Remembering what to say

Bottom line

Well-designed visual aids greatly reduce the pressure of remembering what to say in your presentation.

A speaker's greatest fear: going blank with everybody staring. You try to think of something—anything!—but your brain seems to be disconnected.

What can you do?

Nothing. At that point, it's too late. But you can do something to avoid being in that situation (other than declining invitations to speak). You can design a way of remembering the content of your presentation so going blank almost never happens. And if it does—which is unlikely—you'll have something to help you get going again.

That's what this chapter is about. My recommendation is that you try to use visual aids for almost all speaking situations. If they're well designed, they'll help not only your audience—they'll help you, too.

But to see the value of visual aids, let's consider all four common ways of remembering material:

• memorizing

• reading from a complete text

• using visual aids as notes

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