Clients often ask us why we don’t want them to memorize a presentation. “Isn’t that the best way to make sure I remember everything?”
Aside from the fact that remembering every word you planned isn’t the most important aspect of your presentation, the problem with memorizing is that your voice doesn’t sound the same as when you’re genuinely connecting with your audience.
The cadence, inflection, pace, and volume of your voice are affected by the task of remembering your presentation. When you memorize, the words and phrases fall into small chunks you can recall, and often those phrases don’t flow together in the way that natural speech works. It sounds stilted, rehearsed.
It’s hard to reverse-engineer your voice to sound, and be, natural after you’ve memorized your presentation word for word. Better to practice by creating an outline and using bullet points, getting your message across in a variety of ways, and leaving yourself open to the miracle of connecting with your audience in real time.