It’s Hard to Read a Speech

Should you encourage your executives to read their speeches ver batim? A colleague in another online community in which I participate recently expressed frustration with her president, who in the past has relied on bullet points when speaking in public. The problem? He often wanders off message. She was contemplating a move to full text speeches for him.

If you ever find yourself in similar circumstances, allow me to offer some thoughts and recommendations. First, your executives will need to spend time with your speechwriter in order to better capture their voice. This doesn’t mean they need to become BFFs, but good writers need to gain an understanding of your executives’ communications styles and preferences.

Second, your executives will need to devote A LOT of practice time if they have not delivered full text speeches before. In my experience with clients over the years, this has proven to be the most challenging format.

Third, be sure you hire an actual speechwriter. There is a plethora of public relations generalists flooding the market who will offer to write a speech. Avoid them. The fact is this is a specialized area and you are likely to suffer poor results with a generalist.

What have your experiences been with full text speeches?



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