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2. What was the hardest training session youve ever had

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Dwayne’s Answer

The hardest training session I've ever had is watching myself on a video recording for a presentation I gave to a live audience. Why? Because this training involved 2 activities that are very difficult by themselves and incredibly difficult when combined together.


First is speaking in front of an audience, especially in front of your peers or colleagues. This alone is very tough for most people. Many sources list the fear of public speaking as one of the top 3 of all personal fears.


Second is watching yourself on video doing that activity. When you watch a video of yourself, you remember your fear and feel the anxiety all over again. Also, watching any mistakes you made feels like a painful slow motion remake of your presentation and you find yourself saying things such as "why did I say that", "I should have said..." and even "what was I doing with my arms??"


And this is exactly why it was the hardest training session I've ever had. But it was also one of the most helpful and impactful training sessions I've ever had. Here's why:


  • When you learn to present to an audience, you gain a large amount of confidence that helps you throughout your life, both professionally and personally.
  • Getting feedback from others is very helpful, but you know yourself the most and watching yourself on video provides a unique evaluation perspective.
  • You feel an amazing sense of accomplishment when you improve yourself after going through this type of training.


So what can you do to improve?

There are many resources available to assist with public speaking. I believe watching Ted Talks of any kind are very helpful. Certainly watch for the presented topic, but also watch paying specific attention to how the speakers talk, move around the stage, tell stories, and present information. They are some of the best. I found a few other resources that are a bit more tailored towards students:


For recording yourself on video, you can simply ask someone to record you using their phone which is very easy. However, I recommend using a simple tripod so that you are not distracted by a video moving around while you are trying to evaluate yourself. In any event, keep it simple.


Let me share a few pointers:

  • Watching yourself on video is liking eating vegetables as a child. It's super good for you, but painful to do. You just need to make yourself get through it.
  • Plan ahead to record yourself at an event (even in a class). Bring a tripod, figure out the best location before the event, and ask someone to help you out.
  • Record yourself practicing your activity in private. This helps you get used to being recorded.
  • Be yourself! The more you try to be someone or something different, the harder it becomes. Embrace the unique and amazing you!
  • Remember to try, try and try again. And again. And again. NeverGiveUp
  • There is a saying that perfection is the enemy of good, and it applies here as well. Unless it is something critical, don't burn yourself out trying to perfect the last 10-20%.


You can do this!

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Ronald’s Answer

The hardest training I ever had to go through is for an EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician/Medic) training as part of my military training.