Public Speaking – Strengths and Weaknesses
Channeling your strengths and knowing your weaknesses.
Now that you are taking some selfie video of your presentation, it’s time to identify some strengths and weaknesses in your presentation style.
It’s important to identify both from an actual presentation not just how you feel about your presentation style. None of us can be objective about our skills but the camera very rarely lies. This is sometimes a revelation – what we thought were weaknesses are not obvious when we present, whilst strengths that we didn’t recognise in ourselves become more apparent from a camera view.
This is something I had reinforced in another area of my life – floral art or flower arranging for competition. I have learned over the years to take a picture of my design after I finish putting it together but before the judging takes place so I can review the design with a critical eye rather than a construction eye.
It is the same for a presentation. You will have worked hard to put your presentation together, you know the areas that were difficult and those that came together easily, but you may be unaware of how the whole presentation sounds to a listener until you do a video.
How then to analyse the video quickly and simply?
This list is a good starting point.
- Is the start strong?
- Do I follow a logical sequence with the presentation?
- Is my voice clear throughout?
- Is my use of language appropriate for the occasion/presentation? (listen for jargon and acronyms)
- Is the technical detail appropriate?
- Do I finish as strongly as I started?
These are the most common areas where we have strengths and weaknesses.
The next step is to identify your strengths and remember to play to those when you are preparing a presentation. For example, I have a strong, clear, regulated voice so I make sure my presentations are mostly me talking rather than show slides or videos.
Now we need to identify weaknesses. Again, using me as an example, its about my voice. Once I have stared a presentation my voice is strong but at the very start I can exhibit my nerves (yes, even now) by having some hesitation or wavering in my voice. To overcome this I have developed half a dozen standard phrases I use to start a speech. This way when I am preparing my presentation I select the appropriate phrase for that type of presentation knowing it will come easily to me on stage then I can run striaght into the rest of the presentation having overcome this “weakness”.
Knowing your strengths and working with them when you are preparing your presentation will help you identify any weaknesses and manage them.
Its good discipline for improving your overall presentation skills.