Seek and ye shall find

While playing tennis the other day, I noticed that a player at the next court had set up a video camera to film himself playing. Obviously, it was for self-improvement purposes and I think it was a smart move. One may have played a sport for years and never noticed that there is something about his form or movement that can be adjusted for much greater effectiveness, simply because one can never see himself play. With video recording equipment so handy and affordable, recording and analysing one’s own game is a good way to seek improvement.

The same can be said about oral presentation. It is amazing how the speeches of so many speakers, including (or should I say especially) the clowns who make out as financial analysts and comment on the market on a daily basis, are infested with mannerisms which they believe give them a more professional feel but are actually extremely irritating. I’ve long noticed that if you take away expressions like “in terms of”, “in fact” or “in other words” from such speeches, the outcome will be much more fluent and tolerable. If only the speakers can record and review their performance and work on how it can be improved.

The big question is, do they really care? In our culture where the expectation on a speaker is typically rather low, I am afraid the answer is quite negative.

I am sure that the guy who took the trouble to record his own game will be a better player in the time to come. The one who works hard to seek improvement shall be duly rewarded.

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