CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – FEBRUARY 19, 2021
WHEN YOU HAVE TO READ!
If reading is absolutely necessary, here are some suggestions:
Pay attention to the inflection in your voice – to sound natural, rehearse often, checking yourself for pauses. Ask yourself if your words sound the way you would say them if you weren’t reading. Tape yourself and listen to your own voice. Take notes where changes should be made with the inflection in your voice.
When preparing your written speech, say the words “out loud” first in order that your written text will read closer to your speaking style. This will make it easier to read and much easier to listen to. People often DO NOT write the same way as they speak and this makes reading more difficult. If we use wording and phrasing we normally use in our everyday language it will be easier to add the correct voice inflection and tone. Annotate your text to indicate which words to emphasize. Numbers are the easiest target words to say slowly with emphasis on each syllable.
One of the biggest problems speakers face when reading text is that we often forget to use gestures. We are so busy making sure we read the text we fail to communicate effectively with our entire body. One thing we can do to help this is to “double space” your typed text to leave room to add notes or cues about gestures and other reminder type clues. We need to practice using this annotated text of our speech so we can easily and smoothly react to these cues for our gestures while at the same time correctly read the text. This does take some practice. Some people do this very effectively.
I work with ministers who do this extremely well, but they also practice a lot! Videotape yourself reading the speech and then sit and watch the speech, making notes as to the gestures which could have been used. Add notes to your written text based on this review, using notes or even pictures of the gestures to use and deliver the speech again, trying this time to add gestures. After a little practice, this will become second nature.