Delivering Someone Else’s Speech | Media Training | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

How do you deliver a speech that someone else created or wrote? This happens all the time in business and government organizations where the boss can’t go and you have to fill in as you are handed over a pre-written speech.

It sounds easy if you think you are off the hook as you are just representing a colleague or your boss btu it is not that simple. Anytime you stand up to speak, people are looking at you because it is no longer someone else’s presentation, it is yours. The good news is that you are going to get all the credit. But if you are boring an uninteresting, the bad news is that you will get the blame because no one cares that you did not write it.

My advice is that if you have to give someone else’s speech, try to get a copy as much in advance as possible. You certainly do not want to read the speech the first time in front of your audience. One of the most dangerous things you can do is doing a live initial reading in front of the people.

The second thing is you should not read the speech word to word. There are some exceptions: if your boss says he will fire you if you deviate from the wording in the speech, then your goal becomes career preservation rather than effective communication with the audience.

The last thing you want to do is to read the speech unless you want to bore people to death. It destroys your body language, it destroys your natural voice movements, fluctuations, and pauses, and it destroys your eye contact. So you are virtually guaranteeing an awful speech when you read it.

So what do you do when someone else wrote it and you don’t know much about the topic? You read the speech again and again to get comfortable with it, and then come up with an outline that allows you to talk by just looking at it. If the speech is concentrated with content, I would go through it and find out what the most important and interesting message is and then just stand up and talk about it for one minute without notes or presentation. In this way, you will personalize the speech and have the idea come alive despite it being written by someone else.

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