When I went blind, I HAD to give up my notes. This was a shock to my public speaking system which had previously relied on reading. Now I wouldn’t do anything but speak without notes. To find out how I do this, read this free article.
Nothing bores me more quickly than someone who is interacting with their paper rather than interacting with their people. Following are the four things I recommend you do before any public speaking engagement to ensure your heart and head are in sync. Don’t worry; going blind isn’t one of them. Remember, speaking without notes is like any new skill; it takes practise. The more you practice, the more proficient you will become.
1. Create your public speaking vision: Imagine how your public speaking engagement is going to go. Picture in your mind the standing ovation or the rapturous applause you are going to receive. Think of how it will feel to have given the speech of a lifetime in just a few hours time. Shift your focus from “I’d rather be at home watching T.V.” to “just imagine how good I will feel when I have done this”.
2. Write down your key points on flash cards: Like the kids do at school, write down the things you want to learn off by heart onto some small blank cards. I write mine in braille but I expect you’ll prefer print. Put them in a place you normally spend your quiet time in and learn them off by heart. This will not only help you at public speaking time but you can pull them out of your mind at any other speaking time too.
3. Structure your speech in your mind: Speeches must have a structure; otherwise it would be called public rambling. Line up your key points in their right order and take the first letter from the first word of each point. You’ll end up with a collection of letters. If you’re really lucky they’ll make some sort of strange word. If you’re really unlucky, they’ll just be a peculiar set of letters in a peculiar order. However, it’s still much easier to remember a sequence of letters like J, K, A, P and W than a whole speech.
4. Finally, I throw away my pretend reading glasses and start connecting with the people. Take up the challenge and see how much better you will be received with your head up as opposed to having your head down in your notes. You’ll start to sound like you walk the walk rather than talking the talk. I can guarantee you’ll look more confident, come across as more self assured and feel like a public speaker with a huge heart and a huge pulse!