Beware the tool of the devil.
It turns gregarious, engaging speakers into lumbering robots. It drains speakers of energy. And it puts hapless audiences to sleep – instantly.
What is this fiendish weapon?
It’s the paper or the computer screen on which you write your speech or presentation. It seeks your complete, silent attention.
And when you succumb to its wiles, it sucks the soul out of your words.
Because it forces you to read – rather than speak.
If you really want to create a better script that you will be able to deliver with confidence and credibility, don’t focus so much on the writing… focusing on speaking the words and getting comfortable with them.
Most people I meet write in silence – as if their words are to be published in print rather than spoken out loud. Creation takes place in a library-like atmosphere. A mouse with socks on would fear being shushed into silence. The words are assessed by the eyes. They never pass over lips and into ears.
This silent obedience to the tool of the devil produces just one thing – words that are meant for the eyes alone. The vocabulary, the sentence structure and the grammar harnessed in this silent process all work well – for the written word.
But they don’t work for words intended to be spoken to an audience. When we speak we are more relaxed. Less formal. More conversational. Words are shorter. Sentences shorter. Sometimes not sentences at all. Mere fragments. But they give energy to our speeches and presentations. And they liberate our authentic voice.
How do you break free of the clutches of the tool of the devil?
Let me show you, with the 4 minute highlights of a presentation skills workshop I conducted, using our proven TalkitOut™ Technique.
Yes, you still write it – but only after you have tested your words on your tongue and lips and ears. Speak before you write. Try the words for size. See what they sound like. Try variations. Only when you like what you hear can you write down the words. This is writing for the voice, not the eye.
Try it. You will speak with conviction and passion. You’ll find your authentic speaking voice. You’ll gain confidence, because you are being true to yourself.
Halina St James takes the worry out of presentations with her Present Like a Pro video training course. It’s available now from the Podium Coaching online store, together with her popular TalkitOut: From Fears to Cheers e-book and workbook.