He gives every appearance of standing in front of an audience and simply saying whatever comes to his mind. He extemporizes. He does not give prepared speeches.
Trump seems to think that using a teleprompter and, by extension, speaking from a prepared script somehow makes a speaker inauthentic. Insincere. Less authoritative.
Is that the case?
Does relying on a script — one that you’ve written or had written for you — make you a bad speaker? Does it lessen your credibility? Does it dilute your message?
Of course not. On the contrary, preparing a script and speaking from it is the best way to improve your speaking.
Giving a speech is like undertaking any project. You wouldn’t simply show up unprepared and wing it. Not if a lot was at stake. Not if you wanted to succeed.
Preparing a script for a speech requires you to
You have to know your audience and what they want and need to know. You have to know your subject. And you have to decide on your focus — what exactly you want to address and, more importantly, what you want to achieve.
You have to stake out a position and make its case, presenting a logical argument with supporting evidence. And you have to make it emotionally appealing to your audience, because logic alone doesn’t move people to action.
You have to evoke images and metaphors, tell stories, and use language that is clear and memorable and that appeals to the senses.
I always prepare a script for a major speech. I learn it by heart, which isn’t to say that I memorize it word for word. I practice it over and over again. And then, mostly, I leave the script on the podium and speak without referring to it.
When you’re giving a high-stakes speech — when your reputation or the success of your organization, initiative, or project is on the line — you owe it to yourself and your audience to prepare a script.
What do you think? How do you prepare for your major presentations? Do you find any merit in writing them out?