Fear Of Public Speaking – Myth 2

President Reagan's note cards for speeches he made

President Reagan's Note Cards - Courtesy of abcnews.go.com

Another speaking myth I have run into often is that you should not use notes while giving a speech or presentation.  I just heard this one again the other day in a corporate office from a Senior Director.

Hmmmm … balderdash, I say.  You get to use notes.  It is far too difficult to put this burden of having a perfect memory on you, when you are standing in front of a group of people.

And you’re in good company too.  Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator, used notes when he gave speeches.  Barack Obama, another great speaker, uses a teleprompter.  So if these masters of speech-making use notes and props, by all means, you get to do it too.

I’ll show you a method of writing your notes that will virtually immunize you against brain freeze.  I devised it years ago and have used it ever since.  And brain freeze is what you’re really worried about, isn’t it.  You’re afraid you will get up in front of an audience and then totally blank out.

So put this worry aside as well because we are going to take care of it for you in our next post.  I’ll show you EXACTLY how to write your notes so that you won’t forget what you want to say, and you will probably sound like you are speaking naturally.  And you can use this technique with hand-written notes or PowerPoint.

So throw away the speech sans notes myth.  It doesn’t apply.

And have a nice day – John

P.S. It is true that the ancient Roman Senators would give speeches without notes.  They would mentally organize their thoughts in a way that a home was organized, i.e. they would think of the entrance to the home, and keep their introduction remarks mentally in this room, then they would store their main points in various other mental rooms of the house, etc.

But we are not trying to compete with Roman Senators of old.  We are just trying to make a presentable speech.  So take this little historical fact cum grano salis (with a grain of salt).

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