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Video Rehearsal – The Key to Improving



By Bob Goodyear

In an earlier blog post about rehearsing before presenting, I wrote about the importance of doing a video rehearsal. I talked about how hard it is to actually watch it. As a technical presenter, I want to believe that I know my presentation so well that rehearsal is not needed. I swallowed my pride and recently recorded a video in preparation for an upcoming presentation.

What do you do with the video rehearsal once you’ve recorded it?

I suggest that you watch your video three different times. That might seem like a lot for just one video but there is a method to my madness. Watch your video in this order:

1. Listen but don’t watch!

I said you should watch the video 3 times, but the first time I don’t want you to watch it at all! Let’s face it, you probably don’t really want to watch it anyway! What I want you to do is just listen to what you are saying. Close your eyes or turn your back to the screen. Can you easily follow the presentation? Does it make sense? If you can’t see the slides you’re presenting, does the message flow well? Many times, doing this makes me realize that my message may not be crisp and clear. While I will still do the second and third step, I end up many times making changes after this first viewing.

2. Watch but don’t listen!

Yes, now reverse the process! This time watch your presentation but have the sound off. For this second viewing, I want you to watch your body language and movements. Are you pacing while you’re speaking or are you moving with a purpose? Do you make important points while you are standing still? Are you making eye contact with your imaginary audience or are you looking around? How does your face look? Are you smiling or do you look too serious? Are your hand gestures different or do you have one annoying gesture that you use over and over again? You may be very surprised about how you look to an audience when you view your video rehearsal this way.

3. Watch and listen!

Your third viewing of the video is when you put it all together. Watch yourself as though you were sitting in the audience listening as an attendee. You may find out that the words you use don’t match your physical movements or vice versa. The third viewing will usually be the one where you find things that don’t match up. This is where I suggest you do the fine-tuning to your presentation.

If you do these 3 different views with your video rehearsal, I promise you that your presentations will be much more easily understood and successful. Following these 3 steps will dramatically improve your presentation skills.

Bob Goodyear is a veteran speaker on technology who understands the communications challenges that technical professionals face. Find out how Bob can help your organization with its presentation. Reach Bob by email or by phone at 404.790.5855.