Speaker life education: A new way to watch your keynote without having to listen to yourself

Estimated read time: 3 minutes


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As much as I actually like to talk on stage, doing webinars and going on podcasts I actually don’t like listening to my own voice at all.

That’s probably not a surprise to many of you as many people don’t like listening to their own voice. Of course, when part of my professional career includes speaking publicly I do at some point have to listen to myself to learn and to improve.

And I’ve watched some of my talks before and sometimes it’s just too hard to get past that I don’t like listening to myself so I tune in and suck it up. Other times I cheat. One time I asked my wife to watch a TV interview and she gave me feedback after watching it: “you say ‘right’ a lot.”

So I’ve worked on cutting that down – even when I’m right. ?‍♂️?

Then I stumbled across another way to review what I said:

I preach that all videos posted on websites should have a transcript posted with them. That can help with search engine optimization and also makes for better user experience for the people that can’t actually watch a video but they could read the transcript.

So I tried to practice what I preach and had a partner agency transcribe my hour-long talk in Berlin 2017.

I haven’t posted the transcript yet but I read most of it. And it was interesting to see:

  • How I would get lost on a tangent
  • Some of the filler words that I use
  • Some of my jokes are not nearly as funny in writing as I think they are in my head
  • Other areas of improvement

While it cost me a little bit of money to actually get the transcript done ✅ it also was a good learning experience and I’m still planning on publishing the transcript at some point. Editing and formatting of almost 8,000 words is taking more time than I had anticipated.

“Posting a transcript” sounds so simple. ?

Anyway, reading the transcript was actually quite the educational experience and might improve future workshops and keynotes. Who knows but I know this: that the way to get better at speaking is to actually speak and then learn from every experience.

The next audience benefits from the last performance. Always.

I would’ve never thought that reading a keynote would help me do better keynotes in the future. The typical wisdom would go that I have to watch it. Or I would read the feedback from the audience.

Feedback from the audience is always interesting anyways because most people typically don’t leave any feedback so only the people that really liked it or really hated it often will leave feedback. So take that with a grain of salt and if you positively impacted and drove to action 20% of 800 audience members that’s 160 people. Not a bad effort.

You can always book me to speak at your event here.To get help with a transcript, fill out the form below. Your message will get forwarded automagically to a partner agency that offers that service: