Writing for the eye and ear:

Before the great ones spoke, they wrote.

What should I write for- the eye or the ear? That is the second question many speakers ask after answering the first – do I even write at all? Next comes what I call the whopper should I write a full script – word for word or an outline and just wing it? ” My answer is always No- No- No! To quote one of the best speaking coaches, I had the pleasure of knowing: David Brooks the 1990 World Champion of Public Speaking, “great speeches are not written – they are rewritten – Before the great ones spoke, they wrote.” Over time, I too have come to realize the value of writing out your speeches not only for the eye but also for the ear. I highly recommend this approach to your development as a speaker which will improve your self and audience awareness as well as the delivery of your message.

Now that you have a copy that is accurate, clear and brief, the next phase is getting your speech ready for stage time. There is always the temptation for some speakers to begin memorizing their script. That is a bad idea. Don’t do it. Your next step should be to get that speech out of your head and into your heart. It is by far better to internalize than to try to memorize what you have written. David also cautions that “trying to memorize your speech is trying to remember every word in the correct order. Internalizing is focusing on every idea of your copy in the best order.” Internalizing your material will help you develop into a speaker who is comfortable, confident and concerned; comfortable with yourself, confident with your message and concerned with your audience. I can think of no better way develop as a speaker than write for both the eyes and ears. Write for the eye to preserve your speeches, and write for the ear to connect with your audience.

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