Communication is a constant process. Even when you think it’s over, it still goes on. And, in the instance I am referring to now, it starts before you may actually think it does. Because of this, it is important for you, as a speaker, to remember that your audience remembers the first thing it sees, which is you. Before you speak, you are the presentation.
Humans are organic beings. We live in a constant state of flux, adding one experience to the another gathered from countless endeavors. Some of our efforts result in modest achievements others bear unnoticeable results, while others may astonish the whole world. We don’t always learn from Success as much as we learn from Failure.
It's all about planned spontaneity. About being able to sound more conversational and less like a computer, rotely spewing out memorized data without feeling or connection to your audience.
Memorization brings an unnecessary level of anxiety into play. I believe it is the #2 cause of speaker anxiety. In most situations, a speaker will only deliver their content one or two times. I would much rather listen to a well-organized, practiced, and connected speaker who is comfortable referring to their notes, than someone who tried to memorize their content but ends up apologizing over and over again for missing or forgetting sections of their speech. By the way, most audiences would too!
Speaking is as much an act of compulsion as its counterpart Silence. Both are an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way.
When I coach clients in both speaking and success strategies, I always help them draw distinctions between a Want and a Need. A Want is something you’d like to have. A Need is something you cannot do without.
Speaking, I believe, is an absolute Need. I can’t imagine a day going by without saying something.
The human mind, and maybe its spirit too, has a tendency to impose limiting language on itself as a built-in defense mechanism against disappointment. Part of this mechanism is fueled by a perceived fear of self-exposure. Most people will not judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. Overcoming this limiting behavior is a matter of Trust. The more you have in yourself, the more willing you’ll be to explore all sorts of possibilities.
It’s not that audience members are ego-centric, but they do want their needs satisfied. So, from a listener’s perspective they need to know what they might gain from listening to you in return for their time and attention investment. I call it “getting a bang for their butt”. Many speakers think the more you hold out the drama of your main point, the more the audience will stay engaged. You can do this to a point, but whatever you do it had better impart some indication of the promise to come. Otherwise, you’ll lose them.