BBC script tip will work for you

by Neil Everton

The death of a former BBC News colleague reminded me of a piece of advice as relevant to speakers today as it was to TV journalists when it was delivered 50 years ago.

The colleague who died was Peter Woon, a man credited with changing the way the BBC reported the news. But that was later. When he was first hired his new boss, Tom Maltby, shared one piece of advice with Peter and all recruits to the newsroom:

“I never want to see you typing a script. You must dictate it so it will sound like the spoken, not the written, word when you deliver it.”

And that is why TalkitOut is at the heart of our presentation skills training. The words have to come out of your mouth before you commit them to paper.

If you write in silence, and judge your words only by how they look on the page, it’s hard to capture your true speaking voice. Your sentences tend to be longer, the structure more complex, and you lose the conversational quality your audience expects of you.

Say the words out loud before you write them. You’ll be amazed how it changes your speaking style, your fluency and your confidence.

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