Giving A Speech Without Notes

Taking your Speeches to the next level

Giving a speech means you’re brave. Giving a speech without stuttering and getting super nervous means you are quite experienced. Giving a speech without notes, that means you’re a pro. That’s exactly what this post is about. Giving a speech without notes.

Know your speech

Okay, the biggest mistake you can make when trying to give a speech without notes: Don’t try to know your speech word for word. That’s practically impossible.

Simply know what you are saying in your speech.

If you tell a story, know your story. If you know what you are saying, you don’t have to worry about changing words up, or switching sentences. When I give speeches, every time I practice is different, and the actual speech is different from the practice ones. I have to know how it goes, and go with the flow.

Also, really try to practice your speech. I have my own practicing technique.

I write down my speech, not just notes, but word for word. At first, I use my script and say the speech a few times, just reading it. By that time I know how it goes and I know a few key phrases.

Now I say the speech once with the script, then once without the script. I do that a few times.

Then I make a simple note card with the sections written down in order of how they go. I say my speech without script or looking at the notecard, which I have in my hand. If I forget, I look at the notecard. I do that for a while.

Then I put away the script and notecard, and I find that I can do it without either.

Quotes in your speech

I don’t usually use quotes in my speeches, but sometimes it’s good to use them. If you are going to do a speech without a notecard with the quote on it, you have to know how to memorize a quote. My rule of thumb: If you are going to learn a new quote for your speech, choose a short one. If you have the quote memorized already and it fits, use that.

To memorize a quote, I usually read the quote a bunch of times. Then I read it, and then I say it without looking. I do that for a while. Then I say it without anything, only looking when I forget or mess up, and after a while of that I can say the quote without any help.

The upsides of not using notes

#1: It shows skill. To your audience, if you walk onstage without a notecard, it is a signal that you know what you’re doing and you are a pro at this. Your audience will be more inclined to listen to a speaker they can see is experienced than one that looks unprepared and unskilled.

#2: You don’t have to carry a notecard, which opens you up to using gestures and body language. When you read a script, you can’t do much than just say words.  You can’t use gestures if you are in front of a podium to hold your notes, and you can’t walk around. Memorizing your speech allows you to introduce body language, which engages people.

#3: You will feel more confident onstage. It sounds weird, not having notes to rely on will make you confident? But yes, if you have learned it there isn’t anything to worry about. You won’t trip over words, if you know what words you’re saying. You don’t have to worry about your audience not being engaged, because you are now opened up to engaging behaviors, such as gestures and eye contact. And don’t worry about the naysayers, because they probably with they were as much of a pro at this as you are.

I hope this helps

I hope this posts helps you with your next speech, whether for a class assignment or a business meeting. I had fun making this post, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Stay tuned for my next post!

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