Speaking with Notes

Every speaker speaks with notes – even the ones that insist notes shouldn’t be used at all!

When speaking ‘without notes’, our brains are still referring back to what we have written in preparation for the speech, or referencing touchpoints in the room that represent tentpoles in their presentation. Even if you are speaking off the cuff, you are pulling information out of your head as fast as possible, essentially looking for notes in the broad files of your brain.

Without getting mired too far into the neuroscience of note usage, let’s look at ways you can use notes effectively in your presentations.

One of the bugaboos of Toastmasters seems to be that you can’t speak with notes. Here’s a blog post by Rich Hopkins, a finalist in Toastmasters’ International Speech Contest, that says otherwise and provides seven ways for doing it well.


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