Presenting Without Notes – Part 2

Use some props or visual items that you have prepared

Props can be used to remind you of the points that you are going to talk about. As you plan your speech, choose what props will remind you of what you are going to talk about. Each prop will trigger your memory and you will be able to relate the importance and the meaning of the item you are holding up. And once again the story around the prop relates directly to your point and your core message.

You don’t have to physically hold the prop up for the audience to see, but just have them laid out in front of you in sequence. Another way is to lay out 3 books, with each book title serving to trigger your memory on the content of that point you will talk about.

When I speak about the importance of getting feedback every time you speak, as you try to improve your public speaking, I talk about 3 ways to gain good feedback. Each of these ways can be demonstrated by a prop. For example

  1. Watch yourself in a mirror and see what your gestures and facial expressions look like. Prop – I hold up a small mirror
  2. Video record your presentation or your practise session and view that to look for opportunities to improve. You can view the video to see what you do well and what you could change. Prop – hold up a small video camera
  3. Have a friend or colleague in the audience give you verbal feedback at the end of your presentation. You need to give them permission and tell them specifically what you want them to look for and the feedback should be immediate. Prop – a small figurine or photo of a colleague

So what props or visual cues can you use to help you present without notes?

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