Why You Should Never Read Your Speech…
By Susan Berkley
Planning on giving a talk?
If you’re a nervous speaker, you might be tempted to write your speech and then read it. Don’t!
Just last week I was at a conference where the new CEO was introduced to a ballroom full of customers. The company had recently been acquired and they wanted to reassure the customers that nothing would change under the new management.
The speakers before her were relaxed, friendly, conversational, in keeping with the company’s image –but the new CEO came on stage and stiffly and humorlessly read her prepared remarks from a monitor in front of the podium.
Although they were trying to reassure us that nothing would change, the way she delivered her speech made us feel it would.
Here are the 5 major risks you face when you read your speech:
- You risk irritating the audience.
They might wonder why you didn’t just send them the script so they could read it themselves.
- It’s tougher to do a good job reading a talk than it is to present it.
Reading a script in a conversational manner is a daunting task. It takes training and lots of practice to do it well. If you do it poorly you will bore your audience, lose their attention and put them to sleep. It’s best to practice your talk until you know it well, and have a few notes nearby in case you lose your place.
- Speeches are often written in a foreign dialect known as “business-eeze”.
This business language is difficult to read and even more difficult to listen to. When giving a presentation, ALWAYS speak the way people actually talk!
- You communicate your message through a combination of body language, voice quality, energy and words.
When you read your script, you are trying to make the words do all the heavy lifting. It just won’t work.
- The speaker hides behind his script and doesn’t make eye contact with the audience.
Eye contact is one of the important ways we make an audience feel like we care about them. Deny them this and you risk undermining your message.
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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com
Copyright 2012, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. Why You Should Never Read Your Speech…