Use Rudy Guiliani’s Revised Method of Speech Preparation

WASHINGTON DC  OCT 20: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaking at Washington Briefing 2007: Values Voter Summit on October 20, 2007, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Washington DC.
WASHINGTON DC OCT 20: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaking at Washington Briefing 2007: Values Voter Summit on October 20, 2007, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Washington DC.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said that when he first ran for public office he “would often stay up all night preparing” speeches. Laboriously, he would write some pages, show them to trusted colleagues, and “we’d slave over the exact language.” Result: “All that memorization and careful emphasis held me back. I thought of every word as though it were written on the Washington Monument–everything I said had to be precise.”

Then he made a drastic change, as he describes in his book Leadership. Instead of fretting meticulously over every word, “I went back to what I used to do in court: master the material, organize it, then throw away the text and just talk.”

Those of us who want to become mesmerizing presenters will benefit from what Giuliani added: “It now actually annoys me when people read their speeches. I want to hear who they really are, how they sound when they speak from the heart.”

Emphasizing again how abandonment of a written text unshackled his delivery: “I feel that I’m communicating more honestly, because I’m not reading from a script, but conveying my real feelings directly.”

In coaching leaders about their speaking, I point out that reliance on a manuscript or even detailed notes will erect a paper barrier between them and their audiences. Yes, research your topic thoroughly. Yes, outline the material in logical order. Then follow Giuliani’s example: “throw away the text, and just talk.”

Keep in mind that you are introduced to audiences as a speaker, not a reader.

Try Giuliani’s note-free preparation and delivery approach. You will love the freedom you experience. Equally as important, your audiences will embrace you fervently as you speak from the heart, not a page.


I welcome your comments about this post.

First, visit my Website, to get an overview of how I help leaders become superlative speakers:

Then call me to discuss what you want to accomplish, and we will devise a coaching plan that will help speak more confidently, clearly, and convincingly.

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How to Give Highly Creative Presentations

Innovative Presentations Review from Bill Lampton, Ph.D. on Vimeo.

Authors Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd encourage us to change our presentations from bland (that is, getting our message across with the customary approach many other speakers are using) to bold. Their book will equip us to “impress with superior, compelling, and creative presentations.”

Here’s the link to Amazon’s page for the book, including my video and my text comments, reviews others have written, and instructions for ordering Innovative Presentation for Dummies:

When you put into practice the approach the book advocates, you’ll become the speaker audiences will want to hear again.

Famed speaker “Zig Ziglar” used the term “automobile university,” referring to our repeated opportunities to learn as we drive, by listening to instructional audio CDs. I invite you to order my audio CD

“Speaking with Poise, Power, and Persuasion”

which will give you additional guidelines for generating “attention, agreement, and action” when you speak.The link to my Web site’s Online Store:


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