When reading your speech it is difficult to be effective because it is difficult to connect with the audience. Your head is bowed, so there is no eye contact and it is difficult not to read it in a monotous tone.
I just came across this advice about how you can read your speech in an effective and interesting way. It is by Albert Tack. I hope you find it useful to help deliver your speech successfully.
Rules for Reading a Speech
I am against a speech being read, but when it is essential to do so, the following rules should be adhered to:
1. Practice continually reading aloud from a book, until you are able to
memorize a few passages ahead. This will enable you to look up, continue speaking, and then return to the reading matter without losing your place.
2. When you can read from a book in an entertaining manner, then practice with your speech.
3. Remember, the ideal is to be able to read aloud in a conversational manner. To do this means that there must be pauses, inflections, emphasis . . .
4. When preparing your manuscript, underline those passages which you wish to emphasize. A full stop is not sufficient to denote a pause. Use several stops, or dashes.
5. Although you are reading from a paper it is as well, sometimes, to repeat a sentence. Underline those sentences which you wish to repeat. Practice, practice, practice reading your paper to others, until this conversational technique has been acquired. If you don’t do this, you will most certainly bore your audience, however brilliant your paper may be.
6. Vary the rate of your reading, otherwise you will sound monotonous.
7. Use gestures. You can only do this by acquiring the ability to look away from your paper. Gestures made while reading look out of place.
8. If possible, ask questions. It will break the monotony of reading. Even a rhetorical question is better than no question at all, because this brings into line the “wanderers.”
9. Speak a little louder than usual. People who read from papers are apt to drop their voices.
10. Don’t try to justify the fact that you are reading the speech. There is no need to apologize or to give reasons why you are doing so, instead of speaking extemporaneously.
Speech reading in an interesting way is difficult. It is worth persevering as you will be more effective in conveying your ideas to your listeners. Do you have any views on reading your speech? Do you think it should be avoided if possible as Albert Tack suggests?