The Inspired Speaker Academy
How to deal with NOTES...
Most speakers, at least when they’re starting out, will prepare for a talk as follows:
1. Spend most of their preparation time writing and rewriting the script
2. Spend the rest of their preparation time creating slides
3. Read through the script at the last minute in a frantic attempt to memorize it.
4. Print out the entire talk and take it up on stage with them
𝗔𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲.
DO NOT picture your audience naked!
𝗗𝗢 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗽𝗶𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗱! 𝗡𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿.
It blows my mind that this advice still gets tossed around in the public speaking community. Especially for more inexperienced speakers.
Yes, I understand the reasoning behind the advice: you're trying to feel less intimidated and scared by imagining a ridiculous situation. You're also ruining the only reason anyone speaks in the first place – 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲.
How are you supposed to maintain a connection with your audience, engage them, 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗯 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗹, if you're busy creating an overlay of an alternate reality?
Here are some healthier tips to consider when you're feeling like you'd rather escape to a different dream reality than be speaking in front of people...
D your T's: the solution to a splashy T
No! I don't mean say budder instead of butter! This is about being precise, not lazy. D and T are a plosive pair. That means the only real difference in making them is that one is voiced (D) and the other is unvoiced (T). Other than that, they are exactly the same!
I've been hearing a lot of splashy T's lately, the result of either a lazy or an over active tongue tip. The "splash" is usually caused by the tongue straying too close to the upper teeth, either upon contact or as it releases. The placement of the tongue for the letter T should be exactly the same as for the letter D, that is firm on the ridge behind your teeth. I've included a graphic here because it's hard to explain, please excuse my ineptitude with a pencil....
If you're like most people, you experience some jitters around the idea of public speaking. These 5 steps won't make your nerves disappear completely, but they will make your life on stage A LOT easier.
1. Rehearse your links:
You don't need to know your speech word for word. You don't need to spend hours rehearsing every day either. All you really need to know is what points to hit, and when. But you need to know that backwards. Make sure you have very clear, logical links from one point to the next. Practice them out of order to make sure it's a logical link, not a memorized one. If the links have a logical progression it doesn't matter how blank your mind goes you will never get lost. You don't need to hold the whole speech in your head from beginning to end, all you need to know is the very next step.
If you enjoyed these articles you may also want to read my personal blog which includes more about my journey with voice work and related activities...