Using Notes in Speaking

speak with confidence

Are you not allowed to use notes in Toastmasters?

Most evaluators of icebreaker speeches recommend that Toastmasters strive not to use notes. This not because they expect you to memorize everything you need to say. That will be asking too much from every speaker. I don’t memorize my speeches.

I am not against using notes in delivering speeches. Even Churchill, Lincoln, and Kennedy used notes when they delivered their epic speeches. Ninoy Aquino, one of the most eloquent Filipino speakers used notes. Even Marcos, who is known for his photographic memory used notes.

Remember that your evaluators are not commanding you not to use notes. They are recommending that you don’t use notes. The decision is up to you. If you think you can deliver a coherent and compelling speech when you have note cards, please do so.

I don’t use notes. No, not because someone told me not to use one. But I am free to use notes when I want too. Definitely, I cannot memorize facts and statistics. So when I need to give the exact figures or facts, I keep my notes handy.

Just keep this in mind: don’t deliver a script when delivering a speech in public.

Speaking is a conversation. Keep your eye contact. Use gestures, facial expression, and body movements to amplify your message. You cannot make your speech visual if you read your speech.

Whatever tool you use when speaking in public, ensure that your tool enhances communication.

Jef Menguin

P.S. I encourage you to consider a Toastmasters club near you. If you are in Calamba, Cabuyao, San Pablo, or Calauan, consider attending the Los Banos Toastmasters next meeting.

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About Jef Menguin

Jef Menguin writes about personal development, leadership, and entrepreneurship. In Thrive, you will find proven and easy ways to get rid of procrastination and be a go-giver. He explores new ideas about motivation, habits, productivity, and delivering persuasive speeches.

He is a professional speaker, a Distinguished Toastmaster, and the founder of Business Innovation.

He lives in Los Baños with his beautiful wife Romelyn and son Jefferson Carlos. Aside from speaking, coaching, and writing – Jef Menguin enjoys planting ornamental plants, vegetables, and herbs in his backyard. You can learn more about him here.

You can read his writings at Articles.

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