CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – FEBRUARY 17, 2021
Below are some suggestions to consider if you decide to use notes:
Use note cards. Include quotes, statistics and lists you may need, NOT paragraphs of text. VERY IMPORTANT: Number your note cards! (Just in case you drop them).
Don’t put too much information on each note card or you will find yourself reading too much. Put only a few words or key phrases.
Leave your notes on the lectern or table and move away occasionally. Don’t be afraid to move away from your notes and get out of your comfort zone. Too many speakers use the lectern to hide behind and this restricts the effective use of your entire body.
Practice using your note cards. If you find yourself reading your note cards too much, this is a sure clue you need to reduce the amount of written text on each card. Remember, all you need are short phrases or key words, enough to “jog” your memory.
Use pictures or picture maps to guide yourself. Pictures help you to “visualize” the key points of your speech. Use mental pictures as well to tell the story in your head. This will take some creativity, but will be worth the effort.
4. Using Visual Aids As Notes – Simple visual aids can effectively serve as headings and subheadings. Speak to the heading. Say what you want to say and move on. If you forget something, that’s okay; the audience will never know unless you tell them.
Practice creating just a few meaningful headings to use and practice using only these headings as your “cues”. This will take practice, but practicing using only these few words will force you to better internalize your speech.
This has four important advantages:
You don’t have to worry about what your are going to say next. Your visual aids provide you with your “cues” of your next major idea or thought. All you need to do between ideas is to use an effective transitional statement. (See my tips on using transitions).
Having only a few key words on your visual aid allows you to move around the room without the need or feeling you need to go back to your notes. In fact, most inexperienced speakers don’t move around at all. Movement also helps you to relax and adds energy to your presentations. Movement also allows the listeners to follow you and pay closer attention to you and your message. Plan your movements during your rehearsals. Decide where in your presentation it makes sense to move. If you find yourself starting to sway from side to side, take one or two steps and stop again, standing evenly on both feet. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet. This will help keep you from swaying.
You can have good eye contact with your audience. You can look at your audience all the time while speaking – except for that brief moment you look at your visual aid. But that’s okay since the audience will probably follow you and also look at your visual aid. This will help the audience to “see” your message as well as “hear” your message. The more you rehearse and the more you become familiar with your visual aids, the easier it becomes.
Your audience will feel comfortable that you are on your planned track. Well designed visuals aid show the audience that you DO have a plan and have properly prepared and are following your plan.
Keep in mind, your visual aids do not have to be only word charts. They can contain diagrams, pictures or even graphs.
When you use visual aids, always introduce the visual aid BEFORE you show it using one of your transition statements. You can even use the “looking back / looking forward” transition: “Now that we have seen the …let’s now look at ….”
Regardless of which method you choose to use to remember your material, nothing will help you more that proper planning and preparation. Remember to prepare, prepare, prepare!
Make It A Champion Day!