Sometimes a hybrid approach can elevate your oratory without anchoring you to a podium
Scenarios that pose the question, “What if?” can be fun to explore. A good example is the Web post that jokingly answers the question, “What if Abraham Lincoln had used PowerPoint to give a presentation at Gettysburg?”
Here’s another scenario made possible by applying a modern day practice to an historical event: “What if Lincoln had spoken from bullet points instead of a prepared text?” Would his words have reached the same heights? Would an accurate record of his remarks exist today? And would those bullet points be carved into the marble at the Lincoln Memorial?
Many leaders pride themselves on their ability to speak with few or no notes — as well they should. Being able to speak off the cuff is a valuable skill. However, it isn’t always the best strategy if the aim is to have your rhetoric soar. A more-detailed flight plan can make the difference between a smooth trip and a rocky ride for both speaker and audience.
Of course, much depends on how articulate the speaker is. Can he or she keep the speech aloft by filling in the blanks between the bullets with fluid, interesting language?