Today, I had the privilege of coaching not one, but two different speakers, in one day.
In the morning, I met with Stewart Lee Beck who had flown in from China (see above photo) and in the evening, I sat down with one of the professional speakers from Singapore.
The first reason is altruistic.
The second reason is egoistic.
It turns out that helping other speakers become better at their job is one of the best ways to become a better speaker yourself.
During the last 5 or so coaching sessions that I have done with other speakers this month, I was able to reflect on things like:
1. The need to fill your speech with stories that are not about yourself.
2. The importance of creating a speech that is well grounded in the experience that you, and ONLY YOU, have.
3. The danger of rehearsing a speech too much and making it feel like you are reciting lines from a play.
4. The value of identifying and deleting all your “ticks”, like saying “you know”, or “like…”, and many, many more.
Looking at videos of your own speeches is very, very valuable.
But the problem with watching videos of your speech is it sometimes can be too private, too personal, too close for comfort that it might stop you from seeing what you should be changing.
The funny thing is when you watch OTHER speakers speak, it is much easier too see what they are doing wrong – but more importantly: it can also help YOU to see what YOU are doing wrong in your own speeches!
I love how speakers, as a group, are so interested in helping each other become better. And I like how making other speakers better helps improve my own speaking.
If you are a speaker, ask yourself this question:
When was the last time you sat down with a fellow speaker and gave constructive feedback on his or her speech?
If it has been to long, maybe you can take the time to do it. If not for the altruistic reasons of being nice, at least do it for purely egoistic reasons of how it will make yourself better as a speaker. 🙂
Lesson: Sometimes other people are our best mirrors.
And that is of course true for many other things than speeches.