Certain situations require a manuscript speech, such as a eulogy or a CEO’s policy statement. In the last newsletter, I gave strategies for writing a manuscript speech. Now to the mechanics of reading your speech that you have carefully composed.
How do you keep from appearing to read your speech when you really are reading your speech? Here are tips to sound as though you are speaking from notes and not a manuscript.
Because the speech is written out word for word, some speakers don’t practice since everything that is said is in the manuscript. Once a disgruntled speechwriter knew his speaker never practiced in advance of the presentation and he was preparing the complete script. So at the end of the first page he had written, “Now the next 3 points are the most significant of this entire project.” The speaker turns the page and it is blank except for this sentence in big bold letters, “You are your own. I quit!”
You will avoid this problem if you read your speech aloud before you present it, and your audience will appreciate your preparation.
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. He presents keynotes and seminars to corporations and associations whose people want to speak and listen effectively. See additional articles and resources at www.sboyd.com. To book Steve, call 800-727-6520 or email him through his website.