Record your speeches and presentations.
Not just the speeches you give in public but when you practice as well, you don’t need to wait for the live performance for feedback instead you can find and fix problem areas in advance and eliminate them, vastly improving your final presentation.
What should you look out for when reviewing a recorded speech? The three main points would be:
- Body – your gestures & body language
- Voice – how you use your voice
- Timing – how well you keep to time.
Some questions to ask while reviewing your speech:
- Watch the video with the sound down. Examine your stance and movements. Look for distracting body language or movements. Are you sending the right physical message to the audience?
- Turn on the sound, does your body language match the message you are talking about? (i.e. is the sound and video in sync?)
- Are you happy with your posture, your stance? Are you clasping your hands? Are you fidgeting?
- Can your body language be better? Can there be more of it? Can it be more expansive, exaggerated?
- Eye contact. Where do you look? Do you always look at one side of the audience more than the other? Do you look down at the floor instead of at the audience?
- Facial expression. Does your facial expression match the mood and tone or your speech?
- Do you like how you sound? Is it just your voice that you don’t like or is it what you’re doing with it?
- Do you use the same pitch, tone and speed for the whole speech?
- How much variety do you have in your pitch, tone and speed? How can you inject more variety into your voice and presentation?
- Are you putting in vocal variety just for the sake of it?
- Does the vocal variety that you use match the words that you speak?
- Are you speaking too fast for people to hear your fully?
- Are you speaking clearly? Are you mumbling? Is your voice too soft? Too low?
- Do you pause? A short pause after each sentence, a longer pause after the end of a paragraph.
- Passion? Do you sound like you believe in your message? If you don’t believe, neither will your audience.
- Break your speech into sections and check the times.
- Are you taking too much time on some sections?
- Are you rushing through other sections?
One final tip – get two cameras. Use the second one to record how the audience responds to your presentation, it will give you extra insight into how your message reached your audience.