I much prefer speakers to use memory prompts as speakers who read their speech frequently lose the life force of delivering an audience grabbing presentation. Why, because they are tied to their printed word, often fearful of losing their place which invariably means they do leading to more discomfort behind the lectern. Eye-contact is patchy as they try to keep on track. The speech controls them instead of them controlling the speech. But if you feel you must here are some tips for managing your speaking papers.
Type the speech with double space – use only the top half of A4 paper – (if you continue the text to the bottom of the page guess where your eyes go as you read it) It is important to maintain eye contact – read a sentence, use your finger to keep on track and look up at the audience come back to your place, read a sentence…….. Use a highlighter to score beginning of fresh point being made. Number each page clearly at the top right hand corner. Practice moving the presented page smoothly across to one side or place behind the other notes. Don’t forget to rehearse it, time it, pace it.
I recommend Memory Prompts – one liners that take you from point to point. Write the speech in its entirety and then rehearse it using a highlighter to indicate each point, not complete sentences, just the nuts and bolts of the point. Retype the points in double spacing. Number the prompts clearly. Rehearse using the prompts and checking with the speech notes. File the speech. Rehearse using the prompts only. Rehearse using the prompts only until it runs smooth, reviewing any stumbling blocks and rewording in language you are comfortable with. Rehearse and time it. Ready to go get em!