An underrated way to improve your craft


As I write this, it’s March and Spring’s afoot.

Time for our next Speaker Challenge.

This month it would be brilliant if you could do the following:

  1. Take 3 mins and write down your biggest unanswered questions about public speaking. What are the elements that you really want to get better at?  Whether it’s… ‘How to create a compelling beginning?’ or ‘How to use stories effectively in my talks?’
  2. Pick a talk to watch through this filter.
    If you are looking for a place to start has a wide range of talks that are all 18 mins or less.
  3. Note down any ways in which the speaker engages with the element you are examining. Is it effective? Why?
    Or what isn’t working about it? What might you do differently?

I see it as similar to the need for writers to both read and write if they want to improve.

As a speaker, yes you want to get lots of practice speaking. But there’s also a lot you can learn about the craft from studying others.

And in case you’re wondering…I still watch talks on a regular basis, outside of my client work. I share the strengths of some of them here. (Right now, I am committed to watching more talks that aren’t in English, for multiple reasons. So this list also includes one in Spanish, and one in French; I watched with subtitles. I’ll be adding more throughout the year.)

You could also consider picking a talk to watch and discuss with others, book club style. It can be really fun comparing notes; we all notice such different things.