The following is adapted from a piece I originally wrote a decade ago, but it certainly still applies today.

Not long ago I heard a student give a speech that I know would have killed her had she been forced to sit in a classroom and listen to a professor lecture that way. She stood still as a statue, holding her notes in front of her, and read most if not all of the speech in a flat, sing-songy tone, the kind that movies use to stereotype boring speakers and teachers.

If you read a written “speech” out loud to the audience, why are you bothering to speak to them?

Wouldn’t it be simpler, easier, less nerve-wracking, and more time-efficient to just photocopy your manuscript? Continue reading

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