Give Your Best Speech or Pitch: Memorize or Use Notes?


“Do you think memorization or using notes is better when giving a speech?” one of my readers asked.

I replied:

“Here are some tips:

  1. It is often better to avoid memorizing a speech word for word.

For many people: if one memorizes every word — one can get stuck. One’s mind may go blank.

(I teach people Recovery Methods–how to recover if their mind goes blank. For information on Recovery Methods CLICK HERE for the article

  1. Memorize the major points.

One can have the major points as notes on a Posted-Note in one’s hand. In this way, you have a backup method.

  1. Memorize the opening line of your speech.

… so you start strong.

  1. Memorize the vital closing of your speech.

For example, for the end of a pitch to investors:

“And one final thing: I encourage you to say yes to funding my project because of [Reason #1] and [Reason #2]. Thank you.”

Memorizing this above sentence is truly helpful especially if you only have 20 minutes to pitch –as one of a line of people addressing an audience of investors.

If you have 20 minutes, speak for 10 minutes. Then, take questions and have a dialogue with the investors for 10 minutes. End with “And one final thing: I encourage you to say yes to funding my project because of [Reason #1] and [Reason #2]. Thank you.”

  1. Memorize the precise words for using humor.

I use precise words to inspire the audience’s laughter.

You can see my getting an audience to laugh several times in this 3.8 min. video.

In summary, avoid memorizing your speech word for word.

However, memorize certain critical phrases. Your audience will find you to be authentic and in the moment. Additionally, you’ll appear wonderfully professional in your delivery.

As a Pitch Coach and the Spoken Word Strategist, I help clients hone their words so they make a real connection with audiences. Just today, someone asked, “So what is it that you do, Tom?”

I replied, “I help people communicate powerfully so they get the YES fast.”

Be sure you have the right words, right coaching and right connection.



P.S. Dec. 15, 2016, 7 pm Pacific Time:  FREE Conference Call: Jump-Start Your Jan. 2017 — No Procrastination, Better Pitch, Improve Your Business. Sign up/get phone number at Pitch Power Fest ( group) when you CLICK HERE.

Tom Marcoux
Executive Coach
Spoken Word Strategist

Pitch Coach

CEO (leading teams in United Kingdom, India and USA)

Speaker-author of 41 books (with free chapters on )
Author of Soar With Confidence: An Executive Coach Reveals Secrets, Lies and Countermeasures So You Excel Like Top CEOs and Leaders – Pitch, Lead, Succeed (See more when you CLICK HERE )
1.8 min. video (on YouTube): Tom Marcoux pulls back the curtain about how his directing a feature film that went to Cannes Film market helps with “Building Your Brand”:
Author of Time Management Secrets the Rich Won’t Tell You (See more when you CLICK HERE )
Author of Connect: High Trust Communication for Your Success in Business and Life (See more when you CLICK HERE )

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