"Wow, they really know their stuff!"
The most successful speakers really know their stuff. They have their ideas nailed down and are able to project them with impact and a natural enthusiasm for their topic.
That's because when you know the message of your presentation inside out, conveying it successfully becomes a far less intimidating and challenging task. There’s no need to labour over learning your presentation word for word, because you already know what you want to say.
When it comes to presenting, memorising your message is the key to success.
Project your message with success
Writing a script for your presentation is great way to organise its layout and establish your key ideas. Attempting to memorise and repeat ever single word of it, however, is generally not a good idea.
Contrary to what you might believe, learning your script word for word is not the best way to prepare for your presentation.
Why? Firstly, because memorising an entire script is hard. It takes a lot of time that could otherwise be dedicated to perfecting your message, or adapting your presentation to changing circumstances.
Secondly, it removes any possibility of flexibility in your presentation.
Tell them what they want to hear
If your audience is showing a particular interest in a specific area of your presentation, it would make sense to delve into that topic a bit more. Perhaps you’re discussing protecting local wildlife, and you discover half of your audience volunteer for a bird charity. Now’s the time to talk about the birds.
Particularly in a pitch situation, the opportunity to adapt your presentation to ensure your listeners hear exactly what they want to hear is crucial.
However, if you’ve memorised a script, you’ll probably be inclined (if not forced) to stick to it. You can bid farewell to any opportunities to tailor your presentation to your audience on the fly.
One strike and you’re out
Lastly, memorising a script can occasionally drop you in hot water.
Here at Future Present, we make a lot of presentations. We also see a lot of presentations.
Sometimes, we see a presenter go blank, forgetting what to say and bumping into a huge mental block. In many of these instances, this has come as a direct result of that presenter stumbling over their obviously memorised words.
When you learn your script word for word, one slip up or misremembered line can be all it takes to completely throw you off your game. “Wait, no I shouldn’t have said that...”, “Where was I again?”.
Any little breaks in the rigid and inflexible structure of a script can lead to confusion and eventually panic. And that’s why you should avoid trying to memorise it.
Memorise your message, not your speech
If you ask an actor how they remember all their lines, they’ll tell you that they learn about the ins and outs of their character first. The same goes for presentations. Except, instead of learning about the character, you need to learn your presentation's message inside out.
Rather than wasting time trying to memorise your script, invest time in learning the structure, flow and main points of your presentation. That’s what you really need to have nailed down to smash your presentation out of the park.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can transform your presentations.
From expertly designed slides, to professional PowerPoint consultancy, no one does presentations like we do.