Don’t Memorize Your Speech!


Over the weekend I was surfing the web along with millions of other people for no particular reason when I came across this article on public speaking. The article says, very well, what I’ve been saying for years to those I’ve coached inside and outside the classroom. Don’t Memorize Your Speech!

Just last week one of my client’s was in a panic because her manager asked that she speak at the next department meeting about the success she’s having managing a high profile project. Not one to be unprepared, she wrote her entire presentation out word-for-word and was ready to share it with me. I stopped her, saying, ” Rule #1… Don’t memorize your speech, own it!”  With a little bit of time and effort we created an outstanding presentation that she was excited to share with her department.

She was successful for a number of reasons. One reason was she followed  Dale Carnegie’s golden rule for speaking effectively: ‘Engage your audience by speaking from your own experiences. People are easily engaged when you share experiences that your audience can relate to.’ 

In October, I will be conducting the workshop, Step-Up and Speak -Up. In this  workshop we will discuss some of what is mentioned in the article below and more.

Enthusiastically,

Paul “Coach Paul” Bagan

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DON’T MEMORIZE YOUR SPEECH. KNOW IT SO WELL, YOU OWN IT.

One of the coping tactics I’ve seen with beginning speakers at Toastmasters groups is that they try to recite their speech from memory. The challenge here is that when you memorize the speech, you aren’t free to engage the audience. You are stuck in your head reviewing your presentation.

For the majority of speeches you will deliver, the fate of nations won’t hang on the meaning of every word that you say, so you won’t need a teleprompter. Nor will you need to memorize you speech. Your audience will be looking at your authenticity, your ability to engage them, and your passion for your ideas. You can’t do any of that if you are trying to recite your speech from memory.

Instead, structure your speech around your basic ideas. Practice talking about those ideas until you know them so well that someone can wake you up in the middle of the night and you can still have a coherent discussion about them.

Trying to memorize your speech will only increase your level of anxiety and fear. You’ll constantly be worried that you’ll forget something. Know your presentation. Own it. Deliver it. Live it.

Larry Prevost
Social Media Evangelist

P.S. You can read the full public speaking article here

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