Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Power of Rehersals

I am attending Citrix Synergy at Atlanta this week. The below tweet by Citrix CEO made me think of something. David Henshall is a seasoned public speaker. I admire him for his ability to bring a certain effortlessness in the way he communicates on the stage. The lucid way he crafts his message certifies his authenticity. He is known to give forward looking speeches. Only time he looks backwards is when he thanks the team for all the efforts and outcomes. This speaks of his empathetic nature.

Having seen him at All Hands, employee meetings and several other forums, I always got the sense that public speaking came so naturally to him, almost as if it's his second nature. So when i heard the word 'Keynote rehersals', it really made me wonder- no matter how seasoned you are at your craft, it is the consistent honing of elements that make up your expertise- which makes an eventual difference to the outcome.

The virtue of practice becomes more so important for a skill as visible as public speaking. Not only there's an audience in the room but there's also an audience connected virtually. It's almost as if people watching you get a license to judge you. And if you are a speaker, you got to see it as an opportunity to positively influence, inspire (note that i did not use the word 'impress') and add value to the audience. Rehersals are a sure-shot way of ensuring that you are doing justice to the role as a speaker.

While on the flight to Atlanta, i completed the book: 'Why I Stopped Wearing My Socks'. The author Alok Kejriwal (Founder, CEO of contests2win.com)
shares his learnings on the subject of rehersals

As a salesperson, have learned to practice practise, practise till I have become near perfect. When it becomes painful, I think myself as a movie star, getting my 'take' right. If you are starting up, I would advise you to practise your pitch on friends and colleagues and make them object, askyou random silly questions and agitate you. When you go out in the real world to sell, these things are going to happen to you. So practise beforehand. Finally, remember that when you sell, you not only sell your service or product, but you also sell yourself. Think of the last time you bought something from a dull, snobbish or ill-tempered salesman. Entrepreneurs have to keep selling themselves to VCs, the press, strategic clients, and customers and it's important that they remember the golden mantra: 'Practice Makes makes a man perfect'.
I personally have a habit of rehearsing the sequence of an important event or a speaking all in my mind just before i sleep or if i find quite time. One place that I have found useful to practise is the lonely car rides where you have to of course focus on the road, but it is always possible to carve out a bit of attention to practice the message.

What are your strategies for rehearsing?

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