Presentation Quick Tip #9 - How to Remember What to Say in a Presentation

The day comes when you have to step up and give your presentation. Hopefully, you've prepared and feel good about what you're about to say. Yes, you're nervous but you go for it. Everything is going well until your stomach drops and your body tenses… You can't remember what you're supposed to say next! Please check out the video or skip down and read more on this topic.

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Video length 1:40 (Click CC for captions or read transcript below)

Mildly unpleasant

To say it is a mildly unpleasant experience is like saying slamming your hand in the car door is better than caffeine at waking you up. Yes, it would work but the bandages would make holding your next cup of java a challenge. The same can be said about forgetting what to say in a presentation… It makes everything else you try to do afterwards as hard as a three year old eating spaghetti and not getting most of it on herself and everywhere else but in her mouth. It might seem ok at the start, but it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Why it happens…forgetting what to say, not the spaghetti part

Several factors can lead to you forgetting what to say. Maybe you didn't prepare well, maybe you have a bad memory, maybe you're exhausted from staying up all night finishing your presentation. But a big reason is that many people try to memorise a script.

Fine for times tables, not fine for presentations

Memorising a presentation script sets you up for trouble for several reasons. First, you have to hope that nothing happens to disrupt your train of thought during your presentation. Second, it's almost impossible to sound natural unless you're Denzel Washington and a professional writer prepared your script. You will also sound like you are talking AT the audience, instead of TO the audience.

If the projector stops working...or a bird flies across the room...you might forget what you were talking about, struggle to remember, get stressed, start sweating and completely forget everything.

A better way

Here are three things you can do to help you remember what to say in a presentation…

  1. First, prepare well in advance. The biggest reason why people forget what they have to say in a presentation is because they think they can prepare at the last minute. I know you won't listen to me, but hopefully after a couple of disasters you will heed my advice.
    • Plus, make sure you know your topic like Sherlock Holmes knows how to read a crime scene.
    • You must also know your audience really well and what they want to hear.
  2. Second, write everything out in point form.
    • Do not write everything in sentences... you'll be tempted to memorise those sentences.
  3. Three, practice, practice, practice.
    • Practice perfect by recording yourself and then watching and listening if you're using filler words like "like" and "um" or "you know," which I'm guilty of.
    • Check to see that you are meeting the time requirements. There is nothing worse than a presenter who goes over time. However, everyone loves a presenter who ends on time or early.
    • While reviewing your video, check if your content is being delivered clearly and if you're speaking well.
    • Check if you need to include something to make your point/message clearer or remove something unnecessary. Just take the time to make your presentation better.

Now you must repeat step number three over and over until you sound natural and look calm and confident in delivering your presentation in the time allowed.

Over time, and with practice...

It will become easier to know what content works and what won't work. You can then focus more on getting better at delivering the presentation and still adjusting the content as needed.

And that's how you remember what to say in a presentation.

Please leave any comments or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Thanks and good luck!

Carl

 

Transcript:

Don't know why I just did that.

Hi, I'm Carl Kwan and this is Presentation Quick Tip #9.

In this video, I'm going to talk about how to remember what to say in a presentation.

First of all, do not try to memorise your script.

It's a big no-no.

If something were to go wrong in the middle of your presentation, you're going to forget everything, you'll be so distracted.

And then you'll be totally screwed.

The second thing is that you may not sound as natural in delivering that.

You'll sound like you are talking at the audience and not talking to the audience.

So what can you do instead?

Well, there are three things you can do.

First of all, prepare well in advance.

Make sure you know your topic really well and also know your audience really well and what they want to hear.

Second of all, write everything out in point form.

Do not write everything in sentences; you'll be tempted to memorise those sentences.

And number three, practice, practice, practice.

But practice by focusing on recording yourself and then watching and listening if you're using filler words like "like" and "um" or "you know," which I'm guilty of.

And also, check to see that you are meeting the time requirements.

Also check if your content is being delivered clearly, if you're speaking well.

And also maybe think about, "OK, can I take something out, can I add something in to my presentation to make it better."

So that is how you remember what to say in a presentation.

Make sure you repeat step number three over and over until you are very natural, calm and confident in delivering your presentation in the time allowed.

That is Presentation Quick Tip #9.

If you have any questions or comments about this one, please leave them below this video.

Thank you for watching.

Talk to you again soon.

Bye-bye.