The Other You

Closeup of a lecturer speaking to a group of business people

When you speak in public, who do you send out to represent you? It is the other you. Yes, you want to be genuine, exhibiting your personality and insights, yet the performer you send out is dressed for the occasion and delivers a script you have composed. Because we want to appear as persuasive as possible, how can we clearly assess the other, and improve them?

When rehearsing, record yourself on your phone or camera. Do three or four takes so you have a modicum of flow and ease, and then watch yourself. Don’t pay attention to the superficial things like hair, perceived weight gain, or lack of sleep. Focus on the flow of ideas, engagement, and investment in the material. Then direct the other you to use more detail, or add warmth, etc. Detachment allows you to be objective and improve quickly.

Then, when you present, have a friend or colleague record you, but don’t watch this recording right away. After a few days or even a week—when your actual memory of the presentation has faded, objectively assess the other you. Dole out congratulations and positive criticism in equal measure. Make the other you shine.

Note: our Holiday wish is that you fill the darkness with light. May your words and actions make our world a better place. With resolve and dignity, we can improve the world.

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