To continue on our public speaking tips series, we have another helpful advise to you. So far, we invited you to apply various tools such as defining your structure, putting the punchline first and remembering your audience as some of the most useful public speaking tips.
Memorize what to say, not how to say it: How many times have you practiced exactly how to say something in your head then frozen up or completely forgotten in the moment? In complex speeches, you might have to remember 5-10 citations, 4-5 examples with names and places as well as supporting statistics. That’s a lot to research and remember in 30 minutes or less. The trick here is to focus on memorizing key stories and statistics, rather than practicing the delivery. If you spend your time on how to say something perfectly, you’ll stumble through those phrasings and you’ll forget all the details that can make them come alive. Or worse, you’ll slavishly read from a PowerPoint or document rather than hitting the high points fluidly with your audience. If you know your topic, the words will come.
So, in order for you to score on memorizing what to say, not how to say it, make sure you are confident with your topic and know what you are talking about. Most people have a high anxiety and low confidence before a presentation because they are scared of being asked a question to which they might not have an answer. In case you really get into such a situation, stay calm and professional. None of us is a walking encyclopedia and rather than making something up on the go that might not be true, you can say “Thank you for your questions, it is an excellent one. I would be delighted to look into that more in depth and revert to you with an detailed answer.” That even encourages you to connect with the audience and sets a great base for further communication.