If you listen to the great presenters, you will find that they share one attribute in common: they speak from their heart. While they may have given the same presentation hundreds of times, their material sounds fresh and new with each delivery.

If you memorize your presentation, the likelihood of delivering your material in a rote fashion is almost a guarantee. On the other hand, if you learn your material according to your outline, treating your opening, closing, and sub-topics as blocks of information, you will be able to speak around those blocks.

With memorization, it is very difficult to throw in an anecdote on the spur of the moment because you are locked into your script. I have found on numerous occasions that the reaction of my audience will change my direction a bit. Perhaps something happened with one of my clients earlier that week, for example, which would be pertinent to relay to this particular audience because of their reaction to my message. [Every audience is different and is one of the reasons it is vital to know to whom you are speaking before you walk onto that stage.]

Only when you are speaking with passion, using both your head and your heart, is it possible to ‘change it up’ so to speak. Notice I included your head in the picture as well. Speaking just from you heart is not effective because you will not be organized. You need both your mind working as well as your soul.

I worked with a man who would give 90-minute memorized presentations on investing. While we in the group were not subjected to the entire hour and a half of his material, we heard enough in the 1st five minutes to put us all to sleep. What was interesting about his delivery, however, was that, at one point, he forgot a word and looked up towards the ceiling as he searched his memory for the correct word. In his entire 5-minute spiel, the loss of the word was the only time he sounded natural. It was the one time he was speaking to us and not at us.

Your audience can tell a memorized performance. That is not what they are coming to hear. If they want a performance, they will go to the theater or to a concert. Their reason for being part of your audience is because they want you to communicate information to them. They want to learn. And, their reaction to you is part of that communication process. If you read your presentation or deliver your material from a memorized script, you are unable to have the conversation because you are not communicating.

Know your material inside and out by practicing it out loud over and over and over again. It is then that you will be prepared and able to speak from your heart as well as your head.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Nancy's Voice Training Workshops.