In fact, if you're a real Pirates groupie (yes, OK, I admit it), you have incorporated this phrase into your own vocabulary and bring it out whenever you can find an appropriate place to use it.
Two points here are relevant to our presentations.
GUIDELINES ARE GOOD
Frequently when we take a presentation skills course or read a book on how to improve our public speaking, we view the material as inflexible rules. Yet so much of being an excellent speaker is letting your personality show through and relating to the audience on a human level.
Use the theories, tips and techniques you learn as guidelines. Internalize them and give them your own style. As an example, many courses and books will tell you not to use a lot of hand gestures in your presentations because they are distracting. However, if who you are is energetic and passionate in your communications, it will be very unnatural for you to keep your hands folded in front of you.
So here's an example of where you should use the advice about hands as a guideline...don't stifle your own persona but be very conscious of hand motion that might be constant, and therefore, distracting to your audience.
MEMORABLE IS GOOD
The line about rules and guidelines from Pirates is very memorable. It's short, clever and yet communicates a lot of meaning. In preparing your presentation, develop one or two "sound bites" which will capture an important concept, resonate with your audience and give your message life, well after the presentation ends.