Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Going a level up as speaker

I still get nervous every time I get on stage, but I feel the need of doing that anyway. For me, getting in stage is about making connections. I try to give ideas to people who choose to use their time on listening me, most often from a deeply personal perspective. Being a better speaker has really been my focus this year, and I thought I should blog a little about it.

I've chosen a couple of activities to try out on improving my speaking game.

A Women Keynoting Mastermind Group

By this time of the year, I'm towards the end of a group coaching experience with a wonderful group of ladies. Facilitated by Deborah Hartmann-Preuss, we've been searching our strengths and development areas and been challenged on things we did not think of ourselves. This group lead me to my first challenge, sticking to a fewer amount of presentations.

Fine-tuning of slides through fiver

I just put in a gig on on looking for someone to turn my style of slides into a great talk slides style. I was planning on trying 10 for 5$ and then make my decision. Seems there's stuff I don't have to do myself - a great realization!

Commit to a Few Talks for Now

With years behind me, I have a lot of stories to share. And I've shared many. Sharing and presenting have lead me to learn of things, and learning of things have lead me to sharing and presenting what I learned. I seldom volunteer the same topic more than once.

The theory however goes, that going around, I will be speaking to different audiences. Giving more room for a great talk to grow through delivering it again and again could help the talk evolve. Being comfortable with knowing the talk I can move my focus from my delivery to the audience reactions. Fine-tune and perfect.

I've believed strongly it is not the way to go. So I'm testing my beliefs. This year I'm doing just a few topics around in different places. A combination of Mob Testing, Mob Programming and Exploratory Testing is what I speak on. I do talks, workshops and trainings on that topic. And I will get even greater at delivering these sessions.

Become a better storyteller

I will be shortly starting an online course on storytelling. There's an overall story to our presentations, and there's many smaller, supporting stories. I want to learn to be better at doing those. This should be interesting.

Become a bad actress to become a great speaker

There's a group of people who already think about how to deliver great experiences on stage. I will find the courage in me to join one of these groups and face yet another paralyzing fear of mine.

Focus on speed and pacing

On my current level of speaking, I recognize my fast delivery of words is a challenge, and I'll very specifically practice on that. The best places for that might be the local Toastmaster's clubs.

Watch myself on video more

I commit to watching all my recorded talks this year and giving myself feedback to react on. For self-critical people like me, that is extremely hard activity. And I make a promise myself. For everything I do wrong, I will work to find one thing I do right and do more of it.

That should get me started. I reserve the right to learn that I want to do something different, as long as it is not for avoidance and self-deceit. Do you have similar plans and would you like to share some part of my journey with me? Get in touch