Guy Kawasaki once remarked that to sound casual and off-the-cuff when presenting takes at least 99 hours of practice.
How long was your last rehearsal before a presentation?
Often overlooked, it is important to rehearse before you present your ideas to other people. This is where you check timing, flow, and connections (often called segues).
The good news is that you can get powerful results in a lot less time by simply recording yourself as you rehearse.
Recording yourself forces you to work through the process instead of a natural tendency to skim what is on the page, filling in the blanks in our minds. In theory, flipping through our slides gets us ready, but reality suggests otherwise.
Turning on your microphone or camera to record yourself changes the game. It feels real as you explain key points, deliver examples, and transition between points. When you pay attention, you learn from mistakes and pick up ways to improve the entire experience.
While we expect mistakes in rehearsals, sometimes the neurons in our brains fire perfectly and we say something remarkable. It feels good as you hear the words coming out of your mouth. You nailed it… and as quickly as the idea leapt from your brain into the world, it’s gone.
Unless you recorded it.
These days, you can quickly and easily record yourself using built-in software, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or the like. I even use Otter.ai for transcriptions, allowing me to watch, listen, and read how I did.
Recording yourself makes rehearsing better.
It works great if you allow yourself space to incubate and percolate between rehearsals. Along the way, you not only get better, but you capture your brilliance, too.
Maybe even some bloopers or previews to share with people to draw them in.
While it won’t hurt to practice 99 hours, you can get a lot better just by recording yourself with whatever time you have available to rehearse.