Looking back over 2012, I’ve done a number of presentations spanning from advocacy to middle children. Whenever I prepare for a presentation, I start by drafting notes. Notes are a great way to organize your thoughts and ensure that you stay on topic. Recently, I was asked to give remarks to student members in town for a visit. As usual, I sat down and sketched out what I wanted to say. When I was done, I had crafted a nice one-pager of bullet points organized by subject matter. And that’s when it hit me.
During the actual presentation, I rarely use my notes. I would either abandon them after the first five minutes or some “technical glitch” would occur preventing me from accessing them. In fact, I’ve spent more time developing notes than actually using them. My notes became my security blanket because I thought I needed them.
Now, does this mean I should stop drafting notes? No. Writing notes is still the best way for me to prepare for a presentation. However, once it’s showtime, I should probably continue to ignore them.