When we read speeches, the amount of eye contact with our audience is

usually less. In some cases, people who read speeches have NO eye contact. To avoid this, first write like you speak (see suggestion #2). When typing the text, use upper and lower case letters. This will make it easier to read. TYPING EVERYTHING IN UPPPERCASE, AS I HAVE DONE HERE, MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO READ> Don’t have long paragraphs or you will lose your place every time you look up. Start a new paragraph every sentence or two. Also, have your text double spaced. Some people even go so far as alternating the color of the text for each paragraph.

Use unstapled pages for your text. Paper clip your pages and just before you begin, remove the paper clip. As you prepare your text, keep in mind that you will have to handle these pages and you want to do this smoothly and as quietly as you can. Do not have part of a sentence begin on one page and continue onto the next page. End the page with a complete sentence and paragraph.

During your pauses, smoothly “slide” the page you just finished using to one side and continue with the text on the next page. Do not pick up the page and place it behind or turn the page over when done. This will be distracting and will bring attention to the fact that you are reading. Avoid handling the pages as much as possible while you are reading.

With a lot of practice and careful preparation, you can deliver a powerful speech, even when reading. Some of the world’s greatest speeches were read, but you can be assured, they weren’t reading them for the first time when delivering their speech to their audience. Practice, practice, practice.

3. Using Notes – This is the most common way for remembering material. Using notes is better than reading since the speaker can have normal voice inflection and make more effective eye contact. If your notes are on the lectern, you probably won’t move very far from them. If notes are in your hand, you probably won’t gesture very much.

In either case, make sure that the paper or the note cards are not the key, the audience is always first in any speech that you deliver.

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