Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Incomplete and useful advice about recordings of your speech rehearsals

On January 4th at Presentation Blogger, in a post titled 5 Myths of Presentations That Seriously Need to Die, David McGimpsey had ranted:

“Can I be 100% honest? Most of the presentations advice online, in books, and training courses is useless. Often it’s total crap.”

But some crap appeared in his blog post titled How to Improve Public Speaking Skills with 7 Easy-to-do Tricks from last September that he put out at LinkedIn Public Speaking Network on January 28th. There also was a YouTube video and an Infographic version. His second item titled Throw away your script begins with (my italics):

“Instead of trying to remember your speech word-for-word, practice delivering your speech without a pre-written script. If you have time, record yourself (video or audio). You’ll find areas where you need to elaborate and give additional information. You’ll also find areas you can cut.”

That brief mention of optional recording did not appear in his YouTube video (watch it around the three-minute mark) but is a topic that deserves more careful consideration than he gave it. David just talked about content. He said nothing about delivery.

Contrast that with Fred E. Miller’s December 28, 2016 No Sweat Public Speaking blog post titled Practicing is not optional if - You Want to Give a Great Presentation. Fred gave useful advice on how to practice - to make an audio recording and listen to it. Also, make a video and view it three ways. The first time watch with the sound off. The second time don’t look (perhaps turn around) and just listen. The third time both watch and listen. For a fourth time, get someone else to watch with you. And then make another video of your next practice, etc. 

In an October 2, 2015 blog post titled Should you begin reviewing your speech by watching the video as a silent movie? I disagreed with Fred’s earlier mention of the video viewing sequence:

“He said watching with the sound muted should come first since nonverbal trumps verbal. I would suggest instead that you watch and listen first, listen without watching second, and watch with the sound off third. You aren’t a silent film actor (or a mime), so you are not used to conveying a message without words. Why would you start by doing something that probably will be disappointing and knock you down?”

In that blog post I also mentioned older and more detailed advice from Nick Morgan on seven ways to rehearse a speech.

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