I talked in a previous blog about the importance of critiquing other speakers and watching them to think what could we learn from them and what mistakes they might make that we want to avoid. I think it’s also important, however, that we get into the habit of critiquing ourselves or accepting critique from those whose opinions we respect.
So if you are preparing for a presentation, a really important part of that preparation is delivering that speech in front of someone and having it critiqued because that will allow you to make it better.
There are two ways to do this.
First of all, invite some people to watch it, whether you’re doing it on screen, or in person in a room. Ask some people to watch it and ask them to critique you. Make sure you invite people who you respect, who you think are going to be able to give you positive, helpful critique, not just rip it apart, because that doesn’t necessarily help.
The other way to critique is to critique yourself. When you are rehearsing your presentation, prop your phone up in the corner of the room, video it and watch it back – and hate it because nobody likes watching themselves on video!
But it IS the best way to understand how you come across to an audience. Watch it back and I can guarantee you will very quickly pick up on any quirks in your body language and in your speech patterns.
Once you’re aware of those, it’s much easier to do something about them.
So get into the habit not only of critiquing others, but critiquing yourself and inviting others to critique you, to help you be an even better presenter.
If you’re interested in opportunities to get your presentations critiqued in a constructive, safe space, contact me for details of the next cohort of Critique Club, my small group speaking mastermind group. It’s a six person group and runs for six months with a mix of coaching and opportunities to practice and receive feedback and critique on your presentations.