by Ganiyat Temilade

Speaking off the cuff means conversing naturally, with little or no preparation. Many public speakers want the appearance of speaking off the cuff but the benefits of preparation and scripting. So, how do you find the balance? How can you give an authentic speech and impression after planning and rehearsing? Keep reading to find out!

Finding Balance

Don’t read your script. The point of writing your speech word for word beforehand is to make sure you get your key points in without rambling or going off topic. There is an art to speechwriting that helps a speaker give their talk in a way that engages the audience. The point is not to read it word for word and sound rehearsed. Instead, your goal as a speaker is to perfect it in rehearsal to the point of embodiment (like an actor preparing for a show). You want to get to a comfort level of thoroughly knowing the purpose and flow of the speech. The purpose is usually to drive a specific action or conjure an emotion. The flow is the order in which you say your words to get that action or emotion.

Reading from a prompter can make you vulnerable to rigid and robotic behavior. We tend to become nervous when reading in public because we feel all eyes on us. The best strategy for finding balance is to establish a “happy medium” by striking a balance between being overly prepared and being overly rehearsed. As long as you know the intention and purpose of your speech (after rehearsing), you can get by with just notes or bullets for the main event.


Failure to plan is a great way to fail. It is critical to prepare for the task at hand. You should, however, be relaxed and confident. How do you go about doing that? By planning and comprehending the fundamentals of your script. When you know your script well, you can spice it up with emotions and dramatic pauses; this way, you won’t sound robotic but rather confident, and your expressions and content will carry the listeners along with you. Let’s face it; nobody is perfect. You must believe in yourself for your listeners to believe in you and follow your speech. You have to appear to be speaking off the cuff.

You will be exposed to environmental threats because you will be addressing the crowd and attempting to sell out your speech and ideas. Along with having a well-structured script, you need to be able to manage your anxiety, self-doubt, rigidity, and fear of failure. Remember, the goal is to sound very natural and confident, so don’t be so dramatic that you lose authenticity.

Communicate with your audience

Remember, showing your audience that you understand your presentation is critical. You should focus more on keeping them on track by using simple and direct language that they can understand. A common mistake most people make when giving a presentation is using difficult-to-understand vocabulary. Yes, this might make you sound educated, but it will create a communication gap between you and your audience. Since the goal is to sound genuine and unscripted, keep your remarks brief and try to liven them up with a joke or testimony that the audience can relate to.

Get a little physical.

Standing still while delivering your speech makes the presentation seem uninteresting and paints you as a script-dependent robot. The clear difference between speaking to your friends and giving a presentation is defined by your body language. Although your gestures don’t add to the content of what you’re saying, they make you appear more natural and convey a message to your listeners’ subconscious.

Remember that the goal is to sound natural and unscripted. The audience may not react as you expected; don’t be intimidated by their reaction and feel obliged to change the mood in the room. When preparing for a presentation, focus on planning, creating rich content, and practicing appropriate body language to enhance the overall value of your talk. To learn more subscribe to our blog today.

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