IDG Contributor Network: Stop making speeches

I am frequently asked whether it is better to memorize a speech or attempt to speak extemporaneously when giving a business presentation. It’s certainly better to memorize a speech than to read a speech. But why would you want to give a speech? What does a speech have to do with a business presentation?

If you consider all the synonyms offered by Google for a “speech” — talk, address, lecture, discourse, oration, disquisition, peroration, deliverance, presentation, sermon, homily, monologue, soliloquy, spiel — you will recognize that most of them have little to do with, and in fact work against, the definition or spirit of a business presentation.

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