In this edition: 3 simple steps to assess your skills on your own | Weekly tip on breathing right | Weekly resource on speaking skills
Welcome to the 3rd edition of UpskillWithSuman!
I hope you’ve downloaded the structure frameworks and speaking tools from the last 2 editions.
When put together, these 2 components can make an enormous difference to your communication.
In today’s edition, I am going to share 3 simple steps to learn more about your communication skills. It’s great to learn more about your communication style before you approach a coach to work with.
You can use these 3 simple tips to assess what you do well and what you can improve to become a better communicator.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Things you will need for this activity:
- A phone with camera
- A topic to speak on
- A timer to track time
- Your awesome self!
HOW TO USE THEM?
Now that you have every thing you need, let’s quickly go through each:
The Camera: The phone camera will record your speaking. It is better not to directly look into the screen because it’ll make you conscious. Set it on a surface, preferably – it could be a window ledge or on top of a stack of books.
If possible, place the camera where it can capture as much of your body language rather than just your face and shoulders. It could also be out of your line of sight so that you can speak without being conscious.
The topic: Pick a topic you can easily speak on for 2-3 minutes at least. Preferably, don’t introduce yourself. You’ve done it so many times that it won’t give you the right estimation of your speaking skills.
A few ideas are – your favourite city, a memorable holiday, your favourite book or character, your idol in life, your productivity routine. You get the picture!
(Don’t forget to look up the structure frameworks to align your ideas easily)
The timer: You could set a 2 or 3 minute timer so that you know you should speak at least till it dings. On the other hand, you can also use the stop clock if you don’t want the ding to interrupt your flow. However, you may have to do this again if you don’t reach the 2 minute mark the first time round.
Your awesome self: I know it can be unnerving to record yourself for the first time. But like I said, you could start the recording and set the camera away from your line of sight.
Imagine that you are talking to friends and sharing something exciting about yourself. Take a deep breathe and start speaking! Remember, only you will be watching this!
PRO-TIP: Don’t restart once you’ve started speaking. This video tells you why that’s a very bad idea.
HOW TO ASSESS YOURSELF
Congratulations!! The hard part is over and you stuck with it!
Settle down with a pen and a sheet of paper and let’s look through your work for information!
Remember to note down both – what you did well and what you can do better.
STEP 1: WATCH THE RECORDING
Just watch it from start to end. You can do it a second time if you think it’ll help you make better notes. Pay attention to your speaking style and body language in general. Are you loud enough? Is your body language confident? Are you fluent?
STEP 2: PUT IT ON MUTE
Turn the volume off and watch the whole video. Just notice your non verbal language – this time you’ll notice more details.
Make a note of what you see. Do you use hand gestures? Is your eye contact shifty? How are your facial expressions?
STEP 3: PUT THE PHONE FACE DOWN
Switch back the volume and put the phone face down. This time just listen to your voice – no non verbal cues. Pay attention to your tone, pace, volume, modulation – note down what you notice.
BONUS STEP 4: TRANSCRIBE THE VIDEO
If you are really committed to the process, go one step ahead. Using a free transcribing tool, get the text of your speech. This will yield a whole lot of new information like fillers, repetitions etc. This takes you further in your journey of self assessment.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION?
Woohoo! We have all the information we need! You need to do just one final step – look through your notes and make a list of 3 things that you do really well and 3 areas that you can start improving upon.
You now have 2 choices – you can work on your own to improve your skills. Or you can seek the help of a coach.
Just remember that exceptional communication skills are worth building and sooner you start the better your chances of skyrocketing in your career.
TO SUM UP:
- Pick a topic
- Start recording
- Speak for 2-3 minutes
- Watch the video in 3 different ways – as it is, muted and phone face down
- Make notes of your observations
- Start working on improving everyday
This activity can help you understand so much about your speaking style and things you can fix on your own.
Although as a communication coach, it is my duty to tell you that you won’t be able to work on all the areas by yourself. At some point it is important to work with a coach so that you avoid trial and error and get on the fast lane to improvement.
I am just a call away!
SUPER TIP OF THE WEEK
Breathing right helps us speak with confidence – louder and well-paced. Deep breathing before a stressful presentation or an interview also calms the brain and slows your racing heart!
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
What if someone gave you the secrets that make TED speakers so successful on stage? And someone did! Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo reveals 9 public speaking secrets of the world’s top TED speakers.
Each secret comes with examples of TED talks that use them so you can watch and learn.
SNEAK PEAK INTO NEXT WEEK
I am super excited about the next one! The World Champion of Public Speaking 2023 is being held in Bahamas as you read this. And the world champion will be announced tomorrow (19th August). Next week, I will be sharing the winning speech and an analysis of what made it the winner.
Do you have any questions about improving your communication skills, powering up your influence at work and enhancing your executive presence? Just hit reply and ask away!
Also, What did you think about this newsletter? What did you like? What can I do better? Your suggestions and comments are welcome, always !
Whenever you are ready:
How to write an effective elevator pitch: Do you struggle to make a great first impression? How would you like a one-line template that’ll help you introduce yourself – confidently and memorably every single time? Just 2o minutes can help you plan and write your elevator pitch!
If you want to talk to me about taking you communication to a new level, book your slot
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