Say it out loud

Here’s my number one tip for writing scripts and speeches. It’s simple, powerful, and only four words long.

Say it out loud.

1. Say
2. It
3. Out
4. Loud

Four words. It’s such an easy tip. So simple. And so overlooked.

I get to write and edit scripts and speeches and dialogues for a living. And when I write for the spoken word, it mostly sounds decent — in my head.

Yeah, it almost always sounds fine within the quiet confines of my brain.

But then — I read what I’ve written out loud. And that’s when I find it.

What do I find? It’s always something. And I never quite know what it will be. For example, I might find that my mouth likes to say ‘everybody’ — but my brain likes to write ‘everyone’. And my tongue will stumble over the word ‘everybody’ and try to say ‘everyone’.

I might find something as stupid as a grammar issue. Or I might decide that I’m rambling nonsensically and need to strike a few paragraphs.

I never know until I read it out loud.

If you think you don’t need to try this exercise because everything sounds OK in your head, I challenge you. Give it a shot. It’s an eye-and-ear opening exercise, and I’m sure you’ll get something fabulous out of it — even if it’s only the satisfaction of knowing that you’re brilliant and you wrote a perfect draft that slides effortlessly off your tongue.