Toss the Script ~ The Key to Engaged Public Speaking

Have you suffered through an executive presentation read from a script?

What was your reaction?

  1. Talked to your neighbour
  2. Played with your iPhone or Blackberry
  3. Took a bathroom break

Or are you a perpetrator?

Why as presenters do we read our script word for word? Our head down, buried in our notes using a monotone reading voice…clutching to the lectern.

Because we lack faith in our ability as a subject matter expert and our memorization skills. Our voice of self-doubt takes over. But deep in our heart of heart’s we know that our audience is not engaged – they are disconnected from our words. As are we.

So where to begin?

You know of what you speak, right? So take that script and write down only the key points. With each key point make a short note of the supporting argument(s).

Have faith in your ability to tell a story. It was a childhood skill that we all had and many of us have stifled with adulthood. Rekindle it.

Visualize each key point in a room in your home, then each supporting argument to a piece of the room’s furniture.

Now begin practicing! Go to the first room (there is your key message) to each furniture piece (your supporting arguments) and then on to the next room. Carry on through out your home. In each room craft your story around each key message and supporting points.

As with any new technique our brain matter needs to stretch and grow in new ways. That old noggin does adapt. And with anything new, it’s about an open mind and a leap of faith.

The result – you will engage your audience with your words because you will no longer have to read with your head down. You can look up and connect with your audience. You will be relaxed because you are now in control of the story that you have wound through your messaging. And you won’t be worried about memorizing a script because you will be moving through your home and the furniture, which sparks your key points and the supporting arguments.

Voila! Engaged audience captured  by a relaxed and entertaining presenter. You.

Photo Attribution: Jeff Martin / Godfrey von Rheinfels


I help build confident voices so they’re heard.

Janice Tomich is the founder of Calculated Presentations, a company dedicated to bringing out speaker’s stories to influence change. Janice coaches professionals, entrepreneurs, TED and TEDx speakers. She is a champion for equal representation by a diverse pool of presenters for all speaking events. Follow Janice on Twitter @janicetomich, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and subscribe for newsletter updates.

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