Don’t Wing It

I have heard people say, when it comes to an upcoming speaking opportunity, that they will ‘wing it’ or that they like to ‘wing it’ because then it will come out natural.

Two things are wrong with this kind of thinking:

Winging it!
Winging it!
  1. That being prepared and even having a script prevents you being natural, and
  2. That this natural winging will be a good experience for the audience.

Even if you only have 30 seconds to speak, which might be the case at a networking event, the more prepared you are… the more natural you can be.

I recently made the mistake with a talk, to think that I was prepared.  It was my signature talk for “Olympian Secrets for Business Success“, one that I have done frequently, that I went to the function with less preparation than usual.

It went well and I received good feedback, and yet, I knew I missed out some important stories that really help to drive my points across.  They were stories that made the difference between OK and WOW, and that could make the difference on how much the audience remember of me and my message.

Preparation is key to the success of your talk, and there are various levels of preparation.

You may just prepare the outline with bullet points of what you want to talk about.  You know your subject well and the bullet point is enough for you to talk about it for five or even fifteen minutes.

This is what I used to do, and then I discovered the benefits of being even more prepared.

When I started speaking about speaking I knew that I had better be prepared and do a great job.  I had to be a walking and talking example of what I spoke about.

I want you to know that even with your talk completely scripted out, you CAN be natural.

My method is that I think about key points I want to say, and then I get clear on how I want to say it.  I know that by using certain words or crafting them in a particular way that they will help make a bigger impact.

Writing it out can give you even greater clarity, and you start to own those words – then when you finally say them out loud they roll of the tongue oh so naturally.

The purpose of the script is not to repeat it verbatim and sound unnatural.  The purpose is to let you know your message intimately and to then trust that the right words will come out when you need them.  You can formulate some great memorable sound bites this way.

You want to respect your audience by being prepared –

  • Prepared to give them value,
  • Prepared to give them the most important points to take-away,
  • Prepared to be memorable.

When you wing it, you are not giving your audience full value and you also won’t be getting the best result for what you want to achieve from your talk.

Yes, you can do well winging it, but I know that you can be extraordinary when you prepare ahead, know what you want to say and then look totally natural…..AS IF you were winging it.

What do you think?




2 replies to Don’t Wing It

  1. Really good message, Annette! I normally prefer ‘winging it’, but it probably isn’t best. I appreciate the insight on this topic. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  2. Thanks Dawn. You can ‘get away’ with winging it, but you will notice the difference when you prepare with more detail. To bring my sporting analogy into play, it can be the difference between an athlete and an Olympian.

Comments are closed.