The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

Cluck cluck

Blog

An old academic colleague of mine recalled when he was first asked to lecture.  He was incredibly nervous and spent the whole summer rehearsing. Come the day and a lecture hall full of expectant students, he walked up to the lectern plonked down his notes and began. After ten minutes everything seemed to be going OK but it was then he started to notice a murmur of laughter in the room. As he went on the giggling became louder and louder. He was about to look up and berate the students when he realised why they were laughing. His tightly gripped hands weren’t just grasping his notes but he had from the beginning of his talk been holding the entire lectern six inches off the ground.

I always think of this story when my annual lecture comes around. After twenty five or more drafts it is finally in the can. Tomorrow the world (well, OK the Great Room) will hear my ideas on how to create enlightened enterprises by using the behaviour changing potential of brands to enable people to make wiser decisions for a better world.    

But I know the speech tomorrow will be much more engaging if instead of reading it I deliver it from notes, enabling me to speak with more passion and to engage the audience much better. But all my annual lectures tend to be quite dense (no, not in that way mother) and full of different points, facts and quotes. So it is very hard to learn and the risk of half learning it is that I miss out big chunks (which would be sad for me but a tragedy for the audience).

So on every occasion over the last four years I have woken up on speech day promising myself that I will take the risk and go with notes, only to chicken out as the day goes on and end up reading more or less every word.

So, dear readers, help me out. Encourage me to be brave or give me some clever tips for how to balance the security blanket of the speech with the advantages of relying on notes. It really could make a big difference.

Be the first to write a comment

0 Comments

Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.

Related articles

  • Thinking about the future differently

    Ella Firebrace

    To solve today’s challenges, we need to think long-term. How can we do that?

  • Reskilling Britain in a crisis

    Jake Jooshandeh

    With unemployment set to rise and masses of jobs at risk, how we can reinvigorate adult learning?

  • A healthy economy?

    Ian Burbidge Will Grimond

    Covid shows us how our health and the economy are linked. Politics has been slow to catch up on the connection.