Tips and Analysis
Tue 05 Feb 2013

Scared to learn your presentation? Subscribe Email Print

Written by Richard Matthews. Categories: Presentation tips Tags: quicktips, improvisation, mind mapping

When did you last see a business presentation where the presenter spoke without notes or auto cue ? Probably not for a long time. If at all. Speaking without a script is often shunned: it's just one step too far, too much to deal with on the day. Better to leave it to professional speakers used to the glare of an audience and don't have to worry about nerves.

That's the easy way out. Speaking without notes is a highly desirable way to present, and perfectly achievable to even the first time public speaker.

Here's an easy first step. I've just been in a play at London's Old Vic. On the first rehearsal day, we read the play and discussed it. On the second, we were given ten minutes to improvise a physical gesture and title for each scene. Quite a challenge. But it proved a brilliant way of getting a strong mental picture of the structure of the play, effectively a mind map,which really facilitated learning the text.

It's perfectly translatable to the business world. Have a solid and clear structure. Create some simple titles for each section, and if it works for you, have a visual image for each one. If you worry you will forget your train of thought if speaking without notes, this will help you. But over time, it will help you talk freely around your "structure" titles and release you from having to learn a script.

It's a useful first step on the road to impactful public speaking