Speaking from a Manuscript
Read this article, which offers more insight on manuscript speaking.
Your manuscript delivery method will vary depending on whether the manuscript is your own or someone else's.
- When provided with a manuscript, you need to deliver it exactly as written. It is the original author's ideas and not your own that you are presenting to the audience.
- One important form of manuscript is a proclamation. When you read the proclamation, you create a distinct speech act that puts the statements into effect.
- After the speaker reads the manuscript and understands the meaning, he or she can practice creating a conversational delivery by emphasizing important words, creating vocal phrases with the right words together, and varying the pace and emphasis.
- If you are preparing your own manuscript for delivery, consider first the audience and write for them as if you were speaking directly to them.
- You can now use low cost personal teleprompters to help you deliver sermons, deliver speeches, and create quality audios.
- Teleprompter: A teleprompter is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech.
- Manuscript: A single, original copy of a book, article, or composition, written by hand or even printed.
- Proclamation: A statement which is proclaimed; a formal public announcement.
You may need to use the manuscript provided to you without adding your own thoughts or comments. However, there are other situations where you will need to prepare your own manuscript perhaps for publication in a newsletter, or to make sure you include exact wording.
When Provided with a Manuscript
You need to deliver it exactly as written. You are delivering words that were prepared by someone else; they are the original author's ideas and not your own that you are presenting to the audience. The manuscript could take many different forms. It could be a short story, a poem, or an article. You may also be provided with a special type of document, called a proclamation.
Manuscript: A medieval Latin manuscript by Aristotle with original Greek text added in the margins.
With a proclamation, the wording is exact and must be read exactly as written, as it is a distinct speech act that puts the statements into effect. If are reading a proclamation and say, "I now declare…" when you finish you have actually made it happen.
You usually have time to prepare which will allow you to fully understand the meaning that needs to conveyed to the audience. Once you understand the meaning, then it is possible to practice reading to create a conversational delivery by emphasizing important words, create vocal phrases with the right words together, and vary the pace and emphasis to convey the meaning of the original. Since you will have the document with you, you can mark it to indicate where you want to add emphasis, pause, and change volume or pitch.
Of course, the obvious disadvantage is that you are speaking for someone else; you are delivering his or her thoughts and ideas and not your own. You do not have ownership of the ideas but you may be judged since you are delivering the manuscript.
When Preparing Your Own Manuscript
If you are preparing your own manuscript for delivery, consider first the audience and write for them as if you were speaking directly to them. You are not writing a book but a speech to be delivered. When you deliver the speech from the manuscript, you are challenged to make a connection with the audience rather than simply read words.
Preparing your own manuscript prevents you from saying anything you would not say in careful consideration of your topic. It does assure that you say everything you want to say and gives the impression that you are a calm, collected thinker. You have the opportunity to work with a teleprompter to help you speak directly to the audience, but you will still need to practice with its speed and placement.
There are disadvantages to the speaker preparing his or her own manuscript. It is a challenge, since the speaker will have difficulty maintaining eye contact with the audience to show warmth and sincerity. It may also be difficult for you to actually develop a conversation with the audience while reading. You want to sound natural and develop your own persona which is difficult if a person is just reading his or her words on a page. With the necessary practice, you can perfect and develop a speech and deliver it from a manuscript with careful rehearsal.
When Working with a Teleprompter
You may also work with a teleprompter to increase eye contact and presence with the audience.
A teleprompter (also called a telescript or an autocue) is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to the practice of using cue cards. You can see the words on the screen in front of and usually below the camera lens of a professional video camera. The words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the presenter using a sheet of clear glass or specially prepared beam splitter. Since you do not need to look down to consult written notes, you appear to be speaking spontaneously and can look directly into the camera lens or the audience.
Fortunately, there are inexpensive teleprompter software applications as well as free web-based teleprompter applications, which will allow you to use a teleprompter to help you deliver sermons, deliver speeches, and create quality audios. These entry-level products work on desktops, laptops, and even tablets.
Teleprompter in use: This teleprompter is in use for a broadcast.
Source: Lumen Learning, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-communications/chapter/methods-of-delivery/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.