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Public speaking within the tech realm has been a blessing in being able to present the latest product developments and influence direction. However, as the need for roles within tech to focus more on presenting ideas to a variety of stakeholders can make the most confident people feel uncomfortable without proper support or techniques to improve this skill.
This was a struggle I knew too well, but I needed to overcome as I knew it was a barrier towards reaching my dream of entering a UX based role, due to it requiring vast amounts of presentations and workshops. In November 2020, I was challenged by my coach to record myself to slowly break down this fear. The initial challenge was to record myself to see how I spoke and thus how I could be perceived by people. I wanted to improve this, so I decided to do a 30-day speaking challenge in November 2020, whereby I would record myself asking questions and using self-belief body mantra talks to myself.
Within my talk, I want to present the idea of how technology can help you to become a better speaker, specifically through the technique of recording yourself daily, in order to help reduce the fear of public speaking and to help frequently stretch these skills when opportunities are not regularly used.
Hi everyone. My name is Sam Burden and I'm here today to do my talk on how recording yourself can help you with public speaking. Within my talk, I'll give you an introduction to the recording challenge that I did last year. What happened during the challenge? Tips, recording yourself, and a summary of my talk. So an introduction to the recording challenge. So for those of you who've been in the situation myself, one of my top spheres has been public speaking. And according to various websites, actually public speaking is one of the biggest phobias out there. Apparently 90% of people are having fear of public speaking. However, to contradict this actually fear of public speaking not get involved with it actually impedes employment and promotion by about ten to 15%, which is quite a shocking statistic. And I thought about this and I approached this to my coach. And I'd like to point out before then I always get involved with more public speaking because I thought I need to conquer this skill by doing lightly talks and also just doing mini talks within my organization. However, I wanted to improve in terms of authenticity and understand a bit more about how I can prove my speaking skills in general because I do speak quite fast. I thought, okay then, is there a way that I can prove in a safe environment that can actually prove how I feel as a person but also reflects the authenticity of myself going forward? And one option was to do more lightning talks and do more talks. However, I knew the fact that when doing these talks, I'd only have a window of about a month every time to do it. And for myself, I wanted more frequency to understand how I can prove on a regular basis. But also I wanted to understand how I am as a public speaker. What do I look like, how do I sound? How can I be more engaging to an audience? And my coach suggested you called yourself and this is only supposed to be a one off recording. So just grab my phone here, just say, Hi, my name is Sam and my favorite animal is a Bulldog. And it was doing that the purpose that was just due every morning, about an hour, five minutes just to see how I sound to the person and understand a bit more about what my comments fears are when listening back to yourself. And I suppose when listing back to yourself is more frightening than actually watching yourself because it's a whole I sound like this, why do I sound like that? And I decided to take that bit further with this. I thought, okay then this is going to be a challenge. I can do this. So I decided to set myself a 30 day challenge to court myself. And I just want to give you a bit of context of what went on a bit more detail in terms of context of the recording and how it helped me become better public speaker. So I focused on a five part challenge. So the purpose of the challenge itself was to divide it into five parts related to problems I have with public speaking. So one problem was asking questions. How do I ask questions to people, not just in a presentation context, but then also in a work context? How can I feel more confident asking questions both as a passive listener and also of an active beast in terms of engaging people and making sure that I interact in a way that feels genuine and authentic? Another was to look at posture. So how I stood as a person. How do I emulate confidence when I'm doing it? I felt like recording is the best method of doing that because you can see yourself in a recording in terms of saying, oh, I look like this, this is how I can improve. So that was the purpose of that. In other words, look at pace. So racing back to that speed, am I talking fast or am I talking slower than usual? Is there any events that are causing it that might make that speed change? And then also just looking at self affirmations? There's two sections of the self affirmations. One was to create an introduction to myself. This helped with not just public speaking, but general confidence in how I approach people and also estimation to say, just to help build confidence. So within the challenge, there was 30 minutes for 30 days, including Saturday and Sunday. So that's quite a shocker. And I decided to do it was 15 minutes doing that five by exercise and then 15 minutes before and reviewing how went is there any improvements I could do next day? And did I implement the improvements that I said about the day before? And the whole purpose of this was to build self confidence. Recording yourself is one of the best ways to sort of feel more engaged with you as person, actually reflect on how you present yourself to others. So with that in mind, I kind of wanted to give you yourself some tips recording yourself. So here are the five top tips that I'd like to give you. See what you want to improve on. So within my talk that I did the 30 day challenge when I was reporting, the whole overarching theme was about self confidence and building that authenticity. When I do public speaking, however, my advice would be to do something more specific. So, for example, is it asking questions? Is it looking at speed of how you talk? Is it how you want to emulate confidence within yourself, or is it to do with actually how you want to engage the audience, asking questions and just reflecting more about what they say? If you theme it, then you sort of have a structure in terms of what kind of subsections you want to ask. That for questions you might ask a question that relates back to questions within a work context. It might be to do with different questions for conversations. It might be to do with how you answer questions back to people. So how about three to five sub topics within that area that you can prove on provide structure of what you want to learn. So this is in two parts. So providing structure is actually how you want to devise the actual speaking challenge and also how it kind of helps you improve the public speaking going forward. You might be somebody who works better at night and actually does recordings once you finish work. And then I'm doing recording challenge now because of mind, I feel more awake. I can do this at this specific time for myself. I did it in the morning because I was more refreshed and B, I had more time. Make sure that you set that same sort of time when you do the challenge, because you can do it like within an hour when you said you're going to do it the day before. But make sure you have a regular sort of schedule when you do it, because otherwise you sort of lose motivation to keep going forward otherwise. And also structure is, I suppose, how you want to structure the actual speaking challenge going forward, how you want to structure it. You're going to do it in one whole video or you're going to do it in a chunk of video. So the whole video is great because you just do on boarding and you've got one video. However, it can be quite time consuming and can be exhausting. So chunking might be a better option, say, doing one to two minutes of video and then critique it going forward. Number three, keep the challenge small but manageable. So when you do recording, don't do what I did in terms of 30 minutes, because after 30 minutes, I haven't been able to stay in 30 minutes. Now, I can only do ten minutes from recording each day now because A, that's manageable, and B, I can still see progress going forward. And I've chunk down the actual what we'll say in small chunks. So it takes small time. But it's all about doing a marathon, not sprint. With this challenge, don't be too critical on yourself. So when doing your corn challenge, when you first watch yourself, you might think, I sound like that I look unconfident, I speak too fast. And with that in mind, if you keep doing that, you're going to get de motivated, and it actually affects on a negative level. You're probably speaking more to try and see this opportunity for a learning opportunity. And if you think you see something wrong within your speech, just write it down. Think, okay, then let's figure out a way to offer constructive criticism to yourself. Make sure you have that positive end thinking really well. But you spoke to you fast on this fit, and this is a recommendation, I say for tomorrow, and then it gives you a learning curve. You're continuing learning. Give yourself feedback in terms of how you can improve. Go as a public speaker. Lastly, make it measurable measures something I ignored during this process. So make it measurable helps in terms of understanding your learning experience. During the process, myself, I thought of self confidence and I thought about it afterwards. How is measuring selfconfidence? How can I measure it? Is it how happy I am? Is it looking at mood? Is it my speech? Is it looking at how many times I'm doing public speaking events going forward, it's all about having something quantitative or even qualitative look back on in terms of saying, okay, then day one, I spoke too fast, so it might be two minutes. By day 30, my speech slowed down and I'm speaking, on average for about two minutes and 15 seconds. Make sure you have something that can measure self and also give you something to be proud of going forward. So some of the the challenge. It's been great. Doing public speaking practice is in a safe environment. It provides you with immediate feedback and improvements and can help you going forward, becoming better public speaker. It helps you learn about yourself and perception, understands where you think your week, Where weaknesses are within public speaking, and provides an opportunity to give you a chance to improve that on a regular basis that you feel in the safe environment that you feel comfortable in. And remember, when you do this challenge, learn to make small but digestive improvements Because that will be the biggest impact. It's not all that. It's not about a marathon. It's not about doing sprint. It's about doing a marathon. It's all about giving over incremental changes to your public speaking to make you feel like a better conference speaker. So thank you very much. Hopefully I should see more of you guys doing these public speaking challenges by recording yourself on a daily basis and hopefully by doing that, it gives you more confidence to understand a bit more about how you sound as public Speaker And also gives you a chance to improve on a day to day basis going forward to make sure that you become best public speaking, you can be. So here's my contact details. I've left my LinkedIn website and also I wrote a reading article just after I did this challenge, just to give you a bit more insight in terms of the challenge itself and also the points they came across within this talk. So thanks very much for listening. Hope to inspire you to do your public speaking challenge, and I speak to you guys later. If you have any questions, Feel free to reach out to my LinkedIn website. Thanks very much. Bye.