Your Reflection Is Lying To You…
We spoke yesterday about creating and nurturing your own innate skills and how they can form a part of your speaking style. Today I wanted to bring you some pointers to help aid that journey and hopefully keep you from wasting your much valued time.
Essentially, I want to hit you with some hard and fast tips to help you recognise, triage and hopefully iron out any niggles, habits or errrrrrrrrm….. Fillers like THAT!
Lets Get Down To It
Firstly, I recommend that you use your bathroom mirror for everything else other than practicing your speech. It is 2017, I can safely assume you have a clever phone, tablet, laptop, or possibly a smart refrigerator. Use the video facility on any of these to RECORD yourself when you run through your speech or presentation. Mirror’s don’t play back, keep track of time or let you fully immerse yourself in your practice. In front of a mirror, you focus too much on the WRONG THINGS. You need to fully let go of yourself and just let a camera record it, that way you can see your end result warts and all.
If you are using handouts, cues, or visual aids; make them the best that they can be. If you think they are shoddy or not up to the standard. Ask yourself, ‘Is there another way?’. Don’t be tied to the idea of using a flip-chart if it isn’t the best way to communicate your point. More importantly, handouts are a distraction. So think carefully on when and where your handout is distributed and what content and purpose it will provide. if you are a magician, crack on and distract the audience, it’s your greatest ally. When speaking though, you want attention and focus on you.
You will get a lot of fall-out from the first tip, but you should already be somewhat aware of your body language and mobility on stage. Passionate speakers and informative speeches tend to have a lot more hand gesturing. Our body is naturally wired to speak on conscious and sub-conscious levels. Having an awareness of this is a good start. I have mentioned before, I bounce my leg when nervous. I am aware of it and make strides to control it. If your aware of your ‘tells’ you can minimise them and if needed, train them out.
ermmmm… I guess the last paragraph is about fillers and bridging words. The kind of sub-conscious, uncontrollable and nervous words we leak out when we are moving from one part to the next when speaking. Sooooo the best way to eradicate this annoying habit from your style is to learn your piece. When you have rehearsed and read what you are going to deliver, your brain has already stored a vast amount of it in muscle memory and your re-call will help you move smoothly in-between parts. Welllllll I hope this paragraph has shown you how annoying and off-putting fillers and bridging words are. they ruin your credibility, confidence and flow when delivering. The audience WILL pick up on them ALWAYS.
I hope these quick tips are of some use to you. The first and most important is to RECORD yourself. All the rest will be easy to work on once you have a solid base to work from. Don’t let yourself be plagued by these little things like so many others; and of course, Have a fantastic weekend whatever you do.
“Practice Even What Seems Impossible” – Marcus Aurelius