Just on time! I was wondering about what to write to you this week, and my client Rachel sent me a great question.
How do I manage after I’ve spoken when I’m no longer running on adrenaline – when I get home and I’m replaying the event in my mind and how I did. It’s difficult.
Have you run into this too? I had asked Rachel to tell me about how her event went, so she started to evaluate… and maybe veered into picking herself apart. I’ve sure driven myself into the emotional ditch after an event!
Before the event, we study, prepare, write, and practice, but how do we deal with our thoughts post-event? I’ve learned to do two things in a specific order.
Celebrate what God did through you.
For about a day or two, I won’t allow myself to critique my message. I just bask in and celebrate God’s work at the event. I offer the flowers of positive comments to Him as a bouquet, praise Him for the results women shared, and rest in my delivery.
I’ve learned that right after the event I’m too tender and too tired to do the work of critique without getting discouraged.
Critique your message.
Celebrate and don’t negate the work of God, but assessment is important work too. This is easiest to do if you have an audio recording or video of your message. I ask for on every time I speak. Sometimes it’s not available–and that’s ok– but if it is, I ask for a copy. If you don’t have a recording, you can go through your message and think about the event.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you listen or think through:
- Did the audience respond the way I thought they would in each section?
- Was I holding their attention in each section?
- Which sections felt too slow or “clunky”?
- What felt unnatural to me as I presented?
- Do I hear any vocal crutches– um, uh, and others?
- Did I use my voice to its greatest potential with variation in volume, pitch and rate?
- Did I employ pregnant pauses around powerful points in order to let the audience ponder a second?
If you’re watching video, you can also asses your physical presentation. You need to make sure to do that sooner than later even though it’s excruciating!
Usually, if I allow time to celebrate before I critique, I can be more dispassionate about it instead of feeling crushed by my inner critic. Self-evaluation is an extremely important tool to learn and grow as a speaker, but we don’t want to be our own worst enemies, and we certainly don’t want to forget the work God undeniably is doing through us!