Seth Godin suggests that it is better to memorise stories than exact sentences when delivering a presentation.

He is right. It is totally apparent when someone is reading sentence after sentence from a “piece of paper” that is stored in her brain. There is no connection between the part of the brain that is uttering the words, and the other part of the brain that is a believer in the story. Disconnected.

Memorising stories is not as easy as it sounds. To sound spontaneous, you actually need to know your material inside out. Musicians can produce solos that seem effortless and spontaneous, when in reality they can dream every note on every scale across every chord, after which it is easy to play around with variations.

Even if you (think you) know your story, it is hard to tell it without uh’s and oh’s, repeats, restarts, forgetting a key element, and getting lost in a tangent that is not relevant.

Not all people are equally confident to tell a compelling story, and for those, being able to recite the individual sentences of your presentation might be a sign that you are 50% on the way. Now rehearse until you get to 100%.

Photo by Alexandre St-Louis on Unsplash

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