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  • Writer's pictureErin Bailey Lake

How to read a script – without sounding robotic

TV and Radio personalities routinely use prompters and cue cards. 

Yet they sound spontaneous and natural. 

This is a skill they’ve developed. And one that you can master. 

Why would you need this skill? Because sometimes, the precise wording is so vital that you need to deliver it exactly as scripted. 


• Governor detailing progress of Covid-19 vaccine development. 

• CEO delivering results at annual meeting.

• Marketer explaining features/benefits of a new technical product. 

In these and many other situations, it’s risky to wing in. Better to script the presentation -- then practice it, so that you sound natural. 

Here are 5 Keys to delivering a scripted presentation:   

  1. Breathe frequently just before you speak AND all during your presentation. Don’t be afraid of short periods of silence…or even a few LONG PAUSES. This gives the audience a moment to absorb what they’ve heard and anticipate what you’ll say next. 

  2. Practice out loud. The more you deliver the script out loud, the more confident and comfortable you will get. 

  3. Vocal variety. Vary the pitch, pace, tone and volume of your voice.   TIP: You can emphasize a point by either (1) raising your voice or (2) by almost whispering to the audience. 

  4. Place your scripted notes near your computer’s camera, but off screen. This way, you appear to be looking at your audience.

  5. Believe! Practice to the point that you’re confident this will work. If you’re not confident, the audience will know. 


In cases where you’re working from a printed script, you can use color text and highlighters as delivery reminders. 


  • Dark Red Text = Slow Down. This section is complicated and some words are hard to pronounce. 

  • Green Text = Speed Up. This section is easy for the audience to understand. 

  • Blue Text = Smile. This is good news. 

  • Yellow Highlighter = Caution. The audience may challenge this content.

Slow down and deliver it convincingly. 

And One Final Tip: 

Frequently, presenters tell me: “I don’t rehearse well; but at showtime, I will rise to the occasion.”

My response: “I wish I had a share of Apple stock for every time I’ve heard that one.” 

For more help with your scripted presentations, contact us:

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