The opposite view!

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One of the best ways to improve as a speaker is to video record your speeches. This recording of you speaking allows the analysis of all aspects of your speaking skills. You can see your hand gestures, body movements and facial expressions. You can listen to the audience and hear your cadence, inflections and tone of voice.

One view that is often times overlooked is to record the audience. The benefit to recording your audience as you speaks allows you to analysis the audience’s reactions to your words and stage presence. If parts of your speech are boring or not understandable, the audience facial expressions will show. If you are walking back and forth across the stage like a ping-pong ball. You will see this in your audience’s head movements.

Another benefit of recording from this angle is that you can use some of the footage in any video that you take for your website or promotional materials.

So remember, always record your speech from your perspective and your audience’s perspective.

I had a good idea…now…where did it go?

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There are many reasons why you should always record yourself when giving a speech. I will avoid the obvious reasons and write about a reason that is not apparent to many speakers.

As we speak, there are times that we say nuggets of gold that our audiences can use and benefit from. However, there are 2 main reasons why we don’t use these same nuggets of gold for our future audiences.

The first reason is that is that we don’t hear ourselves say these nuggets. We are so focused on our presentation and trying to be the best that if a phrase or idea comes out, we don’t hear it. Our audiences may hear it but we don’t and as we result we cannot repeat what we just said in the future.

The second reason is that we just forget. I know that many times I think of something of value but a few minutes later I forgot what I just thought. Writing down your ideas is good but what happens if you are in the middle of a speech or in a meeting? You can’t simply stop your speech and write down your idea or ask someone in the audience to save that idea.

This is why recording your speech is a good idea. You can go back and review your speech. If you hear something of value, you can write your nugget of gold down. This very nugget may be part of a future presentation that your audience will love and begin to ask you for more similar ideas.

Now start the recording!

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Hit that Record Button. Now!

record_buttonIn the future, every time you speak, challenge yourself to make sure you record your presentation with some type of recording device. In this modern time of ‘digital’ technology, data storage is now really cheap, takes up very little space compared to what it used to, and is easy to come by. If you can’t set up the recording device and make the recording by yourself, ask a colleague to assist.

Whether you’re using your own smartphone app (Android, iPhone, etc.) for making a basic recording file, or you’re using an actual standalone recording device that can usually make a more “robust” recording, some devices let you record in two different AV modes: either in an audio-only format or in a full HD 1080p video quality format containing both audio AND video. You make the choice. Remember, different quality formats require different amounts of storage space. To ensure you don’t run out of disc space, grab a calculator and do the math on your expected recording outcome file size based on the configurations of your recording device. Check your device user manual for recording card capabilities.

At about the size of a stamp, most data cards, for example, like the popular SD type seen here, are relatively SD_cardsinexpensive and can hold a handful of hours of high-definition (HD) 1080p quality video and even many more hours of audio if you wish to record in an audio-only format. Here is a reference link to a wiki page covering all of the difference types of SD cards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital. The three basic SD card form factors are the original size, the “mini” size, and the “micro” size and they all come in storage capacity ranges from 1-64GB, and higher, depending upon the card type. Remember, check your manual.

Finally, remember to record whenever you can. You will enjoy reviewing your past speeches to help you get better each time you speak in the future. If you don’t record, you can’t measure your progression. Recording your speeches is a great way to document and learn more about what you did right or wrong and what you can work on in futures speeches. One reminder, though, as you review your recordings, be easy on yourself – don’t be too critical. This is a learning progression. As you become more familiar with hearing your own voice and looking at yourself on stage, you will begin to get more comfortable with watching…well – You!

Just sit back, watch and listen.