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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

How to Make the Written Word Interesting and Compelling—Even if It Isn't Yours

The material you need to read can take on many forms. For example, it can be a straight speech or a list of compiled data or regulations. It can be very straightforward and not prone to embellishment: You may have to read a 20-minute report to the board on safety rules and regulations in your department. Of all the techniques to make your information interesting, practice is the most important. Don't expect to just pick up the information, read it, and bowl over your audience. Reading aloud is a skill in itself.

Beyond sheer practice is belief. You must believe in your message and really want to communicate it to your group. Any audience will be turned off by a reluctant reader who can't wait to finish. At a recent function, I actually heard the speaker, a well-known entertainer say, "I'm going to read my few words and then we can get the hell out of here." Signs alerting your audience to the fact that you would rather be elsewhere don't have to be this overt; an inadvertent sigh can communicate the same message.


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