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To Script Or Not To Script? That is the speaker’s question.

01 Sep Posted by in Motivational Speaker | Comments

The question dates back a long time – do we script or not? Do we plan every word or get up there and wing it? Most motivational speakers have a passionate opinion about this – and today I’ll share mine.  My answer? Script. Script. Script. Plan every word. Do like Mark Twain and spend half the day putting in a period, and the other half taking it out. Decide whether this word is better than that word. Practice your inflection. Listen to the melody of the words. Always be searching for ways to cut words but add power. To show instead of tell.

This is how you will blow away your competition.

I realize that there are some very good speakers out there sputtering in anger and asking how dare I suggest that they are not good speakers because they don’t script? To which I would answer, “You probably are a good speaker. You just might have the amazing talent, that VERY few people have, of getting up on a stage and having every word you drip be golden. Perhaps “winging it” has made you a lot of money. And if it’s working for you, then I might not change it, or you just might lose the talent. But let me also say that I see a LOT of speakers (if not most) that think they are good and they are either boring, so bad that five minutes with them makes you want to jump off a cliff, or completely forgettable.”

So I’m still going to say that the scripted speech will be better than the unscripted speech. And normally I would leave it at that – but I must add a very big IF. IF you learn to tell it like it’s not been scripted. It seems that I’ve been leaving that out of the equation. I guess I assumed you knew. But to all those scripters out there – you’re not done – now you have to deliver it like you’re not following a script. You never want me to say, “Your technique is showing.” There is nothing worse than the speaker who looks like a robot – who is delivering every gesture on cue – turning his head at the same moment in every speech – calling up tears every time she gets to this part. You must learn and practice that speech until you can deliver it as if you were sitting at my kitchen table – just talking to me. You must look natural and in control – relaxed – passionate – and like you’re having fun, not worrying that at any second you’re going to forget your line and die a horrific painful death. Talk to me like you would talk to me in an elevator.  If you don’t normally talk like James Brown – now is not the time to start. If you don’t normally walk like you’ve got glass on your head – then don’t start today. If we don’t feel like that’s the real you, we will check out. Fast.

Having a script is great, and puts you in control of your words. Looking scripted is not good. Watch actors – you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s the difference in a homemade movie, and an award-winning movie. As usual, all it takes is a little work. And, who knows, you may already be great. Shoot, you may already be fantastic. Now get to work on the script and you will be even better.

Wow, I was so convincing in this article that I realized my speech is crap. I’m throwing it away and starting over. Should the period go here? Or here?

Your amazingly deep, favorite or maybe only, motivational speaker Kelly Swanson.

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