Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: Why can’t I read my speech? Well actually you can read your speech but it’s a poor choice for most people. One of the most important goals of a Speaker making a Presentation is maintaining Eye-contact with the Audience. This sounds easy enough and generally it is achievable as long as you’re not stuck in the text, Reading a Speech. The challenge of maintaining a connection with your Audience can be the result of many choices a Speaker makes.
One typically poor choice is inadequate Preparation by the Speaker. If you’re unfamiliar with your Presentation, you’ll constantly search for the next word, phrase, or idea to help you move along at a somewhat reasonable rate. Of course the Audience sees & hears this and it’s distracting. You don’t promote a personal connection between You or your topic and your audience. The Audience may intellectually understand the information you’ve brought, but you never build the “personal” connection, and that’s one of the main reasons you’re there.
“Reading a Speech” by it’s very description means you will be buried in your Speech text. It’s a given. Now, You may have written a thourghly compelling speech and in fact it may be well accepted, but take a moment to watch this brief video clip.
You’ll recognize the Speaker, and just imagine how much improved the Audience experience could have been, had he connected to them personally, rather then simply read them a nice family “story.”
Now, there is an exception to this advice. If you’re going to deliver a highly technical Speech or Presentation where it’s imperative that the information & figures be presented factually, then to Protect You, your Information, and your Audience, reading from a prepared text may be required. And that’s an intelligent decision. I frequently Coach members of corporate management to “Read a Speech” and still maintain an all-important audience connection. That said,
In the majority of Speaking situations you’ll have the flexibility to interact with your Audience. Take advantage of the opportunity and in addition to making a Speech, make friends with the Audience and turn them into Supporters.
Performance of Speaking teaches Speaking skills.