Speaking from a script? Use this 9-point checklist

If you’d rather not give your next speech extemporaneously, follow this checklist to make sure you can expertly speak from your notes.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

It’s perfectly fine to work from notes or a text when you speak, but when you choose to not speak extemporaneously, you need a checklist. A text is no guarantee that things won’t go wrong.

When you choose to read from a script, follow this checklist:

1. Make sure you can pronounce everything.

I once wrote a script for a client who neglected to tell me that she pops the letter P when she speaks, and wanted to avoid it if possible. (Yes, that speech was loaded with Ps.)

If someone is preparing a speech for you, clue her in on any pronunciation issues you have. Practice aloud to make sure you won’t stumble over anything, and make any changes before you get up to speak.

2. Don’t write out personal stories.

Will you tell a personal story? If so, don’t write it down.

Just insert “tell vacuum cleaner story here” rather than try to script something you can tell without effort. This will force you to look at the audience, which will help you connect and sound less stilted.

3. Check the format.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.