One of the quickest ways to grow as a communicator is to video yourself speaking and then evaluate your talk.
This can be very difficult in the beginning because there is often a gap between who we think we are and who we actually are as a communicator. The only way to close that gap is through honest evaluation. Getting your talks on video and watching them is one of the best ways to provide yourself with honest feedback because chances are you will be your best critic.
Here are four areas to focus on when you watch yourself on video.
1. Body Language
When evaluating yourself, watch your body language closely. You want what you say with your mouth to align with what you are saying with your body. When you focus on that alignment, your audience will feel more comfortable and be more accepting of what you have to say.
2. Rate of Speech
Your rate of speech is one of the most important pieces to the communication puzzle. Learning how and when to speed up or slow down your rate of speech can add a lot of impact to your delivery.
During your preparation, identify when you want to create intensity by increasing your rate of speech and when you want to draw in attention by slowing your rate of speech. Here is a great article on speech rate with a few sound clips to give you an idea of what you might be looking for.
Leading your audience through your message is critical to delivering a message with impact.
When watching the message, seek to discover where your transitions may have been awkward for the audience. Find the places that you connected together well and the places that could have been connected a little better.
4. Facial Expressions
Your facial expressions have a lot of power in influencing the tone of your talk. Confidence, fear, excitement, comfort, and even anxiety are all communicated in facial expressions.
Your facial expression even contributes to your vocal inflections. Just like body language, facial expressions need align to with what you are trying to communicate.
Be intentional about personal evaluation when it comes to communication. Watching yourself on video will give you a lot of insight into where you are as a speaker and where you can improve. Carve out some time after your next talk to make yourself better. You won’t regret it.