Manuscript Speech or Presentation: How to Deliver One

Not all presentations and public speeches are the same, as you may have learned already from our long series of fourteen types of speeches. What you need to know other than the different types of speeches is now the different styles or methods of speeches, and for today’s discussion, we will look at MANUSCRIPT SPEECH.

While a presentation is a process of delivering certain information to an audience by lecturing them, persuade, inform, or whatever the purpose may be. The manuscript speech is a presentation method where the speakers deliver the presentation with a paper or teleprompter that usually has been pre-written to give a piece of information.  

The entire speech has to be referred to the printed document, which means that we as the speakers don’t necessarily need to read all of it, but to have a certain domain with the subject we are presenting.

This method of speech can be quite challenging because it requires creativity and out of the box thinking. After all, the structure is given to us so here we have everything we need to say on a script or guide. The challenge is that it is easy to go with the flow and be comfortable with just reading, making your speech boring – let’s avoid that.

Related Article: The 4 Types of Speech Delivery

The manuscript speech style can occur or be used in several situations, such as:

  1. A Presidential Speech;
  2. A televised news report (given using a teleprompter) seen on television;
  3. A religious proclamation issued by any religious leader.

Since this is usually a speech method that is used to inform and let an audience acquire knowledge about a subject or problem that is going on, there is usually no space to discuss ideas with the audience because it is not a debate, so there is enough space for monotony.

Nevertheless, the manuscript speech is still a form of presentation, and to be remembered and memorable, it has to be versatile and engaging to the audience, so before we get into details about how to deliver a manuscript speech, here is a list of what to do:

  1. Speak in a conversational voice tone;
  2. Make it brief and easy to understand;
  3. Establish eye contact with the audience;
  4. Write the words in a way that facilitates reading and highlighting key points;
  5. Make the content interesting.

Having a well-crafted speech seems easy enough, but it can also quickly become a dull show which is bedtime storytelling and this is not our purpose. We are going to see some guidelines on how we could make a manuscript speech delivery memorable.

MANUSCRIPT SPEECH OR PRESENTATION

How to Deliver a Memorable Manuscript Speech

  1. Speak in a conversational tone

Since we will not have an actual conversation with the audience, which means they will not have the Q&A sessions to clear any doubts, much less ask for their opinion, it is important to use a conversational tone.

That can be done using a language that embraces a group such as “we” or “ours” and from time to caring to explain with reliable examples the impact of that information we are giving.

  1. Make it brief and easy to understand

Talking non-stop for more than 15 minutes can make our audience mentally tired, and that leads them not to listen to what we have to say.

The other point is referring to the clearness of the content. Bringing up concepts that will make them struggle to understand can get frustrating to the audience, as the message will not be relatable to them.

If we are driving a presentation that will take an hour or more, we need to create ‘distractions’ that will entertain and engage our audience towards our subject. For example, give a break or pass some slideshows that have some interesting facts about life skills or issues that pertain to the topic of discussion.

  1. Establish eye contact with the audience

One of the advantages of the manuscript speech is that the audience already expects us to tell them some facts from a manuscript, so although you will not have to memorize the speech, you should get familiar with the content. That, will allow you to read, and share the information while making meaningful eye contact with the audience.

Eye contact is very important for the connection we want to build with the audience because they can feel and see how authentic and concerning is the speech we are delivering.

Interesting article to read on this: 6 solid tips about how to make good eye contact

  1. Write the words in a way that facilitates reading and highlighting key points

We don’t want to get lost during the speech and look like we don’t own the presentation. By simply reading and making sure we understood the message we are going to spread it is important to stand out them in a way that will avoid that.

To avoid losing ourselves when delivering a manuscript speech we could:

  • Use highlighters on the paragraphs and words we think we have to mention for sure;
  • Create a double or triple space between the paragraphs to see clearer;
  • Write notes that will function as a reminder of the things we need to dive a little more;
  • Use large print so that it will be easy to read without straining our eyes, which is going to give us the impression of losing control;
  1. Make the content interesting

How receptive the audience feels towards a subject or a problem that we present, depend only on us as the speakers.

 If we are in a business meeting environment where our boss asked us to give a manuscript speech about a theme that he believes is important to everyone, we are the ones who need to show why and how.

Making the content interesting, besides knowing how to use body language that will transmit confidence, developing a connection with the audience, is also all about showing how useful that information we are giving can be for that audience in a certain stage or area of day to day life.

Here are some tips on how we could make a manuscript speech content interesting:

  • Use examples with problems that cover most of the range group that in the audience;
  • Show up with proposed solutions or tips on how the audience could be an active part of the process to reverse it if it is a problem or proceed if is good news.

Conclusion

Now you know that planning and delivering a manuscript speech is not just about having a paper and reading it to the audience, they can tell if we own the presentation or not, which depends on how we create and present the content.

Thank you so much for reading until this far!!

References and Further Reading

Speaking Center. Manuscript Speaking.

Social Mettle. Manuscript Speech: Definition, Examples, and Presentation Tips

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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