Here is a view on reading a speech and comparing it to a marriage proposal.
Reading a speech is like leaning on crutches. Talking with notes is at least using a cane. The best way for a speaker to come before an audience is with nothing in his hands, but with his heart and mind so full of his subject he could talk fluently all day about it.
Imagine a young ‘man with one handful of note cards proposing marriage to his sweetheart. He looks at a card and says, “Darling, in the first place I have admired you, lo these many years.” Then he looks at another card and continues, “Secondly …” And by the time he reaches, “Thirdly,” how does the girl feel?
Of course people in an audience may not want to feel that a speaker is their fiance, but they would like to know that the speaker is interested enough in them to prepare his speech well, that he has an eager desire to share his thoughts and feelings with them.
When a person can talk “from his heart,” without memorizing, there is nothing in his way to mar direct communication. Furthermore such speaking is more likely to be like animated, enthusiastic conversation than any other style of delivery.
But without notes a speaker might forget. Yes, we sacrifice some advantages for more vital ones. When a speaker chooses the right subject, however — one in which he is deeply interested, and willing to share — usually he won’t have much difficulty re¬membering. He should mull the subject over in his mind and practice the speech until it has become as much a part of him as his eyes and ears.
What are your thoughts on reading a speech? How about read your presentation from a powerpoint slide? What is the most persuasive way to deliver your speech?