Presenting Without Notes – Part 1

Everyone recognizes the limitations and loss off effectiveness when you simply stand up and read your speech or read from your workshop handouts. But many people are afraid that if they don’t use their script or their workbook, they will forget what they wanted to say or lose track of what they wanted to say. So how can you learn to present a 1 hour seminar or a 1 day workshop without needing to constantly rely on your notes. In this series of blogs, I am going to give 4 tips or 4 strategies that will help you become less reliant on your notes and your script.

1. Use personal stories

Develop 3 or 4 key points that are the backbone of your presentation. Around each of your key points tell personal stories, examples, anecdotes or case studies that you are very familiar with and have been directly involved with. This then means that you do not have to learn a script, or read from notes, as you are telling a story, your story, that you know well and can recount without notes. And if the order of the story, the exact details change each time you tell it, that does not matter as the crux of the story, the essence remains the same and illustrates the point that you are trying to emphasise.

Build your bank of stories around each point that you speak on. And as you build you these you have more to call upon when you are speaking. You will have both sides of the story with a positive example and a negative example. If your mind goes blank and you forget that particular story which you usually tell to illustrate that point, then you calmly call upon the other example that you have in your story bank. As you build your story bank, you will have different stories that then become more appropriate for different audiences. The stories that I use when speaking to health professionals are different to the stories that I use when speaking to financial advisors.

Your stories need to be short, they need to have a point and the point needs to link to your core message. Build your bank of stories.

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