The game tape doesn’t lie – How to develop yourself – for FREE!

Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked and competed along side many high performance athletes and coaches. The transfer of skills developed in a sporting context continue to serve me well as a professional and today I want to touch on one we can all use to develop our performance – self reflection.  By the end of this post I’m confident you too will find an outlet to work on your own self reflection routine.

It’s no secret that professional sporting organisations use video analysis to scout opposition, review individual/team trainings and of course learn from game footage.

Many professional athletes say ‘film doesn’t lie’ as their team mate gets pulled across the coals for not executing the game plan. I’ve been that guy, it’s not fun at all!  I can however attest to walking out of the team meeting in a better position to influence team success.

Why is this daily ritual not apparent in the professional world? Are people too precious? Would you welcome this critical review?

Last week my business partner and I presented a company pitch to a Senior Vice President of a large financial company.  We were well prepared, rehearsed and confident in our delivery.  To add another element to this pitch, upon approval, I recorded a voice memo of the presentation on my iPhone.

So, why add the extra pressure of recording a voice memo of this presentation?

Quite simply it afforded the opportunity to analyse how our message was delivered.  As professionals we communicate daily in face to face or remote situations, yet rarely do we stop to think ‘how did that come across?’   Often we are too quick to judge the outcome of a conversation/meeting based on our bias.  Consider, is your default to first critique your own performance and communication or that of your audience or peers?  Do you ask for feedback after presenting to your team, manager or client?

Despite the initial awkwardness of listening to my own voice, the exercise proved highly valuable and an incredibly powerful piece of free professional development.  A couple of important learning outcomes were that we must continue to refine our elocution and be comfortable with some silence, or the ‘power of the pause.’  The peer to peer feedback process was also extremely valuable and has developed much clarity for our future approach.

Where to from here for you? 

A very simple thing to do is grab your smart phone and record a voice memo your next team meeting or presentation (get approval first). You will quickly pick up on your strengths and weaknesses which will move nicely into developing a couple of strategies for improvement.  I’d suggest engaging with a peer mentor who can critically analyse your approach also.

Here are some questions to support your self-reflection process:

  • Are you clear and concise?
  • Are you relaxed?
  • Do you sound engaging?
  • Does your audience ask questions?
  • Do you um and ah too much?
  • Is your message on point?
  • Could your message be perceived differently to what you intended?

Where to from here for me? 

Following our presentation pitch, Leaders of Evolution has been invited back to deliver to the wider executive team with the potential to win this progressive client. I plan on filming future presentations in an effort to continue my development in this area.

Thank you for reading my post, please share and comment below to continue the conversation.

For free individual and team resources, please visit www.leadersofevolution.com and join our quarterly e-newsletter mailing list.

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Jon Shepherd

Away from his ongoing quest of learning to surf, Jon's busy overseeing marketing, sales and business development at Leaders of Evolution. His love for all sports, especially NBA & NCAA basketball ensures he is never far off a live ESPN score up-date.