As a speaker I’m often asked to share with an audience with just a few minutes notice. It may be that the speaker for the event can’t make it, or someone is out sick. Other times, I may need to speak about a job related subject, or something I’ve blogged about. While I usually have a lot of ideas flowing around in my head, they may not pertain to the subject matter of the meeting. So how do you put together a meaningful speech that pertains to the subject at hand?
Here is a little secret…
If you do your homework, you can create a wonderful speaker’s toolbox, and have it available at your fingertips right on your smart-phone.
Here’s how to do it…
1. Download Evernote on your PC, iPad, and also your smartphone. Evernote is a powerful cloud based note collection system. You can store notes, web clips, audio, pictures, and even full documents, that synchronize between your electronic devices.
2. In Evernote, create separate notebooks for speaking notes, quotations, stories, and web sites. You can create a Speaker’s stack (a stack is a collection of notebooks) to organize them in one place. You can modify this as necessary to meet your needs.
3. As you discover great stories, create short outlines in a note about the story (so you can remember it) and store it in your stories folder. Be sure to include keywords in the note so you can search for them later.
4. When you hear other speakers, write down quotations from their presentations, and store them in separate notes in your quotes folder. It’s also a good idea to collect popular quotations from famous people about subjects you frequently speak about. The search feature in Evernote will allow you to find pertinent quotes quickly as long as they contain keywords that you would be likely to search on.
5. When you run across blog posts, web articles, and news stories that fit your genre, create a note under your web site folder and include a link or clip the page for future reference. This will allow you to retrieve information you have read before in just minutes.
6. If you run across items in a book that you are reading, just highlight them and take a picture of the pages with your smart-phone or iPad. The search feature in Evernote will search text in photos that you take. (Very Powerful!)
7. When asked to speak, just open Evernote on your smart phone, and search for keywords that match the topic you need to speak about. You’ll have notes, quotations, and web sites available for quick retrieval in just seconds. Take a piece of paper and jot down some quick notes, including quotations. You will absolutely amaze your audience with your ability to speak off the cuff about complex subjects and include powerful quotations that match the subject matter.
8. If you happen to have an iPad, you can use that as a note reference. Just open Evernote, do a search for your subject, and place the iPad on the lectern or podium. You can refer to it as necessary.
9. The better organized and complete your Evernote notebooks are the better your on-the-spot-speech or presentation will be. Adding to Evernote on an ongoing basis will give you a treasure trove of information right at your fingertips.
The Evernote website has lots of great tutorials to help you get up to speed quickly with this powerful program. Leadership expert Michael Hyatt has a couple of helpful articles about organizing a paperless filing system and using Evernote as a speaker/writer that will help you get things organized in an efficient manner.
Extra Credit: If you are doing a quick Powerpoint presentation, you can download pictures and notes right from Evernote to insert into your slides. In only minutes you can create a powerful presentation right on your laptop or iPad.
Question: Have You Used Evernote Before?