It sounds unlikely, doesn't it? Most speech readers enter into a beautiful relationship with the speech notes and treat the audience as if it doesn't exist. But here's an amazingly simple device for keeping you and your audience together - even when every word is pre-written.
The key to making this device work is our natural ability to scan a few words ahead.
How to improve your connection with your audience
Here's the method:
- Look, in silence, at the first few words of the first sentence, lift your eyes and deliver them to the audience.
- Before you run out of memory, drop your eyes and continue for almost all of the rest of the sentence while looking at the paper and the audience will think you are still engaged with them!
- But as you approach the end of the sentence, look up and deliver the last words to the audience.
- On the full stop, look down in silence and start again.
Here's an example.
Get the feeling? It's very effective in keeping the audience connected.
Using silence effectively
There is a catch. Yes, you probably noticed it... the silent parts may take bit of self-control. Around the full stop, speak only when you are looking directly at the audience - not while you're moving your eyes down or up. It's well worth getting that right; the audience will award you very high credibility.
One more thing. You'll discover that for very short sentences, it will often be smoother to just keep reading while looking at the page.
It really is simple. But, like any new skill, I suggest you practise it first, to make it smooth. Try it out on a friend.