Why You Should Not Memorize the Body of Your Speech Or Presentation

At a workshop I was holding in Toronto, one of the participants proceeded to deliver part of a rote, memorized persuasive presentation. This man, who I will call Bill, told us that he was a ‘professional’ speaker and that his presentations lasted 90 minutes. Luckily for us, he was only allowed to speak for 8-9 minutes; however, it took just 5 minutes of his memorized script for the attention of the group to begin to fade, as their eyes glazed over.

What was so interesting about Bill’s delivery was that at one point, he forgot a word. He then looked up to the ceiling, trying to capture the word. It was at that moment, and at that moment only, that he sounded and looked natural.

If you memorize your presentation or your speech, you are bound by the memorized word. Public speaking has, as one of its two fundamentals terms, the word speaking. The premise is that you are to talk to your audience, not at them. If you deliver a memorized script, you are not talking to or communicating with your listeners, you are performing. In that sense, you are acting.

The difficulty with memorization is two-fold:

1. If you forget where you are, you will have much more difficulty recapturing your thoughts. With memorization, there is a different thought process involved than in speaking around notes, a PowerPoint presentation or slides. In the latter, you have bullet points pointing you in the right direction. If you forget where you are when playing the piano, for example, it is quite possible that your fingers will continue to play even if your mind goes blank. This only happens, however, if you know the musical selection inside and out. Why the same does not hold true for memorization in speaking, however, is because the words will not come out of your mouth if you have forgotten what comes next.

2. The other problem with memorization is that you do not sound natural. Your delivery is much like that of the telesales people who phone you with their memorized script, trying to sell you something. What is fascinating about their approach is that they have no desire to communicate with you. Their role is to spit out a pile of words, trying to force you to listen and never once showing an interest in your response. Trying to politely end the conversation is near to impossible; and, sometimes the only way to tell them you are not interested is to hang up. Much the same is happening to the delivery of the memorized speech or presentation. It does not allow for your awareness of your audience’s reaction to you.

There are times when memorization is a must in public speaking. The body of your speech or presentation is not one of them.

Custody Evaluations – 5 Tips For Presenting Your Case Successfully

Custody, or parenting time evaluations, are frequently performed by a forensic psychologist at a separation or a divorce between two people, when there is some question as to the fitness of one of both parents to fully parent the child or children. One common scenario is a parent being concerned about the drug or alcohol use of the other parent. These evaluations are invasive and often difficult, but they are typically fairly solid in court and if you have legitimate concerns, they can be a way to help secure your children’s security and safety. The results and recommendations of the evaluation can be written in to court documents, providing further foundation for enforcing certain rules and restrictions that can help keep your children safe when they are with the other parent, or should the problems and concerns be severe enough, they may provide basis for keeping the children away from an unsafe parent altogether. Here are 5 tips for presenting your case for custody to an evaluator:

1. Present facts, not opinions to the evaluator during interviews. This means avoiding “diagnosing” your partner or making too many interpretations of behavior. Stick as much as possible to the facts — the who, what, when and where of the behavior you are concerned about.

2. Try not to get over emotional. This is a traumatic time and being upset is expected – however if you are crying throughout every meeting, the evaluator may begin to question your emotional stability. Feel free to express hurt, but keep your mind firmly focused on your children and their well being and best interests.

3. Present your facts and information framed in reference to the impact on the children. While you avoid diagnosing or giving too many opinions, you can express what concerns you about the behavior in reference to the negative impact on your kids. For example, if your partner has a drug problem, you can express concern over impairment while caring for kids, the kids finding drug paraphernalia, and the legal ramifications should your partner be caught.

4. Be honest about your own shortcomings. If you omit any wrongdoing on your part, surely your partner will be eager to fill in the gaps. When you do present your mistakes, again frame them in reference to impact on the children and demonstrate your understanding of why the activity was harmful or potentially harmful to your kids. For example if you had an affair, explain that this injected a note of chaos and disharmony into your home life, and you understand that this was a negative impact on your children. And of course, be sure you are not repeating damaging behaviors during your evaluation.

5. Keep records and update the evaluator as new incidents occur. Evaluations can take many months to complete, so be sure to log any new incidents as they occur and inform the evaluator via phone or email.

Are you interested in addressing the challenge of divorce from a holistic standpoint, assessing the physical, emotional, practical, and relationship components?

Commercial Real Estate Sales – Prelisting Kits for Better Presentations

In commercial real estate, it is wise to use a pre-listing kit when it comes to pitching for the sale or leasing of property. A pre-listing kit should be supplied to the vendor prior to the final meeting with the vendor. The issuing of the pre-listing kit also allows the real estate agent the necessary time to undertake the inspection of the property.

Supply the kit to the property owner at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. In that 24 hour time frame the salesperson can inspect the property in detail so that the final proposal or sales pitch is matched to the needs of the property and the vendor.

The structure of the pre-listing kit is as follows:

  1. A personal profile of the salesperson undertaking the enquiry. That should include your experience in the industry locally and examples of your successes.
  2. An information brief detailing the property and its basic attributes that are currently being inspected for the client. Make reference to the fact that the inspection process is critical to the presentation to come. You want to ensure that the recommendations you make are matched to the attributes of the property.
  3. A detailed company profile of the agency involved in the presentation. That should include some information of success in the area. Further to that, information should be given regards the variations of services which may help this sale process. For example leasing services, and property management services that can package the property for the future sale.
  4. Examples of the marketing alternatives available in the sales process which will be discussed in the following meeting.
  5. Details of similar properties with which your company has had successful involvement of recent time.
  6. Examples of Property Marketing currently active in the local area.
  7. Testimonials from happy clients and customers in recent property transactions.
  8. As simple summary of the preparation of a typical commercial or retail property for sale involving the property tenant mix, the leasing profile, and physical attributes to the property which will be looked at.
  9. A question and answer sheet to be provided to the property owner so they can raise any special questions in the following meeting.
  10. A statement regards the inspection process which is currently being undertaken on the subject property so that the listing presentation can be effectively targeted.

The use of the kit is primarily to prepare the client for the detailed listing presentation to come. The listing presentation is far more detailed and involved. The listing presentation talks to specifics of the marketplace, the property, and the target market which you believe will be relative to the property promotion.