Make your talk better with practice and memorization

The Eloquent Woman

At most conferences, you get a mix of people reading from PowerPoint decks, using teleprompters, or simply ad-libbing around loose outlines. Madrigal does a useful description of his process for memorizing, and notes something that good coaches know: Practice and memorization will make your talk better over time. From the article: All the live practice began to reshape the talk itself. This, too, comes easier with practice.

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Why memorizing your high-stakes speech frees you: Sen. Amy Klobuchar

The Eloquent Woman

And the organizers had told me that I couldn’t even use a little joke about George Bush where I said something about… Axelrod: Yes, I remember that convention. Did you ad-lib? I completely ad-libbed because I decided if they were having technological problems… Too often, I see speakers look at memorizing your speech as something awful--limiting, structured, nervous-making.


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The 135 Rule


But he also liked to ad-lib. Going over your time slot is also a great way to make conference organizers upset, in case you were ever hoping to be invited back!). The 135 Rule lasts as long as the first practice. So if you can be in the room – with a stopwatch – when the speaker practices, do it. Heres a question that comes up nearly every week from someone: How much do I need to write for a speech of XX minutes? Seems like an innocent question.

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Web Ink Now: Top ten tips for incredibly successful public speaking

Know the conference organizers goals. When I speak, I work with organizers to deliver three goals in equal proportion: Education, entertainment, and motivation. Since I am a paid speaker, I must deliver on all three so the conference organizer is happy they invited me. How would the organizer define success? Prepare and practice. The conference organizer and the A/V people will love you for arriving early! Practice in front of a webcam?

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Rands In Repose: Keynote Kung-fu Two

That seven-slide deck that turned into an hour of ad-libbed brilliance. How To Not Throw Up and Out Loud walk you through the basics of constructing and practicing your presentation, but there’s more to say about Keynote because, as with any well-designed tool, the more you use it, the better you get and the more layers of awesomeness you will find. In your practicing, you’re going to know the regular flow of your deck, but what about when you screw up?