Ask for Feedback to Grow Your Video Speaking Skills.

Most strong public speakers, and especially those who come through the Toastmasters International program, understand the value of feedback or evaluation as it is also known. It is critical to help a speaker learn what they are doing well, but more importantly, what areas could use improvement.

In these current times, many people have been thrust into the world of video/teleconferencing. Now usually, when we start building a new skill set, we can ease into it and learn organically, but with our new normal, it’s often not the case. So how do you quickly improve your speaking skills? Ask for feedback.

Before a meeting or presentation, contact a trusted colleague who will also be attending and ask them to please look out for 2 or 3 key areas where you feel you may be weak. EG: ask them to listen to your pacing (how fast or slow you speak), or for any verbal tics (saying “you know” or “um.”) Let them know you will follow up with them afterward. Also, make sure they know you want honest feedback and not merely kind remarks. 

Then, later, when they give their feedback, make sure to listen and not immediately explain or justify why you did something. Guide them to tell you what you could have done better rather than what you did wrong—there is a big difference. And finally, ask them to name one thing you did really well. This will allow you to finish the conversation on a positive note!