By Featured Speaker Lily Iatridis
We all want to improve public speaking skills, don’t we? Toastmasters is fantastic for having a group of peers support one another as everyone works on their skills. But sometimes, there isn’t a toastmaster’s club chapter near you, or the timing of meetings doesn’t suit your work or personal schedule.
So what do you do? Videotape yourself! And then create a simple standardized scoring tool to assess yourself consistently. I’d also suggest getting a trusted friend or family member assess your video with the same scoring tool.
Below are directions for creating your own scoring tool that I regularly distribute to clients that helps them improve public speaking skills when they’re practicing largely on their own. When doing this, it’s important to remain as objective and consistent in your self-scoring as possible.
This is the kind of tool teachers create when faced with 150 projects or term papers to grade in a day or two. It sure beats throwing the stack of papers down the stairs and giving an A to whichever ones make it to the bottom!
The difference between this scoring tool and others commonly used for public speaking is that the values of the different levels are clarified. Usually, scoring tools ask you to rate yourself as “excellent,” “satisfactory,” or “unsatisfactory.” This leaves the definitions of those terms to be decided by any listener’s own subjective opinions.
Here you go:
Scoring Tool Template
Create a chart with two axes. On the vertical axis list your public speaking goals. On the horizontal axis, number and clearly define the levels of accomplishment you’d like to reach.
First, make a list of your specific goals as a public speaker. This list will be points on your vertical axis. Examples could include using more body language, staying within your time limit, having three clear main points, consistent voice projection, and so on. As you use your scoring tool, edit your goal list to the 5 most important goals, and leave the others for later.
Examples of goals:
- I used body language throughout the presentation to be more expressive. I didn’t stand stiffly or look robotic at all.
- I stayed within the given time limit for my presentation.
- My presentation has three clear points that my audience can easily understand.
- I projected my voice throughout the presentation; I was easily heard.
Levels of Accomplishment:
Here, define several levels of accomplishment for your horizontal axis, with a numerical score attached to each. Somewhere on your scoring tool, write a clear definition of what level or performance each number represents. Create a chart with two axes: on the vertical axis list goals, and on horizontal axis define and rate several levels of accomplishment, for example, rated from 1-4.
- Score of 1- I only achieved 25% of my goal.
- Score of 2- I’m hitting the 50% mark of my goal.
- Score of 3- I’m doing well at 75% of my goal!
- Score of 4- I’m hitting it out of the ball park at 100%!
Lily Iatridis of Fearless Delivery, has a proven track record and knows the key elements in effective and engaging presentation. Her expertise is in supporting professionals to get their message expressed clearly to deliver the biggest results in their live and online presentations. Secrets and strategies such as “how-to” shortcuts, personalized instruction and even packaging the presentation are just some of the skill sets that Lily brings to her audience to create a fearless and effective delivery.
If you’ve ever been nervous in front of an audience, please download Lily’s free ebook, “5 Steps to Neutralize Difficult Audience Members- Without A Power Struggle!” In this ebook, Lily shares simple strategies that will put your mind at ease, arm you with useful strategies, and entertain you with some stories of her own bumps along the path to public speaking success.