1. The95Writer

    The95Writer Active Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    Likes Received:

    How do people read a speech?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The95Writer, Apr 15, 2014.

    I have no idea where to post such a question, but what the hey!

    So, I often watch debates, discussions and speeches on YouTube. I am curious as to how they read their speech and how they write it. Do they just use notes and elaborate on them or do they actually read paragraphs of what they have written?

    I am rather curious....
  2. Thomas Kitchen

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Nov 5, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Depends on the person. I'm learning to be a preacher in my church and beyond, and I prefer to have the full sermon I've written in front of me, so if I do get lost or flustered, then I have every single word there. But others only have notes - some people I know only have their three headings and then speak for forty minutes!

    So I would've thought it's more of a case of experience; if you've only been on YouTube or doing speeches for a little while, full text (I would guess) would be a common thing, whereas older and more experienced people might only have notes. That would be my understanding of how it generally works - of course there would be exceptions.

    EDIT - Also, if they are discussing something, people may have prepared some notes, but that's probably about it. Discussions can lead anywhere, so most of it is said on the fly.
  3. ChaosReigns

    ChaosReigns Ov The Left Hand Path Contributor

    Mar 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Medway, Kent, UK
    i personally tried the "write it all down" method and it didnt work out, so i think im more of a notes/on the fly type like Isake from my novels...
  4. stevesh

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Mar 17, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    For a one-off speech, the speaker would probably have the full text, possibly with parts highlighted. I teach a course (same course every time), so I just look at the Powerpoint slide and do the section from memory.
  5. Pheonix

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Contributor

    Jul 24, 2012
    Likes Received:
    The Windy City
    Depends greatly on the event and type of speech given.

    For example, politicians typically read speeches off of prompters. That makes sense if you think about it, since one wrong word and they're constituency could become very upset. Many sermons's and religious discourses are also read from manuscripts, but there a good number of those that are done from outlines.

    There are basically three main ways that speeches can be done.

    1) Extemporaneously. This means that the person is prepared, knows the idea's that they want to convey, but does not have it written down word for word, usually using notes or an outline instead. With experience, this is usually the preferred method. It leads to the most conversational tone and lends credibility to what you say, since you'll usually seem comfortable with what you're talking about and aren't glued to a manuscript.

    2) Manuscript. This method relies on a full written script of what you plan to say. You pretty much just read it. While this is appropriate in some circumstances, manuscript speeches come across as robotic if not prepared well enough. And, most of the time, no matter how well prepared you are, people will typically still be able to tell that you are reading from a script.

    3) Memorized is basically a cross between the two. Its what it sounds like, you memorize a speech word for word. It is not ideal, since you retain the stiffness of a manuscript, but with the potential danger of forgetting something and standing there looking foolish for several minutes while you wish you had your notes.

    Most of the time it ends up being a combination of the three, with certain parts written out in full, others outlines, and some key points memorized for effect.

    Hope that helps answer your question! :)
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Coquille, Oregon
    speeches are almost always written word for word... in delivering them, speakers do either... or both at times, depending on the speech... some are capable of memorizing them...

    and speeches are also given entirely 'off the cuff' [extemporaneously] with no notes at all...
  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I was a member of Toastmasters for a couple of years. Most members would write speeches verbatim when they first started out, but the majority would quickly switch over to brief outlines, often on a small set of index cards. As a speaker gains experience, the time spent on each outline point is predictable, and helps the speaker plan the speech duration.

    The first rule of public speaking is to make eye contact with your audience. Following a verbatim speech interferes with that, and also makes it hard to make adjustments based on how your audience is responding.

Share This Page