What Is a Manuscript Speech?

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When giving a manuscript speech, a speaker reads from a prepared document. The speech is delivered exactly as it is presented in the text. Manuscript speeches are useful when it is important for wording to be precise, such as with legal issues.

Though manuscript speeches ensure precision, they are also often less interesting to listeners than off-the-cuff or memorized speeches. When speeches are read, there is little opportunity to make eye contact with the audience. To deliver an engaging manuscript speech, the presenter should practice using vocal expression and gestures. Sometimes a telepromter is used, especially when a speech is televised, so the speaker engages more with the audience.