Whether one speaks in front of a large audience, a small group or does the great majority of their presentations one-on-one, there are generally three presentation formats with which people are familiar; 1. Word-for-Word Memorized; 2. Following a general outline but mostly extemporaneous; 3. Totally off-the-cuff.
Which is best? I have my definite point of view I’d like to share with you, while answering a few concerns that some might have about this view.
My answer is that, other than in very special and unique circumstances, one’s presentation should absolutely be memorized. Yes, “word-for-word” including every pause and gesture.
“WHAT?” You might ask. “Wouldn’t you sound and look totally stiff and unnatural? Wouldn’t the presentation come across as contrived and phony? Shouldn’t you personalize it to those you’re addressing? Isn’t that an insult to your audience, that it’s not really you but instead you’re just an actor acting out a part?”
In the following segments, I’ll answer those very worthy questions, objections and concerns. Before that, however; I’d like to know what you think…and what you think my answers are going to be to the individual concerns mentioned above.