Test Tubes for You
If you had a really important press release that you had to send to all of your customers, clients, and regulators, as well as the media, would you just wing it? Would you just dictate it once and send it out as is? I don’t think so. You would look at it, you would review it, you would possibly have a lawyer or a trusted advisor in your company have a look at it. You would want other checks on the process before you just send out your text communication.
When it comes to spoken communication, you can also test. For example, let’s say you are giving a sales presentation to some really important prospects on Thursday. My advice for you would be to get one or two of your colleagues together or maybe someone who works in a different office down the hall, to join you in the cafeteria or an empty conference room. Give them your presentation and when you are done, ask them not what they think about the presentation, but what they remember. Do they remember your slides and the messages you had on them? If they do not remember all of your messages, then you have a big problem on your hands.
The solution to this problem is not to find a new test group but it is to go back to your speech to make your ideas more memorable. You need to throw away the slides that are not memorable and replace them with slides that actually work. If you test on an audience and they are understanding all of your messages and remembering them, then when you go into the actual presentation to communicate on Thursday, you are going to be filled with confidence, not because of some generic stuff but because you have elements in your presentation that actually work, which is the most important thing, much more important than just feeling confident visualising a standing ovation.
So testing the messages you are trying to communicate in advance and having a sense that they are actually working is a great way to develop confidence for speaking in the actual event.
A Trick 1000 Times More Effective Than Practicing In Front of A Mirror
Did you narrow your messages down to your top 5? I hope so, because what I am going to ask you to do now is to pull out your cell phone and just say it out loud. Do not worry about it being perfect, do not worry about having a fascinating or engaging opening with stories. Just talk out your 5 messages and see how they sound on video.
Sometimes, you go through the whole process of brainstorming messages and typing them up and they look completely fine on a screen or on a piece of paper. But when you say them out loud, you realise that one of the messages is completely boring and and uninteresting to everyone. Then you have to scratch that message off.
I’m not going to ask you to post a video in the discussion section yet but I do want you to record your messages and listen to the video as well as watch it. I understand that you might not like your voice but you will get used to it. Getting used to the sound of your own voice solves the problem for most people who are conscious about it. I would like you to write down in the discussion section what your top five messages are. Also mention what is the one thing that you are trying to get your audience to do. This really helps people.
Even if no one else looks at the recorded video or the comment you post with your messages which I will look at, by the way, just writing the messages down makes the entire process so much more effective for you as well as for your audience.
If you want more information of all the things you need to think about when coming up with the messages then I have some advanced courses and classes. These courses go more in depth and answer most of the frequently asked questions related to public speaking. You can also try typing any question you have and sending it to me in the discussion section. If I do not already have a video on it, I will make a new one for you which will be posted on the YouTube channel which corresponds to the courses.
Do not forget that I am always here for you and to assist your journey as a public speaker and an effective communicator.
More Evidence That Your Speech Is Working
Another very important way to test your speaking abilities and your speech is immediately after you have given your speech or presentation or talk to an audience. Any time you are talking to more than 10 people, someone is bound to come up to you afterwards and tell you what a good job you did. Most of us in that situation respond with thank you and begin to think that we were really good that day.
Do not stop there; this is valuable marketing research that you could get but you have to dig a little deeper. Major corporations all over the world spend billions of dollars on market research. But when you are a speaker and you are trying to improve your speaking you can get all of this market research for free. All you have to do is ask. So when someone comes up to me after a presentation and tells me what a good job I did at my speech, I always say thank you but I also ask them what they remember from the speech or how they would describe the presentation to their colleagues who couldn’t make it today. Then I really listen to what they have to say. That is extraordinarily valuable focus group research and it is completely free.
If they are telling you the messages that are important to you and they remember your examples and stories, then you know that your speech worked. But if they can’t tell me anything more than what a good job I did then I know that I have failed. Because someone can have all sorts of reasons to tell you that you are great including personal reasons and they can lie about it as well. But they cannot lie about the messages they remember or do not remember from your presentation or speech.
So always ask what they remember because for speakers, that is public speaking gold.