Did you know that there is an art and benefit to repetition?
I received an eye-opening feedback after my MasterClass session. ‘Ikenna, you are not as fluent as you would normally be’. This was the critical feedback from my number one critic. To be fair, those who hadn’t ever heard me speak didn’t notice it, one of them applauding me on such a coherent teaching.
When I took some time to dwell on the feedback, it was clear for me that I hadn’t been speaking as much as usual. And I could have spent some more time working on my training preparation than I did.
So, why rehearse? To improve and become a master. This cuts across whatever we do. I mean, do you realize that an athlete can practice for years just to run for 10 seconds? Fortunately, you don’t need to do the same.
Carmine Gallo (a brilliant public speaker) would say that you need to practice every speech at least 10 times before giving it. That translates to once a day practice sessions, for 10 days prior to your speech.
The million dollar question is always, but how do I practice?
I referred to sprinters above, who train years just to be able to do a 10 second dash in an Olympic game. Did you know that Usain Bolt would spend like 90 minutes every day working out? Or in other words, he spends all that time rehearsing.
Translating that to our 10 times before a speech means putting in that time in the days prior to your speech. Practice your speech alone (the mirror or video camera can be helpful). Practice it in front of family/friends. In all this, you will learn how to control your voice, body language and even breathing.
I should have mentioned this earlier, working out boosts your self confidence. You know that the session will be a success, because you know how to navigate the best parts of what you’re sharing.
By using this preparatory time wisely, you can free up your mind to focus on the most important aspect of speaking – THE AUDIENCE. You are now ready to connect with them and make sure they are following what you are saying without being ‘distracted’ by whether you are telling the right story or not.
Try this out, be it in preparing to give a toast or in an interview and see how smooth your delivery will be.