After reading my last blog post about not reading your notes when presenting, my husband shared a story with me of a famous presenter that always kept his notes close by. Actually, he isn’t a presenter, but go with me on it. Billy Joel, the world-renowned pianist and singer, always has a binder of sheet music on top of his piano. He admits this crutch during his concerts and says it is a security blanket for him. Billy Joel writes his own music and he has sung many of his songs for decades now, but he still has the sheet music available to him. He also says most of the time he doesn’t use it and you’ll catch him periodically flipping through numerous pages because he didn’t use it for the past few songs. So, is it okay to have your presentation notes in hand?
Why am I sharing this with you? If you’re not a seasoned speaker then you might want to hold your notes while you deliver a presentation. Sometimes my clients can’t overcome this hurdle of having their presentation notes in hand and I suggest having the notes sit on the table. That way, if they become necessary, they are available. Usually, your notes are not needed and they become a hindrance if you attempt to look at them, you end up pausing for too long to find your place in the notes and it disrupts the presentation. The intent is to not read your notes (see my last blog post).