What’s your style?

just been vaguely listening to a guy who can just fill time. I can’t do it: am scripted 90 seconds only before falling apart 


2 or 3 bullet points in front of me

then wing it 

Bullets and slides or a handout if I want them to refer to it/do an exercise. 

If you are finding it an impediment then I can give you my nonny rof email OB as I have done a bit of teaching of it, both privately and the in house advocacy training for the Inns.

Reading a script in a way which anyone can listen to for more than a few minutes is an art which few people have. I certainly don't. You put the emphasis on all the wrong words.

So what Hoolie said.

I did one recently

Feedback from a client: “lot of hot air”

I’m in Dubai so not sure what he expected


Bullet point with stories at end of the "paths" - stories non scripted

recommend you read The Pyramid Prinicple by Minto and adopt that style - it works for me (I teach it to other people for presentations, advocacy and pitches)

Two or three minutes tops before I start thinking about sex or what I am having for dinner that evening.

I do quite a lot of presenting and nothing is worse for the audience (in my opinion) than reading from a script.

A few bullet points to structure matters and take it from there.

If you can’t talk fluently on a topic without reference to a script then you really shouldn’t be the person leading a session on that topic.

Professional presentations are not the same thing as being the life and soul of the party, nor being a great primary school teacher.

A few people, say less than 10%, are naturals and gain no benefit from training. A few, perhaps more than 10%, are totally out of place, but probably have severe difficulties with other aspects of a role as a professional, and training will make very little difference.

But the vast majority of people benefit enormously from presentation training.

I try to have either no slides at all, or just an agenda and slides as handout after the session. 


Almost total impro.  People can look at the slides if they get bored, I'm not reading them out.  Was once described as "very entertaining", but that was by accountants.

I am surprised at how many people think scripted means literally reading from a script

Strutter’s meanderings sound awful. Bet you always work brexit in there, eh

I’ve always had really good feedback on my presentations. 

Slides tend to be a few words or a meme or something and I have bullet point speaker notes then ad Lib but I do prepare quite well.

I literally read from a script to avoid having a pandemic induced panic attack.

I don’t have any choice and it’s becoming harder and harder to manage / hide it as I have to do more and more of it. 

I take beta blockers before and everything and it’s basically a fking nightmare. Was listening to 90 mins of presentations today and the people all came across so relaxed. 

I have the knowledge strutter but now have crippling anxiety around presenting. 

Maybe do one of TB’s courses. I’m a natural presenter and an extrovert so that helps. 

I still Take B-blockers for my exams though! 

Are you doing it all on zoom? It is definitely possible to read from a script without anyone knowing on zoom. 

Doesn't help with the panic attacks tho :( valerian?

Get some training. When I first started in theatre I couldn't sing in front of people without shaking like a leaf. Having training that put me in control of things technically really helped a lot.

Beta blockers don't do a thing for me it's super annoying

All my anxiety is in the ether

OB, I’d echo what the others have said about training.

There are a few simple techniques that I’ve seen make the world of difference.

I prepare slides but for the audience not myself. I freestyle it.

as Linda said, talk through slides with perhaps some bullet points to assist.


A few pauses to gather thoughts and even some digressions and misfires are fine.   Reading through a script bores the pants off people.

as Linda said, talk through slides with perhaps some bullet points to assist.


A few pauses to gather thoughts and even some digressions and misfires are fine.   Reading through a script bores the pants off people.

My work would never pay for me to have training and also then they would have concrete proof that I am not fit for purpose and that wouldn’t be great at this stage in my many years of working for them and that this is a large part of the role 

Idon't think you really need training if you've been doing it for years - you just have the yips

The point of the training is to get you over the yips....

Never put anything on a slide that you wouldn’t put on a t-shirt. Max 1-2 min a slide. The slide is an adjunct, not the steak. Try for a bit of light relief. Have a roadmap of the aim and objectives. Signposting is ok but the better you are the less you need it. 

all very well for people who can illustrate a thousand words with one gross body photo

Just describe it in your own words with a few bullets to prompt you.

For each slide have three bullets like someone else said above. Write them on your slide deck in highlight so you can see them when you present.

Never read a script. 

Don't read your slides out. Don't have too many slides.

Try not to say "Umm" or "you know" or "like" or other space fillers when you are speaking; video yourself to get rid of these. 

No one said in living memory - "that technical presentation was too short for my liking"

Lock yourself away and give the presentation to yourself - start to finish. You'll learn a lot about what works (and more importantly bits that don't and you can reformulate them) and timings.

Add 20% to your own timed session to allow for questions and then still aim to be slightly short.




I don’t have a slide deck. I am supposed to just speak. So I write my script out in full and email it to myself in advance and then read it.

tomo I’m going to try and hide my camera so I can’t see myself 

Understood - write the script to help you formulate your thoughts by all means but then maybe try and reduce it to bullets so you can seem more natural. You could write the bullets at the top of each para so you have the comfort of your script if you need to revert to it.

Try it out beforehand just doing the bullets.

I agree in turning camera off. You don't see yourself if you are doing it in person so it's weird you do on Zoom.

Good luck with it.

Thanks Wilbur appreciate yours and the rest of the Rof team advice.

It’s teams so has less functionality than Zoom re camera - which I now have switched to filter and I look so much better ! 

will do. I am supposed to be talking for an hour on the subject of why is this account losing 💵  so it’s going to be pretty intense. My scripts are always about 90 seconds... I don’t see that anything really needs an hour but the US are good at filling time and also at presentations 

Wing it. There are lots of things I can't do, but speaking to an audience is something I can.


Email me at [email protected] 

I can get you some decent materials etc if it's troubling you and maybe help. Won't cost you anything. Up to you.

I am always happy to be in front of a crowd chatting shit. I used to love lecturing


my slides are mostly images with a heading that I will chat about

The key to presenting/teaching is to just not mind looking like an arse. Maybe take some theatre training and make an arse yourself.

Then build confidence by being well prepared and dive into the deep end in an environment you trust. 

Maybe look at Jill Edwards online training (basically stand up comedy for business people). She did the best workshop I've ever attended about presenting/engaging people.

i gave the same presentation to 3 groups recently. It was me and 2 other presenters so i heard theirs too. 3 times through

One guy was a barrister - senior but not QC. His presentation was word for word the same - but no-one would have known it was read. I only realised it was read once he was doing it second time round. 

Mine was balanced, i write a script and edit, and then just keep the bullets - so its sounds more natural and allows me to add in other stuff that may have come up from the other talks or to take out stuff that perhaps might have been covered. I dont think i would ever feel comfortable reading it - but if you know your subject semi reading feels like blagging but its not

the third chap - well he was off the cuff. the second presentation he did was very different to the first one he did - mostly because he used some of my lines and some of the other chaps presentation in his second and third one which was a little annoying but thankfully i could flex mine to make it not an issue. 

I used to speak at a lot of conferences. My routine was 15 mins before to pace around outside on my own with a joint. Surprisingly seemed to work for me and kept getting invited back.

The best presentations are scripted but don’t sound like it. I script my more important presentations. This works as long as:

1. You script it in your spoken language. This is less formal than your normal written style. Don’t include any word or phrase you wouldn’t use in a work conversation. 

2. You practice it beforehand so you get used to reading it out as if it is off the cuff. In particular, vary the speed of your sentences but pepper the talk with lengthy gaps as if you’re gathering your thoughts or searching for the mot juste.  If you can make your pauses before crucial words or concepts sound natural than you’ve nailed it. 

Script and rehearse in the way ND said above. The trouble is it takes an enormous amount of time and effort.

Style: avuncular, gravitas but also a bit whimsical where apt

I always have some kind of script, and I do rehearse, though I don't recite the script word for word. People who want to appear to be ad libbing serious presentations are freaks tbh

I haven't done one for a while tho because clients generally hate them

In my "space" most would rather go chin some expensive pints

Who on earth has the time to script and rehearse a presentation?!  It would take fecking hours. I mean maybe if I was speaking at the UN Security Council or something! But scripting an hour of training is insanity.  Only time I would ever script is if it is very time limited eg strictly limited to 10 mins at a formal pitch and I need to make sure I can say everything I need to in the time available. 

Otherwise I use a copy of the slides with some scribbled reminders on them and basically wing it. 

It usually goes OK. 


Do a best man’s speech once and then any other kind of public speaking looks totally non-threatening.

I did it ! 

didnt just read. Had it as back up. Said some stupid stuff when getting into my flow. Made sure I couldn’t see the camera.


strong work m99

reward yourself by chinning some cold ones l8r

Not that anyone cares really! I wanted my boss to send me a massive well done but then she doesn’t know about my problem so why would she !

I am meeting friends at the pub l8r mercx so I might, but not too many as not feeling the best. Just a medicinal 19.

Well done OB. Hopefully next time easier now you've done this.

First time in nearly a year I’ve not used purely a script so I think just our chats on here yesterday was a big help 

Half a dozen bullet points on a slide, then talk around them. Not really winging it because I have worked out what I am going to say the night before, which may change depending on the audience.

Never read from a script.

well done OB! 

I always script big presentations but I usually have one of my team write the first draft and then I can just tweak it / turn it into my voice. If you’re reading from a script, proper auto cue placement is key  If doing it from home then put the script into the notes of the presentation. If that’s not possible and you’re doing it via zoom and you have 2 screens, set them up one in front of the other so the script is at the eye line of the camera iyswim  

for less formal / smaller internal stuff ad lib with bullet points is fine.