The world loves emojis, and we can’t seem to get enough of them. What started in Japan in the 1990s, got picked up by Apple and since then, Emojis went viral. New emojis get so much press, and emoji becomes the first universal language. You can speak emojis in Spanish, and it’s the same with speaking emojis in the Philippines, how useful! These little faces are so trendy that famous people race to have their faces immortalised as emojis.
So if you have an impromptu or table topic session coming up, ask the participants to tell a story about these emoji combinations below.
Tell a story about…
The list of emojis below has been handcrafted by yours truly. Every single line should conjure up some ideas!
Can you think a story for all ten of them? Have fun!
(Image via pexels.com)
Our memory is selective. I was recently asked if there was a speaker I aspired to for delivery style, and I answered with Andrew Solomon—I’d watched his TED talk countless times, although I hadn’t done so for a while when I got the question. I told him that Andrew’s delivery was fantastic, impactful, and memorable. I couldn’t remember what technique he used, but I assured my friend that it was worth watching the TED talk.
But when I came home and watched the same talk for the umpteenth time, I was surprised to see that his delivery was not particularly exceptional. In fact, he tended to raise his chin up a little too much that if you were sitting in the audience in front of him, you might feel left out. The content of his speech was such a pleasure to watch that I hardly paid attention to how he performed on stage.
On other speeches, it was the opposite. Quite often, I don’t know what was it exactly that made me so bored, but I know I would rather watch the next McDonald’s ads on TV rather than listen until the end. I wondered if I could recall the opposite of what actually happened when I watched other people, then what about my own speech? It’s possible that my recollection was affected more by whether I’ve had a bad day rather than my performance.
I’m afraid that if my speeches weren’t what I thought they were, then how can I use my memory to improve my skill? Besides, I know when the stakes are higher, such as in a speaking competition, I tend to be a harsher critic of my own work. Even if I do well, I will more likely to remember all the little blunders I should not have made.
Dale Carnegie wrote in Public Speaking for Success:
Good speakers usually find when they finish that there have been four versions of the speech: the one they delivered, the one they prepared, the one the newspapers say was delivered, and the one on the way home they wish they had delivered.
He is referring to the four distinct memories of speeches. Bad, fading memories and multiple testimonies contradict each other. Because of this, many people don’t get better after they present publicly. How do you know if the butterfly on your stomach was caused by the speech you did and not your hungry belly? Imagine if you can do what I did with Andrew Solomon’s TED talk earlier. Like in a conference where everything is recorded, you don’t have to rely on your memory or other people’s as the only witnesses anymore.
A decade ago, we just got smart phones, and video recording was something you needed specialised equipment for. A decade ago, we didn’t have Youtube, but now we are spoilt for choice when deciding what to watch. Recording and sharing videos are no longer activities limited to professional videographers. Today, the technology is literally in the palm of our hands, and we can certainly make good use of it. If you have a bad memory, then we have a device that will make it irrelevant—just like being short-sighted was not a thing anymore after glasses were made accessible.
In 2010, a group of 16 graduate students at Buffalo State College were divided into two groups and asked to deliver two 10 minute presentations each, one month apart.1 The control group was asked to do self-assessments after every session, while the treatment group did the same but with the help of video recording. The students in the treatment group found it easy to plan what to improve on the second presentation whereas the students in the control group were not so sure about how their presentation went. The researcher noted that not having the video deprived the students of being able to see any errors.
You’re your own worst critic
In the same study, the students were also asked to do peer-assessments on others. The study also found that the self-assessment scores were lower than the peer-assessments scores in general, regardless of whether they were in the control or treatment group. With or without video recordings, the students were their own worst critics.
It is important, therefore, to keep an objective leash on how you think about your own delivery. Having a video would allow you to look at yourself as an impartial observer would. See yourself with fresh eyes. How you thought you moved on stage could be very different to how you actually moved! Rewind as many times as you like to find phrases that are hard to pronounce, dips in energy levels, opportunities for tone variations and much more. Pick one that frustrates you the most, then set a goal to improve it for the next speech.
Once you become used to recording your speech, you will be able to measure your current skill level, set a goal on what to improve next, then assess your progress accordingly. Keep a firm plan and make smaller circles,2 that’s how you will improve.
Every little thing matters
Every single time you rewatch your speech, you’re bound to form a second opinion about it. Why does this matter? It matters because public speaking is a highly personal skill. Michelle Obama’s passionate gestures may not be for you, but Nelson Mandela’s slow pace in speaking may work for you. If it does, steal it like an artist.3
It takes five minutes to record, an hour to analyse and a lifetime to benefit from. A video that can be replayed over and over again is a source of inspiration when you ask that same question ever so often: what can I improve on now?
After a successful campaign to get people to join Get Sandwich for our alpha program, we are opening the platform for the first time on 15 Feb. The sandwich shop will be open for business and we are grateful we have 20 fantastic people who have supported us throughout and have made the platform possible. Thank you 😀
This launch represents a big milestone for Min’an and I. We’ve started working on the idea from August 2016, and after five months of hard work and about 35 customer interviews, this is what we have produced:
Home page of the platform at present, running on test data.
As to what we want Get Sandwich to stand for, we felt that it should help people find their voices, whether that be in face-to-face public speaking sessions or online videos. Everyone has a story to tell, and it’s important to have the skill to be able to tell it best, for each and everyone involved.
Our journey starts here and now.
PS. Get Sandwich registration is currently closed, but if you’d like to join us in the future, email me on martha at getsandwich.net or join our weekly newsletter to get future announcements.
(Image via Elizaveta Pronina ©2016)