Regardless of your level of speaking expertise, there is always some room to learn and improve.
Watching other people’s presentations is one way to self-evaluate, compare, and learn. Great speakers are literally at your fingertips. Type and search for names you know, or browse TED talks to seek inspiration.
When watching the presentation, consider these questions;
- How does this speaker interact with his/her audience? How does the audience respond?
- What resonates with you about the speaker’s appearance, style, and tone?
- What would you do the same? What might you do differently?
- How did he or she use visual aids, if at all?
- If controversial topics or statements were included, how were they handled?
- How were the speaker’s word choices, pace, and tone?
- Did pauses add dramatic effect?
- How, if at all, did the speaker use storytelling to make a point?
- What are people saying in the online chat for the presentation?
- Did the speaker have a powerful, memorable ending?
- If you saw a panel presentation, did he or she interact with respect and diplomacy with others?
- Did the speaker stay within the prescribed timeframe?
- If you were an audience member, would you want to see this presenter again?
While constant comparison may not be necessary (and in some cases is advised against, allowing you to develop your own style), the practice of observation and evaluation is especially helpful for novice speakers.