Public Speaking – How to Read Your Speech With Confidence
Reading your speech makes it difficult to deliver your speech an interesting and confident way. You are tied to one spot by the speech and it is difficult to connect with the audience.
There are 4 circumstances when you may want to read your speech
1) Political speech – where each word and phrase is to be scrutinized.
2) Technical speech – difficult concepts are being explained and accuracy is important
3) A special event – a certain theme is being portrayed
4) Confidence – where the speaker does not feel confident enough to deliver it without a written speech.
Public speaking is about effectively conveying ideas to the audience. Reading a speech makes that difficult because it confines the ability to speak expressively. Some of the shortcomings caused by reading are;
1) It delivered in a monotonous drone
2) Eyes are kept down reading the script
3) Long sentences and words are used that are difficult to understand for the listener
4) Little visual appeal – i.e. the speaker does not move or gesture.
To overcome these difficulties and speak with confidence the following techniques will help when reading your speech
Speech preparation – write your own speech. It will help you to know what is in the speech and it will be personal to you. After you have written your speech, go over it again looking for words and phrases that do not sound right when spoken. Spoken language is simpler than written language. Written language can be hard to understand when it is spoken. Keep the words and sentences short, to aid the audience’s understanding. If you haven’t written the speech go over it and modify it for your style and your own stories, i.e. personalizing it. Type the speech so that it is easy for you to read aloud. Double spaced typing and on one side normally works best. Also ensure you keep your pages in order so you do not have to shuffle through them to find the next sheet when delivering your speech.
Practice your speech as often as you can. In most circumstances you are trying to achieve a conversational quality to your speech. You will probably discover phrases and words that require changing. Your practice should cover:-
1) Looking up from your speech. If you are constantly looking down you will not be able to connect with the audience. You want to familiar enough with the speech so you only need to glance down to see what comes next and can look out at the audience when you deliver the line.
2) Bring in gestures into your delivery. Gestures add visual appeal to your speech and thereby interest to the proceedings for the audience
3) Use your voice expressively. Keep up a good pace and vary the tone and pitch as you would in normal conversation. Your voice should be expressing the ideas and feelings that are being spoken.
4) Practice in front of a mirror or video yourself, so you can observe yourself and make improvements. Ask your friends and family to play your audience and feedback their observations to you.
Reading your speech makes it difficult to speak with confidence and to effectively convey your ideas. But it is not impossible. By carefully preparing and thoroughly practicing you can improve the delivery of the speech and make it more interesting and effective for you and your audience.