Return to site



· Speech Coaching,Public Speaking,Toastmasters,Presentations,Storytelling

Writing out your speeches or speaking off the cuff?

I have to write out my speeches before practicing them. This is a longer process than those that can work out their message in their head and speak “off the cuff” on that subject.

If I don't first write out my talks, I improvise TOO much, I say aloud what I am thinking (not good most of the time) and my confidence in my message drops off or worse, fades off.

Critics can tell when you are reading.

The biggest problem with writing your speeches out is that you can become dependent on the text. It is easier to read your story rather than speaking it. My solution? Practice... and practice... and practice.... until I can run through the speech several times from memory.

How do I sound natural?

Once I have the speech down and continue to practice, I find that I know it enough to adjust the story, to sound more like I am telling it to one person rather than a group. Recently, I was retelling a story I've been working on. I have the story down but each time I tell it, it changes slightly. I discovered a place to add more humor but my ending changed and lost impact. (Something to remember for next time.). My gestures are more natural and can now be used to enhance the story rather than to detract.

As the storytellers tell me - keep telling the story over and over. After 100 times (I kid you not) they feel like they have it down pat.

The good news...

What I really love about this process is that with the practice, the story finds it's natural length. The more that I tell my favorite story, the shorter it has become. AND it is improving. Most, if not all, of the extra non-essential words have fallen away. The message becomes clearer, easier to listen to and most importantly, doesn't ramble on and on and on and on and on...