Earlier this week we finished coaching our 4th year of speakers for Nationwide Children’s Hospital DISCOVERYx. This is a TED-like program for their whole campus to hear a cross-sharing of ideas, build community and get a little learning-inspired.
This blog post is a quick dedication to the one step in the talk preparation process that is the most important outside the day itself: the final rehearsal.
It’s where most of your anxieties go away because you don’t have to guess where to stand or where people will sit;
It’s where you get to hear how loud or soft you will be with the sound system;
It’s where you learn that you kick your foot (really, you do);
It’s where you can see your slides and hold the clicker (or decide to let someone else operate it for you);
It’s where the camera operators know where to follow you – if you pace (you may not when our rehearsals are done);
It’s where the host or emcee hears your talk to know exactly how to introduce you- not too much, not too little;
It’s where you know the final timing of your talk and can still make an adjustment;
It’s where you know where to park, where the bathroom is and the fastest route to more coffee;
It’s where you can be done.
Because the next day you should have fun with your talk, have a conversation with the audience, work the crowd and inspire the dialogue you desire. You are no longer trying to be right. You are right. And you get to enjoy and celebrate your peers (if you are presenting with them) and their ideas, accomplishments and inspiration. In other words, it stops being about you and is about them.
Indeed, a rehearsal is the place to remember that most important point. When the talk transforms from the idea in your head to the idea you want to be in others’ heads. And with that, you’ve successfully done your job.
So don’t miss that rehearsal. Ever. Promise?
Photo: Articulation Executive Communication Coach Acacia Duncan gives feedback to a speaker at Nationwide Children’s Hospital rehearsal day for DISCOVERYx.
Ruth Milligan is the Founder, Managing Director and an Executive Coach and Trainer with Articulation. She is perhaps best known as one of the original curators for any TEDx event (the license program for TED). Since 2009, Ruth has selected and coached over 200 speakers who have taken the TEDxColumbus stage. She is often tapped as an expert in the TED-style of speaking and has authored a class on how to be a TEDx speaker coach. Connect with Ruth.