Know what you’re saying

King's speechOne of the many hazards of reading a script is relying on something external to know how your sentence ends. Not only does this sap the sincerity from your delivery, it can lead to your saying things you really don’t mean.

Of course, this problem can be eliminated by rehearsal and being completely familiar with every nuance of the script, but there’s always the danger, in the heat of the moment, that your brain will retreat into autopilot and you’ll read without properly engaging with the content. This is why I strongly recommend you use bullet-point notes instead of a script.

What I’m particularly thinking about today is when ‘speakers’ believe they have come to the end of a sentence, though in fact it goes on. By, for example, mistaking an adjective for a noun, they imply through their intonation something rather different from what was intended.

Saying, “We’re working on reducing production”, then turning the page and adding “costs”, does little for your credibility.

The reader of an audiobook I bought from a professional company made me laugh during a scene that should not have been funny. I know this is a different kind of job from public speaking and obviously reading is the only way to do it, but it’s reasonable to expect the narrator to tune into the meaning. What he said was, “She had a ring through her bottom.” While my mind was boggling at this image, he appended the word “lip”.

If you absolutely have to read your speech, at least make sure you know what you’re saying.


About Georgie

Coach and consultant in effective communication - public speaking, interviews & pitches, training, lecturing, meetings, debates & discussions. Motivational speaker
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