Speaking Without Notes

Submitted by Toastmaster Linda RossiLinda Rossi

On Monday, November 2, I attended (along with approximately 15 other Toastmasters – six of whom were 1st Oakville members) a seminar given by Joan Graham of Trafalgar Toastmasters entitled, ‘Speaking Without Notes’.

Joan’s presentation was most educational. Listed below are some of the main points:

-It was determined by all that one of the main reasons we speak with notes is because we are afraid of forgetting our speech.
-To minimize the effect of forgetting our speech or going blank, choose a subject that you are very knowledgeable about with a specific purpose.
-If in fact, f you do lose your train of thought, here is a worthwhile approach: simply state to the audience that you have had a brief memory interruption, then put the onus on them to guide you back into your speech! For example: ‘since I have appeared to gone blank for the moment, let me test your listening skills. Could someone please state the first point of my presentation?’ Joan presents this as every speaker’s ‘seat belt’. Don’t leave home without it!
-Categorize your speech into 3 parts, ensuring that they are addressing the purpose of your speech. Between choosing appropriate categories and learning each one completely, the likelihood of forgetting diminishes ~ and any delay is reduced dramatically.
-Providing your audience with a smooth delivery makes it more enjoyable for THEM.
It’s not all about you!

Joan concluded the session with a group exercise that readily demonstrated the effectiveness of the tips she offered. Feel free to contact me if you need any clarification regarding this summary.

Guaranteed, next time I give a speech, it will be sans notes!!

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