2 minute read
Do you ever get gripped with fear that you won’t have your talk memorized in time? Or maybe that you will have rehearsed it so much that you come out sounding more robotic than human?
Here is a no-fail way to curb that anxiety. Again, it’s a three-step process to keep you on track; a new spin on The 3 R’s.
By now you’ve either used your own or my three-step process to organize your talk. Now we practice what we preach. Read it straight from the screen or paper without stopping to warm up your voice. Listen to yourself say the words so you can understand if it’s your natural speaking style. Not everyone talks the way they write. See what words trip you up or smoothly flow.
Then once you have the rhythm starting to emerge, grab your recorder. To most, the recording device will be a phone, but for others having an old-school tape recorder may be more thrilling, nostalgic, or practical. Maybe you have one that used to be your grandpa’s prized possession or your mom’s from when she took journalism in college. Or perhaps you’re dusting off one from your childhood – even better.
For the vast majority, the phone is glued to us like an appendage, so we’ll always have the recording on hand. For others, having a device that only houses the talk without interruptions or distractions is the way to go. There’s pros and cons to both. Use what works best for you. Just get it out of your mouth, so it’s ready to go into your ear. Find a quiet place and record your talk. Do your best to free flow it. Now is not the time to be reading word for word. Glancing? Sure. Reading? No.
Now you’re ready to roll. Play the talk on repeat. In your car, making dinner, on a walk, at the gym, folding laundry, and before you go to bed. The pressure decreases as we incorporate the talk into our everyday activity versus setting aside dedicated time (that many of us will not do) to memorizing it. Through this, we take in what we want to say and leave out what doesn’t work anymore. These snippets of time allow us to process the talk from a clear and slightly objective point of view. We are slowly training our brain to authentically remember the message we want to leave for our audience. Again, it’s always about the audience.
This practice has worked for me on a regular basis. You familiarize yourself with the underlining message and main points you want to bring home. It’s like a sieve. You take what works and leave what doesn’t. Then once it’s go-time, you can have faith that what you say will be tight and well thought out, while looking natural and confident as can be.