Want an idea of what you really look like as a speaker? Hit the “mute” button

I just finished a presentation project (creation and delivery prep) with one of my very favorite clients. This is a super smart guy (not to be confused with a super smartypants guy; yuck.) with whom I’ve worked on developing some pretty high stakes presentations. This time, as luck would have it, his presentation was posted on youtube within 24 hours after he gave it. This gave us the opportunity to evaluate his delivery.

The first thing I noticed, like immediately, was that he wasn’t smiling. At all. Despite the fact that I’d SPECIFICALLY instructed him to smile when we’d prepped for the speech the day before. Now keep in mind this is a guy with a great sense of humor who I can hear smiling ON THE PHONE. ay yi yi.

From a content perspective, he hit it pretty much out of the park. He had an incredibly tight time frame, (7 minutes) and an important message, and he pulled it off beautifully. Not only did he make his planned points, he tied them in with what had been said before he spoke. Genius. Content wise, me happy. Delivery wise, not so much.

To make my point LOUD AND CLEAR (I’m a pretty petite person, but I make up for it by hitting – well more like pounding – people over the head metaphorically speaking.) I advised him to watch the video of himself without the sound. Doing that he would see immediately what was missing in his delivery. BINGO. He not only saw that he wasn’t smiling, he noticed that his posture was less than optimal. (he resembled an ‘S’ rather than an ‘I’).

Try it yourself. Video tape your next presentation and watch it once or twice with the sound muted. I guarantee it’ll give you a whole different perspective on your presentation. And please, I beg you, don’t forget to SMILE. And stand up straight too, will ya’ please?

Share this post