PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

There is this myth that good speakers don’t use notes; that somehow notes are an unprofessional crutch.

If you know your stuff, you shouldn’t need them.  Or, so goes the rationale.

It’s nonsense.  You can “know your stuff” and still require notes for the specific message you crafted for a particular audience and occasion. 

Unfortunately, many speakers have bought into the using-notes-is-bad myth, so they try to use them without looking as if they are using them.  They steal quick glances like a student using secret notes during a test.  They act like they’re cheating.

Don’t sneak glances.  If you need to look at your notes, look at them—openly and without embarrassment.  Good form is to pause for a second and then look back up at the audience as you deliver your next point.

Oddly enough, the more confidently obvious you are about using notes, the less people give it any notice.

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