Listen to Yourself
When you are trying to improve your public speaking skills, you are often taught to stand in front of the mirror and talk to yourself. Some trainers even go to the extent of recording your presentation and replaying it back to you so you can see where you need to improve. Obviously, when you know you are being recorded, you try to look perfect, act perfect and talk perfect. Does such recording really help? All it can tell you is, how good you are at imitating perfection. But it can never tell how good you really are.
I experienced something similar recently, that helped me discover a little more about myself. We were out for a long drive, my husband and I deep in conversation and our daughter playing with my smart phone in the back seat. The conversations drifted to life, love and everything else in between. Oblivious to all the conversations, my daughter started video recording the road outside and in the process ended up recording our conversation. And oblivious to the fact that we were being recorded, we continued our conversations.
I chanced upon the recording in my phone, and was curious to see the road from the eyes of my camera. While I saw the road, I heard the conversations in the background. Hearing the conversations retrospectively, I got a much deeper glimpse of myself. Honestly, I wasn’t really happy, at what I heard. I heard my own thought process, expression, attitude, approach on life in a short span of 10 minutes. For a minute, I thought “Wow, is this how I really talk??”. It was like being suddenly forced to look into a mirror and see yourself naked without any clothes to cover the bulges or any lights/shadows to hide the ugly spots.
Yes, I discovered what I needed to improve. But more importantly, I developed an immense sense of appreciation for people around me, who have patiently heard me blaberring for eternity. I am amazed at how you could have endured this eternity with me. My heart goes out to all of you and of course my dear husband, who has been there all along seeing me as I saw myself today and still telling me how beautiful I am. Love you!