Looking Down at Your Notes
Whenever I hear and watch a speaker who is constantly looking at their notes I can’t help but wonder what’s going on for them. Are they nervous? Are they unprepared? Or both? Whatever the reason, what goes on inside the listeners is more important. As an aspiring or experienced speaker, if you are struggling with being glued to your notes, I want to challenge you to do whatever it takes to get comfortable with looking up.
Getting comfortable looking out into the audience starts with dealing with your own stuff! When I first became aware of my discomfort, I realized that it was because I was insecure and did not want people to discover that. You have probably heard the saying “The eyes are windows into the soul.” Pursuing personal growth and development is key to growing in confidence as a communicator. Who you are on the inside will shine through whether you want it to or not. One way is revealed in how you engage with people. Once I opened myself up to be coached in this area I experienced tremendous freedom in my interactions with people both one on one and in large groups.
When is it okay to look at your notes? A rule of thumb in the speaking world is to make eye contact at the beginning and end of a sentence . The best and most effective time to look at your notes is in the middle of a sentence. This will take some practice but very quickly it will become second nature to you. What does that mean? Your preparation is vital. To be a more effective speaker you will need to develop the discipline of memorizing your speech or message. Better yet, don’t just memorize it, but internalize it. This will free your mind to focus on engaging your audience at various points throughout your presentation and help your message flow more naturally.
Keep letting the REAL U…..Speak Through!
Lisa Vanderkwaak M.Sc.
Certified World Class Speaking Coach
REAL U Institute™
“Equipping you to Communicate with Passion, Purpose and Transformational Impact”
To book Lisa to speak at your next group training or as a Keynote, contact her at www.REALUInstitute.com