- James Walton
Practice Makes Progress
*For those of you following along with the Effective Presenter series, thank you! This'll be the last entry for now. For access to earlier posts in this series, click here.
Practice makes progress. Chase progress, not perfection.
Your moment on the stage has come and gone. What happens next? How can you capture that experience to make the next opportunity even more effective? Here's the single most important tip to improving next time: Watch the recording of the presentation.
This will be horrifying at first but do it anyway. The first time I did this, I had to shut the recording off in embarrassment after the first three minutes because I had used over 100 filler words (um, like, you know) in the first 180 seconds. I had no idea in the moment, and the recording revealed my weakness.
As you watch the recording, ask questions and take notes:
Are your eyes clearly seen most of the time?
How much time was spent looking at your notes vs. at the audience?
Did you use the space on the stage with intentionality?
Did you pace mindlessly from one side to the other?
What part of the presentation seemed to resonate?
Why was that part more effective?
How focused was your intro and conclusion?
Where were there wasted words?
Underneath this exercise lies a growth mindset. This commitment to iteration and improvement means the next presentation will be better than the last, which was better than the one before it and so on.
Stay focused on this growth mindset, invite critical feedback, absorb new ideas for how to improve, and over time, you'll grow as a presenter.
And if you're in a pinch, and you need a little extra guidance, feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help you crush your next presentation.