In part 1 of “Should You Script Your Speech?”, I covered the disadvantages of scripting your speech. As I mentioned, the advantages of scripting your speech far outweigh the disadvantages. Here’s my list of the advantages of scripting your speech:
- • you avoid going on tangents
- • you get your main point across with clarity
- • you’ll be able to manage your time more effectively
- • you won’t leave out important details
- • you won’t include unnecessary details
- • you can generate a media buzz for your organization or cause
- • you will be using a model of previous successful speeches
A common problem among presenters (experienced and inexperienced) is the tendency to ramble or go on unplanned tangents. As an audience member, you’ve probably been subjected to this many times. I know I’ve experienced it, and I can’t say it’s ever been enjoyable.
Rambling and going on tangents happens when a presenter has a “brilliant thought” while he or she is in the midst of delivering a speech. Of course, the thought is so brilliant, the presenter feels the need to share it that very moment. The big problem is, the brilliant idea hasn’t been completely thought through. And unless divine intervention happens at that very moment, the presenter’s ability to explain that “brilliant idea” is limited. On top of that, the flow of the presentation will no longer be the same, so the presenter will spend the remainder of the speech trying to get back on track.
If you use a script (and resist the urge to stray from it in a moment of brilliance), you’ll avoid rambling and going on unplanned tangents. Your speech will also maintain a smooth flow from beginning to end.
Making Your Main Point With Clarity
It’s quite possible to deliver an extemporaneous speech and get your point across with clarity. There are some speakers who do it – and do it quite well – regularly.
On the other hand, there are many more presenters who are poor at delivering extemporaneous speeches, and they often leave their audiences wondering what the point of the entire speech was.
Those who can deliver extemporaneous speeches well are what you might call “gifted” when it comes to oratory. They are the Wayne Gretzkys and Michael Jordans of the lectern. But don’t be fooled … the gifted speaker’s ability to deliver an extemporaneous speech isn’t as spontaneous as it may seem. The gifted speaker doesn’t pull the right words of of thin air like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The gifted speaker has a plethora of stories, statistics, and anecdotes tucked away in the corner of his or her brain and can use the information interchangeably to argue a point. If you don’t have that abundant storage of stories and statistics in your head, don’t try this at home! Get a pen and some paper.
Yes, there are those who use scripted speeches and still don’t get their point across, but that’s because they either haven’t learned the principles of writing a successful speech or they haven’t taken the necessary time to craft a speech with a clear purpose. When you do know the principles of writing a successful speech … and when you do devote the time required, not only will you be sure to make your point, you’ll make it with clarity, conviction and the ability to convince your listeners.
In my next article, I’ll discuss three more advantages of scripting your speech.
John Watkis is a freelance speechwriter, speaking coach and keynote speaker who helps his clients use the right words at the right time in the right way so they can educate, influence and inspire their audiences.
For more of his tips on public speaking, and to get your FREE “Successful Speeches Toolkit”, visit http://www.wellwrittenwellsaid.com/freetoolkit.html
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