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English Speaking Communication: Presentations- Secrets of the Pros for Reading a Speech

English Speaking Communication: Presentations- Secrets of the Pros for Reading a Speech  


Sometimes pros will read their speech.   I’ve seen pros look and sound very, very good.  They used special strategies to maximize the effectiveness of their presentation.  Here are some of my favorite tips and strategies from the pros:

  • No matter what format you use for delivering the speech (note cards or printed speech), it should probably start out as a full text.  Here you can make sure you are saying what you want to say.  Here you determine pauses and other details of effective delivery
  • As you work over your speech during rehearsals,  make notes on the text.  Use highlighter or underline or circle words. 
    • Then you can go right to the phrases that will trigger the train of thought. 
    • You have your own personal road map to help you move quickly through the speech and ensure that you don’t lose your place.
    • Your cards or text should include your grabber at the top or on the front page.  This should be memorized so you can deliver it looking right at the audience.  You should try to memorize your conclusion too.

Layout of Printed Speech

  • Print the speech in large, dark, typeface that you can read while standing upright at the lectern.
  • Use upper and lower case, rather than all caps, because it makes it easier to scan.
  • Most speakers like the speech to be double- or triple spaced and pages to be numbered, just in case the entire speech tumbles to the floor.
  • Put the speech into a folder or a pocket folder.  A portfolio which can display two entire pages of the speech at once and facilitates sliding pages smoothly.
  • Don’t staple the speech but use a paper clip  to hold the speech together.
  • As you finish each page, slide it across into the “out” pile.  This avoids flipping and page turning.

Eye Contact

  • With the full text written out, a great strategy to maintain eye contact is by looking up at the end of each sentence.

For the next blog on doing presentations, we jump backwards in time.  To come is clever advice from the pros about how much time you will need to  prepare for a presentation.  That will prevent you from getting the crazy, stress -filled last minute scramble to a great presentation.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

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