You’d think memorizing your speech would be the thing to do.
I mean, you don’t want to stand up in front of twenty-three or two-hundred or ten-thousand people reading your presentation notes. We all know that’s not the right idea.
So memorizing is the only other option. Right?
And what to do instead.
A couple of the quotes:
“If you try to memorize your presentation word for word, you will come across as stilted.”
“And you’re more likely to get tripped up as you grasp for the precise phrasing you’ve scripted.”
“Internalize, don’t memorize.”
Lisa B. Marshall of Quick and Dirty Tips agrees.
In her piece Read, Memorize, or Use Notes?, Marshall reviews the three main options for public speaking delivery: reading (not really an option, unless word for word is a must), memorizing (nope, still not something to consider), or using notes (ding, ding, ding).
Wait, wait, wait . . . how can you use notes without just reading them?
Practice. Practice. Practice.
One more time. All together: practice.
As you practice running through your speech, you’ll internalize the material and be able to present everything in a conversational tone. Having all your points in your head will help you keep your eyes off your notes or slides and on your audience, which is critical for connection.
And if you have to refer to your notes to get back on track, do it. Check your slide or your 3X5 card. Then get right back into conversing and sharing, conversing and sharing.
You’ll rock your public speaking gig because you’ve put in the work and practiced.
Want more awesomeness like this? Try our article Keep Your Audience Awake with this Unforgettable Presentation Secret. You can also subscribe to Drop the Mic, our communication newsletter.
Glen Thaxton teaches business communication at Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business. He is a versatile professional with over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, strategic promotional development, support, and training. Aside from exceeding multi-million dollar sales quotas, Glen is also an expert on understanding customers and has spoken to numerous associations and groups nationwide. He also enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and his five wonderful children.