to create meaningful and memorable speeches.

Do This And You’ll Create a Great Speech

I write this post not from a “woe is me” or “I really suck at this” point of view. It’s a reminder to myself and to you that any great presentation doesn’t start out that way. It needs to evolve.
To borrow an old phrase, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly in the beginning.” This is true whether it’s a speech, a sales presentation, or a webinar
Never forget the wisdom of my friend and mentor Darren LaCroix. ‘The first version isn’t supposed to be great. It’s supposed to GET DONE so you can move onto the next one.’ There are going to be mistakes. That’s part of the process.
I’ve been speaking for two decades. I now realize that the greatest communicators don’t have special talents more than you do. Their gift is persistence.
They’re willing to get up over and over and over again. To give their presentations, study the recordings, and listen to feedback. Then make adjustments, present again and keep repeating the process.
That is how you create memorable and meaningful presentations.
I leave you with these questions:
Are you willing to put yourself out there time and time again?
Are you willing to give that first presentation that you know won’t be good?
Are you willing to go through the process until you’ve created your most powerful message?


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That Wasn’t Very Good! Speech Lessons From My First Solo Webinar ultima modifica: 2017-05-22T00:39:34-04:00 da Michael Davis