Master Your Message Blog

How to Mark Your Scripts to Impact Your Performance

Ever heard someone at the lectern read a speech? I mean a dull, boring, lifeless verbalization of just what’s on the paper in front of them, without any attempt to embellish it whatso ever or bring it to life?

My guess is probably … more often than you’d like to admit. And what does it do for you? Probably not much. It’s forgettable, right?

Well, it doesn’t need to be that way.

speech script marked with lines and slashes

In the world of professional narrators lives the marked script. Now, narrators are people who make very lucrative livings off their ability to read a script in front of a microphone naturally.

To do that, they mark up their scripts. A vertical line is a full pause. An underlined word is emphasized. It’s a trick the pros use and you can use it, too.

example script showing marks for emphasisGive it a try. It’s amazing how it works.

Speaking of which – the most powerful tool a presenter can bring to the table is what radio jocks call “dead air.” It’s the pause. It works in radio … but it works even better on stage.

If you want your audience to soak in your most important point,  pause right after you deliver it. Be deliberate in how you phrase it for even more impact.

Or try this: Pause before you deliver a powerful point.

And make sure you mark important pauses right on your script.

Pauses and pacing. They take practice, but, boy, do they work!

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