4 Benefits of Speaking Without Notes– A Public Speaking Tip

Let’s face it… Everybody gets spooked thinking about speaking in public, especially if you’re new at it. How do people cope with this fact? Correct, notes. Notes aren’t that bad, per se. But think for a second and realize that your favorite speakers don’t really use notes, right? It’s because people who talk speak without notes feel more human. Try talking to a person 1-on-1, then having that person look at notes while talking to you. Meh. Not really something I look forward to.

Speaking without notes is not as hard as you might imagine. The exercise I share with people is to have them tell me a story, without notes, about their first date, or their favorite vacation, or how their spouse proposed. And amazingly, they’re able to do it – without prep, and without notes. Cool!

I’ve tried asking one of my favorite speakers, “how do you do it?” He goes and tell me, “just do it!” Yeah, he might’ve just got that from Nike, but that’s what he told me. He might even be the most confident person I’ve seen talk in front, but I assure you…Even he gets nervous too. Or at least that’s what he tells me.

So, why should you do the work and take the risk associated with freeing yourself from your notes? Let’s jump into some reasons. Because when you understand the why, you’ll be motivated to learn this spectacular skill.

1. Human-to-Human

Mistakes, for the most of us, are the reasons for our anxiety of public speaking. Sure, you might mess up, and that’s totally fine. People might give you a laugh or two, but you’ll definitely have all ears. Because you’ll seem more human, which, after all, you are.

2. Your Favorite Speakers Don’t Use Notes

I’m just going to leave out there: You’re favorite speakers don’t use notes. And frankly, the best speakers rarely do. It’s because people relate better with speakers who don’t use notes.

3. You’ll Sound More Conversational

There’s two kinds of voices. There’s the “reading voice” and the “speaking voice.” Your reading voice doesn’t really make you sound conversational and engaging. The latter does though.

4. Eye Contact

This is pretty self-explanatory. When you use notes, your eyes, most of the time, are going to be glued on it. But when you don’t use notes, you get to connect with your audience. And even if you don’t really feel comfortable doing that, It’s what the audience want.


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