There are plenty of speakers who write down their speeches almost verbatim before they go on stage with them. Because it is easier for them to keep the thread in sight, they don’t have to search for formulations during the performance and they simply feel more confident on balance.
However, I also see speakers who stumble over their own manuscript:
- Despite the best preparation, they find it difficult to deliver certain passages fluently.
- Happy, relaxed people suddenly seem wooden. Somehow the personality seems to be lost in the writing process.
- Although you actually know exactly what you are talking about, you can hardly detach yourself from your speech notes during the presentation.
Have you also caught yourself at one point or another? Then you may have fallen into the "polish trap." Your writing is super-correct, only you would never speak like that in normal life! They come across as stilted and build distance from your audience.
Write how you talk!
The more vividly you formulate your notes, the more convincingly you will be able to present them afterwards. So it’s best to keep these five writing impact robbers in mind from the start:
"If we want to attract customers to the new consulting packages – not only to simplify our processes, but also to retain clientele in the long term – the following steps are necessary: …" Hand on heart, such formulations are already complicated when you read them. Rather, serve the information in bite-sized morsels that also allow for appropriate pauses in speech: "The new consulting packages are important for us. On the one hand you help to simplify our processes. On the other hand, they bind the clientele to us in the long term. This requires the following steps …"
These monstrosities are widespread and sound something like this: "A high level of employee satisfaction is the prerequisite for customer enthusiasm." But the same sentence comes much easier over your lips if you include a few verbs: "We need satisfied employees to inspire our customers!"
"Absenteeism and presenteeism have a monetary impact on German companies." – You definitely wouldn’t use phrases like this in spoken language, and you’d probably opt for it in a dialogue with a colleague: "There are employees who party sick even though they’re healthy. Others drag themselves to work even though they are sick. Both cost German companies a lot of money." Do the same when writing!
As soon as you replace these with "the, the, the", your statement comes across much more loosely. From "The new software, which we have been using since the beginning of the year …" will then "The new software we’ve been using since the beginning of the year …" . Notice the difference?
- Perfect grammar! The spoken language is clearly "sloppier" than the written one. You are allowed to start sentences with "and" or to use sentence fragments. Instead of "The colleague rightly criticized the unfortunate communication." write then for example: " The colleague criticized the unfortunate communication. Rightly so!"
As you can see, a few simple tricks are all it takes to make your written notes speech-worthy and give you a natural appearance. It’s best to read your text aloud once after you’ve written it. In this way, you will quickly notice whether bulky constructions have crept in and can directly counteract them.
I am * Andrea ,
Trainer, consultant, mentor and author. This is where I write and talk about my heartfelt topics: effective speaking and linguistic cleverness.
Always on the speech-free!Day you get tips on how to move your counterpart with words – redemutig& naturally! For more joy and ease on your small and big stages. Make your appearance: strong from the inside out!
PS: Talking is a personal topic … so are my contributions. That’s why I decided to focus on the "you" in the future, both in the blog and in the podcast. Glad you’re here!
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