Carol Roth presenting SCORE 2016This morning I am off to inspire some professionals with my “Re-Launch You: Liftoff After Layoff” talk. It’s my signature talk in the career transition space, and I’m excited to be able to suggest people look at transition as a time of opportunity and possibility  even if it’s uncomfortable at the moment. (I also have several talks that I give to small business owners.)

So, this post from Carol on came at a perfect time for me, and maybe for you, too. In “5 simple ways to become a better speaker,” Carol begins:

Every entrepreneur (and intrapreneur, too) spends a lot of time delivering messages. Whether it’s leading a team meeting, pitching a client or keynoting an industry event, speaking opportunities are ever-present. Not to mention that speaking at events is a great way to enhance your status as an expert and create awareness for your business.

That being said, public speaking is one of the biggest fears that most people have, and it’s an art as much as a science. But with some tips and some practice, you can leave a lasting impression that you will want people to remember.

Here are five simple ways that you can become a better speaker.

1. Don’t memorize your lines.

Far too many speakers believe that the best way to give a great speech is to memorize the content word-for-word. However, this is one of the worst things that you can do as a speaker.

Memorization makes you sound over-rehearsed (a.k.a. not natural), and worse, if your mind blanks out at any point during the presentation — a common occurrence even for the most skilled speakers — you will lose your place and potentially create an awkward silence. If that happens, it can lead to sheer panic and railroad your entire speech.”

You can find more on what you should do instead of memorizing and the other tips here.