When you were a kid, you didn’t want to eat your vegetables, even though they were good for you. Now, as an adult, you don’t want to practice your presentation, even though you know it is critical to your success as a presenter. Can’t you just skip straight to dessert and just go present? That’s right, practice your presentation. Even knowing that practicing will allow you to see and hear what you can do to improve as a presenter, why don’t we do it? Not only that, why don’t we record our practice?
When coaching a client in presentation skills, it is natural that he might be skeptical when I make a recommendation for improvement. If I can record that client presenting and then play it back for him to watch, he can see for himself what I observe and there is no question. What a powerful tool. Yet, what a vulnerable thing for him to do. I understand as I feel the same way about recording myself when I am preparing a presentation!
I remember one woman I worked with that looked up to the ceiling when she was thinking about what she was going to say next in her presentation. As we worked through her coaching session and I had complimented her on the things she was doing well, we came to this habit of looking to the ceiling. She flat out denied that she looked up. No need to argue; we had a video. As she watched and saw what she did, she started to laugh! She was absolutely positive that she did not glance to the ceiling until she saw herself glance to the ceiling on the video. We had a good laugh and she was ready to work on it.
There is such value, even for the seasoned presenter, in recording as you practice. Use it to raise your skills to the next level. If you hate the thought of having your recording hanging around, BOOM, you can delete it! When you can get to the point where you feel more comfortable with not only your content, but your delivery of that content, it frees you up to be more engaged with your audience when you finally present live. Give it a try! Struggle through recording your presentation and review that recording, then work on improvements and record again. Let me know if this helps your live delivery and what you think about this preparation tactic. I’d love to hear from you!