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VIDEO Allows YOU to See and Hear Yourself as. . .

Video Allows You to See and Hear Yourself as OtherSee and Hear You.

0Others See and Hear You!

Knowing you want to improve your public speaking and presentation skills, I suggest taking a video of yourself practicing or delivering a presentation. Then view it critically.

Video is Powerful!

You may think you’re doing something lousy or really good, but seeing and hearing will allow you to celebrate the good and great, and know what needs improvement.

Practicing in front of a mirror is fine, but it’s not the same as viewing your video. When you’re looking into a mirror, non-verbal communication areas for improvement may be immediately visible and adjustments made. The reason I said “may be immediately visible” is because we all have blind spots seeing certain things. Also, sometimes we think we see things that don’t exist.

Think about times you’ve posed for a photograph, knew it would be a keeper, but were disappointed with the results. Sometimes, the picture from the time where you thought you blinked or had a scowl on your face, turns out to be the one you’ll frame! This is why video beats “peering into the looking glass.”

Athletes watch videos of their performance to improve it, don’t they! You should, also.

When I coach clients, I might say, “You’re too stiff. You need to gesture naturally, more often, and make them larger for a big audience.” They may take my remarks to heart and incorporate them into their next practice or presentation, or, they might not. One reason they might not is they don’t believe it looks as I described, or, at least as bad as I described. When they see it, it’s an entirely different scenario, perhaps, an embarrassing one.

I recall working with a very coachable vice president of a large company on an important presentation. One evening, after several hours of presentation coaching, he stood in front of his iPad and made several videos of his talk. The following morning, we sat side-by-side and watched them. I knew we were making great progress when he started making statements like, “I thought I was more animated!” or “That inflection and pause is the way it should be, isn’t it!”

His observations, along with my impressions of the video and suggestions for improving the presentation, resulted in a rock star performance.

I mentioned he used his iPad because the video doesn’t have to be super high quality nor involve expensive and hard to use equipment. Any phone, tablet, or computer with a camera will work for taking and viewing video of practice sessions.

The first time you take a video of yourself can be tough. For some, really tough. We probably look and sound differently than we expected. Get over it! – Get with it! – Get better!

If you’re doing your own video, set up the device so you can see yourself; i.e. be your own audience! It might be like looking in the mirror, but looking at nothing, in my opinion, is much tougher. If someone else is taking the video, they, are your audience. It also helps if you can “see” imaginary people seated, viewing, and listening to you. (I’ve had clients paste “silhouette heads” on the walls of the room.)

Deliver the talk as if it were “the real deal!” Doing it with the attitude, “I’m just practicing,” won’t bring the desired results.

When you’ve done one, view it critically. Some of that activity should involve rewinding and viewing sections several times. Watching it with your coach, or someone you trust to give honest feedback, will improve the “review” of your video. Each of you will probably see things the other doesn’t. Discussing the good and “area needing improvement” will make the next “take” better.

Look and Listen Everything!

Keep in mind, a presentation has two components; Content and Delivery.      • Delivery trumps Content.             • Delivery has two Elements; Verbal and NonVerbal      • NonVerbal trumps Verbal. We believe what we see.

Important: NonVerbal Communication can be voluntary and involuntary. If you tend to “roll your eyes” when you hear or see something you disagree with, keep that in mind and keep it in check. The audience believes what they see.

Review your video a minimum of Three Times.

First: Watch with the sound Off! Because Nonverbal trumps Verbal.


  1. Appearance should be:

  2. Neat and clean.

  3. Simple.

  4. No bling. (It’s distracting.)

  5. Eye Contact.

  6. Are you making eye contact with individuals in the audience. (Your camera lens, camera person, and the imaginary folks.)

  7. Facial Expressions.

  8. Are you smiling?

  9. Do those expressions coincide with your message?

  10. Do you exaggerate them to make a specific point?

  11. Gestures.

  12. Are they in sync with your words and message?

  13. Do you point?

  14. People do not like having a finger aimed at them.

  15. Are you fidgeting?

  16. Posture.

  17. Are you shoulders back?

  18. Is your head up?

  19. Are your feet together?

  20. Are you swaying?

  21. If you are using a lectern, are you leaning on it or holding onto it?

  22. A presentation is better without a lectern! It forms a physical and emotional barrier between you and your audience.

  23. Are your hands in your pockets?

Second: Listen without watching.

Pay attention to:

  1. Enunciation and Pronunciation.

  2. Are the words you are speaking clearly understood?

  3. Projection.

  4. Are you speaking to “people” at the back of the room or to a person, imaginary or real, seated in front of you?

  5. Is your voice powerful and confident?

  6. Inflection.

  7. Are you speaking in a monotone manner or were specific words and phrases given emphasis with a different pitch?

  8. Cadence.

  9. Are you varying the speed of your delivery?

  10. Don’t speak too slowly, nor too quickly.

  11. Pausing.

  12. IfYouDon’tPauseItSoundsLIkeThis!

  13. Pausing, after you are introduced, quiets the audience and draws their attention to you, the speaker.

  14. Pausing shows “Confidence in your Competence.”

  15. Pausing allows the audience to digest your words and think about your message.

  16. Filler Words.

  17. Are you using the words “Uh,” “So,” “Like,” “You know”?

  18. These distract from your message.

  19. Far better to P-A-U-S-E

  20. Additionally:

  21. Do you mumble at any time?

  22. Does you voice ever trail off?

Third: Watch and Listen.

Remembering what you saw, heard, and learned from the first two observations:

  1. Is everything in sync?

  2. Example: If you’re talking about something serious and have a smirk on your face, the audience gets a mixed message and believes what they see.

  3. What do you think was outstanding?

  4. What stuck out as “an opportunity for improvement?”

The Next Step: Take everything you’ve learned and

  1. Make another Video!

  2. Repeat the Three Step Review Process.

This stuff absolutely works!

Do as suggested and I Guarantee: Your next presentation will be absolutely, positively, there is no doubt in my mind – that presentation will be – NO SWEAT!

Till next time, this is Fred Miller, NO SWEAT Public Speaking!


Three ways to keep the attention of your audience.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!



  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  3. We are All Self-Employed!

Subscribe to my YouTube ChannelPodcast Channel, and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

My books can be purchased on NO SWEAT Public Speaking” NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”


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