Wednesday, 02 October 2019 18:01

How are 30+ minute speeches delivered without notes?

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It can be easy to speak for 30 minutes without notes. The challenge is to be organized for those 30 minutes.

I find it easier to deliver 20 to 30-minute presentations than it is to deliver a 5 to 7-minute presentation as would be the typical Toastmasters-style speech.

Once I have decided on my topic, I brainstorm a list of topics I want to cover in my presentation. Next, I organize those ideas into a storyboard. That is, I arrange those individual ideas so that they flow as a story.

Then I flesh out each of those individual ideas with content i.e. a story that makes a point I’m trying to illustrate.

I create an opening and a conclusion and learn them inside out. My storyboard becomes a roadmap that I follow throughout my speech. Each of those individual stories I learn as separate items. Note, I said learn rather than memorize. The problem with memorizing is if something occurs while delivering your presentation that wasn’t part of your original practising, it can throw you off and possibly cause you to forget where you were.

If you learn your stories, what I call chunks, inside out, you are less likely to forget your story. It’s not unusual to be told as a speaker that the event is running out of time and could you shorten your presentation. With having learned your presentation in chunks i.e. stories, you could rearrange them or shorten them or even if some of them out to adapt to the new time. Conversely, on occasion you might be given more time to speak and you had expected. In that scenario you could provide more content to your stories.

As originally answered on Quora.com

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