Should I Read My Presentation
Should I read my speech word for word since it is important that I should not make any mistakes? No, no, and no!
If you do that, you are actually making the biggest mistake you could possibly make which is that you are going to bore your audience to death because adults do not like other people reading to them especially if they are not professionally trained actors. The second you read, you have destroyed eye contact, you have made your voice monotone, you are showing the audience that you don’t even care if they are alive, and you have pretty much destroyed your ability to communicate.
So no, do not read your speech from a paper in front of you, unless it is a highly specific legal issue and you do not care if anyone in the audience gets it or not. If you want to make sure that you get each word right so as to not be sued, then you can be exempted.
Any other time when you are giving a presentation because you want to communicate, do not read a speech word for word.
How Do You Present With True Confidence
How do you speak with true confidence in front of an audience? How do you give presentations and you just know it is going to be great?
It is pretty simple. You practice on video and you look at it. If you think it is boring, it is because it is boring. You have to keep practicing on video until you know you are great. Then you have to send that video to a few friends, colleagues, or people who are similar to the audience you will be speaking to. Ideally, you should even practice in front of them.
Keep doing this not until they tell you that you are great or seem confident. You have to keep doing it until your audience is able to tell you your exact messages that they were able to remember from your presentation and you wanted them to remember. Keep doing it until your audience can tell you the stories you told them.
When that happens, then and only then are you going to exude confidence for legitimate reasons.
Is It a Good Idea to Memorize a Presentation
Is it a good idea to memorize a speech? And how do you memorize a presentation? I come down pretty strongly against the idea of memorizing speeches.
For starters, it is hard to do even in an ideal situation. When you are standing up in front of people, especially if they are people that you do not know or a larger group of people than what you are normally used to, then you are going to feel nervous. When you are nervous, your body starts to tell you to run! Your brain sort of shuts down and your ability to recall information quickly and easily goes out the window. So I do not recommend doing something that makes an already hard situation ten times harder. You are basically setting yourself up for failure.
The other problem with memorization is that if and when you stumble over a word, it sounds like you have come across a speedbump. The whole presentation comes to a screeching halt like the needle of a record player scratching against a vinyl disk. That is why it is so obvious when a Broadway actor flubs a line. It is jarring.
I recommend that you try to have a more natural and conversational way of just speaking with people. That is why the easiest thing for most people most of the time is to simply use a single sheet of paper with an outline or summarized notes of your speech or presentation that act as triggers for conversation. In that way, you are not trying to get every word right in the correct order. You are focused on the ideas and you are trying to convey the ideas in whatever words come to you naturally at that moment. Overall, it is much less stressful on the memory and so the probability of you messing up plunders down.
Is It OK to Use Alcohol, Beta Blockers or Marijuana to Calm Yourself
I am not passing judgment on anyone. My aim is to just give you pure information that I think is in your own self interest when giving a presentation. In my opinion, I would try to avoid all of those things.
They might make you feel more relaxed but that is not the issue. The issue is finding what is going to help you come across the best when you giving your presentation. So when it comes to alcohol, it can sometimes make people’s faces red, it can make you sweaty, and it can also make it harder to recall information. So if you are already nervous and then you are taking an extra second to recall information, it can begin to seem twice or thrice as longer. So my advice to not have any alcohol until after the presentation.
I have seen my clients use beta blockers and they appear like zombies. They may seem relaxed, but they were not coming across as confident or energetic to their audience.
Marijuana is gradually becoming legal in more and more parts of the United States as well as the world but I do not see how it actually helps you be more interesting and memorable to your audience. If it makes you more mellow, it could make your voice more monotone or it could lower your energy levels. Those are not good things.
If you are nervous before giving a presentation, the easiest way to get over it is not to take a drink or a smoke but it is to practice and practice on video until you have seen yourself and know that you can give a great presentation.