Reading Your Talk--Part 1: Preparing the Manuscript
Reading a talk from a manuscript—that is, writing out the entire talk
and reading it—allows you to plan the exact words and phrases to
use. While talks that are read often lack a feeling of spontaneity and a
lively sense of communication, there are times reading is the best
way. When reading from a manuscript pay special attention to four
things: (1) preparing the manuscript, (2) preparing the reading draft,
(3) practicing the talk (4) and presenting the talk. This column and the
next three will treat these things.
Guidelines for Preparing the Manuscript:
- Use simple, clear, vivid words.
- Use short, simple sentences.
- Make ideas less complex than in writing.
- Provide clear transitions between thoughts and ideas. (See
Apr 2003 Column)
- Use repetition to emphasize main ideas and key points.
- Use personal pronouns such as I, we, our, us, and you rather than such
ones as they, people, person, the reader, and the hearer.
- Use concrete language and follow abstract reasoning with specific
examples, definitions, and comparisons.
Next month I will give suggestions for preparing and marking the
draft you use when you present your talk.
This material is adapted from my book