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.

Be Consciously Mindful of Deception and Deceit While Negotiating

Are you consciously mindful of the perils that deception and deceit have on you and the other negotiator while negotiating? There’s a very fine line between deceit and deception. Therefore, deceit and deception have to be used cautiously, less they wreak havoc on a negotiation.

The problem with using either deceit or deception in a negotiation lies in the manner in which they are perceived. Everyone practices some form of deception when they negotiate. It can be in the form of not fully disclosing your ultimate position, not disclosing information that would detract from your position, or in a myriad of other ways. Deceit on the other hand is outright lying.

The trouble occurs when you or the other negotiator feel he’s being intentionally misled. Then, trust is broken, which causes the bonding process to become stymied, which in turn causes the negotiation to proceed less expeditiously.

If you sense “something’s not right” with information you’ve been given, or you receive quizzical inquiries stemming from information you propose when negotiating, consider the following.

1. Assess what you’re sensing.

a. Try to determine what has caused you to feel what you’re experiencing. Was it the way the information was presented? Did you or the other negotiator do ‘something’ nonverbally that caused you to perceive doubt or be perceived as doubtful, about the validity of the information presented? Once a determination is made, bring it to the forefront of the negotiation and seek clarification. At that point, observe very intently the repositioning of the point. Look for uneasiness and/or the degree the new position changes from the original one.

2. Determine how best to respond.

a. In considering how best to respond, consider how your reframed position will be viewed, or how the other negotiator reframed his position. Compare the new position to how it was perceived prior to its reframing. In particular, consider if the reframed position ‘adds value’ to the negotiation, and if so, who is advantaged by the reframing. It may be more palatable to allow the position to remain unchanged, with an explanation addressing the misperception possessed by whoever initiated the point.

3. Make sure everyone understands the revised information and they agree with it.

a. Once you’ve determined to what degree the information in contention has been addressed, be prepared to move on in the negotiation. Initially, do so cautiously and observe the demeanor of the other negotiator to seek any behavioral differences in his negotiation style. If there’s no change, assume the situation has been addressed satisfactorily.

The presentation of information in a negotiation can become tricky. Regardless of how you address the perception of deceit or deception, be sure to cast your efforts carefully, because those efforts will become the source of your negotiation prosperity… and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· If you perceive deceit or are perceived as being deceitful, address it sooner versus later in the negotiation. You will only enhance your position be doing so.

· Deceit can be concealed in deception. Like in any negotiation, sometimes you have to rearrange what you see, in order to view the situation for what it is.

· No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. When you’re negotiating, determine to what degree a mistake is just that, versus deceit, before acting upon information.

Change Your Story, Change Your Life, and Maybe Even Get Present in the Moment

Do you want to change your life for the better? Do you want to achieve real and lasting growth, move to a new level, and maybe even be happier? You can, and it’s easier than you think, but it does require consciousness and awareness. Bust out some pen and paper, and get ready to change your world!

To change your life, change your story. What is your story as of right now? Hint: your story is the stuff you tell yourself that is not necessarily true but has a serious effect on what your life looks like. Examples of a story are, “I’m not pretty, thin, or funny enough”, “I will never have enough money”, or “nobody likes me”. You get the picture, so insert your own story here. It’s usually something that is repeated endlessly to anyone who is willing to listen. Now, realize that this is all made up! None of it is true, unless you make it true.

You create your own reality. You are in charge of your story, so why not tell a story that makes you feel good instead of one that makes you feel bad? Why are you choosing to feel bad? (Don’t worry, you probably just did not know any better, no big deal!) Are you willing to let your old story go? If not, why? What are you afraid of? Trust yourself- there is nothing to fear, and you would not be reading this if you weren’t ready to let it go.

Starting today, begin telling a new, happy, successful and uplifting story! On your paper, write down your new, fabulous story. Whatever you want out of life should be in this new version. Now tell this story to people. Don’t ever tell that old story again! That old story is keeping you stuck and re-creating old drama over and over- you won’t change your life if you are attached to your old story. Begin discussing your successes instead of your failures, your health instead of your pains, and your abundance instead of your bills.

Where attention goes, energy flows and results show. What are you focusing on in your story? Is it what you want? I truly hope so, because what you focus on is what you get! Repeat the process of writing out and focusing on your new story as often as needed. (I do it several times a week- it feels great and keeps me focused on what I intend to create.)

Watch out for little stories in your day to day life. In addition to your big life story, there are little stories that pop up all day long. Pay attention to how you react to your life and you will see what I mean. An example: Someone doesn’t smile back at you, so you think “they don’t like me”. This is a total story- stop torturing yourself! You have no idea why that person did not smile at you. Maybe they did not see you, or they have a toothache, or they did not get much sleep. Maybe they were born without smiling muscles. Who knows? Why make yourself feel bad over it? Pay attention- respond with awareness instead of reacting.

Stay present in the moment to avoid the “story”. This takes awareness. If someone cuts you off on the road, don’t assume they are a jerk. That’s a story. There are any number of reasons why that happened, and let’s be honest, who hasn’t cut someone off at some point or another? If you can be conscious of your thoughts and stay present you can catch yourself in a story and let it go.

If you are having trouble staying present, focus on how you feel. We don’t feel enough in this world. Let’s practice getting out of our heads and into our bodies a little more. Our stories can make us feel really bad, but usually we are so far into our thoughts that we can’t realize this. If you get back into the body and focus on how you are feeling you can free yourself from the mind’s chatter. Take a few deep breaths and feel your emotions. If you are reacting in anger to someone, fine! Feel it, and let it go. Don’t use the story as an excuse to feel the same emotion over and over and over. That’s wasted energy- that’s where the story gets you stuck. Search for the truth- when you feel an emotion fully in your body and not in your mind, the truth will come to you more easily.

Feel emotions in your body, instead of thinking about them over and over. (I repeated what I just said in the above paragraph because it is really, really important!) When you feel your emotions fully in your body, they usually disappear very quickly. Accept how you feel instead of rejecting it. The story actually helps you reject your emotions. “I’m angry because that person is a jerk. How dare that person treat me that way?” In this story, your mind is saying, “I am feeling angry and I don’t like it- this person acted in a way that is making me feel emotions I don’t like.” Instead, get over the story and feel the anger! Then let it go. You can really change your life by learning to release emotions when they come up. Stuck emotions create stuck lives.

We are all creators. We are creating our lives in every moment. Tell a story that serves you instead of hinders you. Tell a story that creates a future that you can smile about. Live in a way that creates peace, joy and abundance. You are in charge of your story, and the story you tell will show up in your future. What’s your new story? Change your story and change your life!

Be relentless in your pursuit for the truth – the truth as your Higher Self sees it. Release your negative stories and live in your heart. You will be free- free to be abundant, free to be peaceful, and free to expand into higher levels of consciousness and joy.