Videoing your speeches

Old Video Camera by dyedude22

At my Toastmasters club all of the prepared speeches are videoed. The camera produces small DVDs that can be given to each of the speakers at the end of the meeting.

Watching videos of myself makes me cringe. It’s not an fun watching your awkward body language, spotting where you accidentally went off script and hearing your voice as everyone else hears it. But it provides invaluable feedback. Characteristics that you wouldn’t normally be aware of are immediately visible: your posture, unconscious movements and facial expressions. They also provide context to your evaluation and feedback. Now you can go back and see exactly what was meant by “off-putting repetitive movements” or “not pausing enough”.

The first time I watched a video of myself presenting to an audience I noticed how I would advance to the next slide by pressing the space bar with an over the top flourish that looked like some kind of modern dance movement. After I delivered my Toastmasters icebreaker I noticed that I was pacing around and repetitively gesturing with my arm.

Once you are aware of your unconscious flaws you can take steps to correct them. However it’s probably fair to say that these flaws will look a lot worse to you than anyone else. You are hyper-sensitive to them because they were unintended.

The great thing about having a DVD is that you can easily rip it and upload it to YouTube, or another internet video service. So far I have uploaded all of my Toastmasters speeches (one, two, three). Uploading my videos has the following advantages:

  • They are always available. I can go back and review them and see how I have improved. If the videos were only on a DVD it would have to go searching around for them.
  • I can show the video to friends and family, especially if I mentioned them during the speech.
  • I can ask for feedback from a diverse range of people. Feedback outside of the Toastmasters environment is usually less subtle and more critical, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

Do you video your speeches? If not you are missing out on valuable feedback. Do you upload your speeches? If you do you’ll be joining a growing community of Toastmasters on YouTube.¬†Uploading speeches isn’t for everyone. When I told someone at Toastmasters I had uploaded my icebreaker their face went white horror. ¬†The thought of anyone watching them was just too embarrassing. But if you can get over this, having your videos available online is extremely beneficial.

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  1. [...] my mind I am linking this with an article from The Naked Speaker persuading you to video your speeches so that you don’t miss out on valuable feedback; something I haven’t done for the few speeches I have given and a piece of advice I [...]

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