Bounceback – 5 Suggestions for Doing Better Next Time

images-8We’ve all been there. Whether it was leadership training, a sermon or teaching session, you leave the platform knowing you “struck out.” At some point most of your audience were hoping you would stop circling and just land the plane, as it were. You feel defeated, depressed and like you let everyone down. The question is, how do you bounce back?

We’ve all been there. Whether it was leadership training, a sermon or teaching session, you leave the platform knowing you “struck out.” At some point most of your audience were hoping you would stop circling and just land the plane, as it were. You feel defeated, depressed and like you let everyone down. The question is, how do you bounce back?

Here are 5 suggestions for doing better next time…

1) Own it. “Excuses, excuses.” I’m full of them! “I didn’t have enough prep time this week.” “There wasn’t a good vibe in the room.” “The audience just didn’t get it.” The hard truth is that 99.9% of the time I was the one responsible for the message falling flat. Bouncing back begins with simply owning the fact that we didn’t prepare well… didn’t study our content, didn’t practice our delivery, didn’t consider our audience, didn’t pray sufficiently, weren’t disciplined enough to be rested up and ready. Don’t dodge it. Own it and you are well on your way to bouncing back.

2) Review it. Yes, it’s painful. However, listening or watching your own message will help you hear and see yourself better. This includes that illustration that didn’t connect, the point that wasn’t relevant, that phrase that didn’t “pay” or that question you failed to ask, let alone answer. Take the time to put yourself in your audience’ shoes and review your message. Take some notes along the way and ask, “What does it sound like to the audience?”

3) Get a “second opinion” (and third…). More times than not someone else can hear and see what we cannot. From your spouse, a member of your lead team, to someone right in the heart of your target group, have others listen and ask them to specifically critique how relevant your content was and how well you delivered it. The more specific and “brutally honest” the better. If they can’t tell you what the point was, it is doubtful your greater audience could.

4) Get over it. It probably wasn’t as bad as you think. How many times have all of us thought we “bombed” and then someone comes up and says, “Thank you. That’s just what I needed to hear!” Keep it in perspective. Besides, your best message probably wasn’t as awesome as you thought, either.

5) Rehearse it. Now that you have some perspective and are clear on specific ways to improve, practice it. Remember, “Practice doesn’t make perfect.” Don’t just ingrain poor habits. Rather, practice better communication skills and then communicate your next message with a grounded sense of confidence in what you are saying and how you are saying it.

One more thought… study more. Often we over-compensate for a lack of content with points that drift or stories without one, an increase of pace or, worse, in volume. Remember, nothing replaces quality and quantity time spent in the Word of God and in prayer. Last-minute “Saturday night specials” will not invite a moving of the Holy Spirit for your sermon, teaching or training. There are no shortcuts. Do the work.

None of us can hit a “home run” every time. However, put these 5 practices in play and you can and will do better next time!

What are some of the ways you purpose to improve your communication skills? Leave a suggestion in the Reply section below!

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