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Choose Your Method of

Speaking from notes (rather than reading from

a full report) is the most effective way to give your presentation because you will

be able to look at your audience without losing your train of thought. It’s


to be able to keep eye contact with your audience because you will be able

to pace yourself

If you are using your outline for this purpose, be sure to write it in shortsentence

or long-phrase form to remind you of your thought process when you

were creating it. Use a larger pitch to be able to find your place more easily back

on the page as you look away from your paper to make eye contact with the

audience. When Barbara gives presentations, she prints her notes in eighteen

pitch and quadruple space for ease of reading, a trick she learned when she was

a speechwriter for Marvin Feldman, the late president of the Fashion Institute


You can also use index cards for your notes. Write down key words,

phrases, and sentences, as well as quotations, statistics, and examples. Number

the card sequence in a color of ink that’s different from the text just in case the

cards get out of

Using your prompts from a PowerPoint presentation is another possibility.

WARNING: Don’t just read aloud what is written on the screen. Doing that

will bore and distract your audience. Instead, use the points on the screen to lead

into details and

Reading directly from your paper. This is not a good choice for delivery, but

we are addressing it because many of you will be tempted to do it for reasons of

shyness and stage fright. But reading directly from a written paper will only

make your nervousness worse, because your talk won’t go over as well as it

would have if you had just spoken from your

When you read directly from a text, your eyes do not leave the page, which

results in no eye contact with the audience and, therefore, no sense on your part

of the audience’s nonverbal feedback. You can’t detect whether they are following

you, laughing with you, nodding at interesting parts of your speech,

reacting to controversy. You don’t know because you aren’t watching their facial

and body language; you’re too busy staring at your

Practice Your Presentation. Before your actual delivery, you should rehearse to

feel comfortable with your language and message. Here is what the experts


• Give your talk by speaking into a tape recorder to review for speed and tone. If you find that your speech is rushed, mumbled, or monotoned, you’ll have time to adjust and practice a better, clearer delivery. • Time yourself to determine whether you have enough to say and not too much for the allotted • Practice using your visuals and equipment. • Have yourself videotaped. Watch the tape yourself and show to a friend or colleague for Delivery You’ve already done the hardest part of the work for this project. Now it’s time to give your presentation. Just remember the following strategies. Make eye contact with the audience. Before you say your first word, stop and look into your audience for five or ten seconds. That gesture with its accompany- nying pause allows the audience to settle into your talk and you to begin from a centered place. Grab their attention. When you cite a current event, provide a dramatic example, or tell a relevant personal story, you draw your audience in right away, thereby increasing your rapport with Start slowly. A common mistake for novice speakers is to rush into their presentations, speaking too rapidly for the audience to follow. Remember, there is lag time in listening. If your audience is lost from the beginning, they may never catch up with your Vary the speed and pitch of your delivery. Pause to check for audience feedback and ask some questions to help you avoid speaking in a monotone throughout your Be aware of your body language. Use your hands to indicate relationships, size, and directions. Turn your head to face different parts of the audience. Clue your audience that you are finished by thanking everyone for their attention. Be ready to take questions, but stay within your time