"Peek Through Open Dawes" - 3: Memorising Script

Video 3: Memorising a Script

Open Dawes Training are delighted to be releasing a sequence of videos that provide tips/advice in their own right, but also an insight into the content, objectives, and psychology we use in our Public Speaking, Presentation Skills, and Media Training services.

This video looks at one of the major causes of peoples nerves when they have to give a presentation or a speech; memorising or remembering a scrip off by heart! The amount of time that many people spend trying over and over again to memorise their script is so vast, that it can often detract from the amount of time focused on the delivery quality or style. On top of that, it then creates a new source of significant fear of public speaking; and to many the biggest; of what happens if they forget it.....

It is important to remember that your audience didn't know your script, so they will not know if you missed anything out, or said it differently to how you intended to at the speech writing stage. You may be better served to master reading your script effectively; which is a piece of advice that may surprise many, but watch the video to see what we mean.

As you can hopefully see, with the script in front of you, you are able to read blocks in a time, and focus on your delivery of it, and eliminate the fear that you will forget it. Switching the amount of time you spend on trying to memorise it to the quality of the delivery; e.g. ensuring it is delivered in the optimum tone/pitch, emphasis on the relevant parts of the speech, and conviction/emotion. Of course it is good if you have the time and ability to cut the script down from every word verbatim to a list of bullet points, but remember that this is just to make it better and easier for you, and makes no difference to your audience if you have mastered the art of reading a script. Remember, most (if not all) of the world's best speakers tend to often (at least) have teleprompters with their speech displaying dynamically to them.

Of course, if you can memorise a script, then great (e.g. regularly presenting the same speech or presentation, or it is short enough). But don't prioritise the wrong things, and create another source of potential fear. There is a reason why a whole section of advice looks at the way to ready a script/prompts for a speech/presentation/meeting; for example speeding up certain sections, slowing other bits down, choosing your inflection for maximum impact, and maybe increasing the size of the section that you remember as a result of reading a prompt, etc.

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