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Chapter Sixteen. The Final Stages > None but the brave—or foolish

None but the brave—or foolish

The ability to deliver a speech without the use of notes or a manuscript is a talent few people have. For most, attempting to do so is foolhardy for several reasons. First, you run considerable risk of omitting something that you intended to say, no matter how good your memory is or how well you know your speech. I've been conducting seminars on business writing for many years. I know the material well, but I always use notes in a thirty-minute introduction to the seminar. Once, conducting a seminar at an advertising agency in New York, I found myself without my notes. They were in my checked luggage somewhere in the airline's never-never land. I had to wing it—no pun intended. It was not a disaster, but I did forget a few things that I would have said if I had had my notes.

Without notes, it's difficult to get a quotation exact no matter how well you know it. Figures also are easily forgotten. If you have notes or a text, you can use statistics and quotations more confidently.


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