One of the greatest speaking challenges is being able to connect to the audience while reading a prepared script.
Great speakers seem as though they are in conversation with their audience. It is very difficult to do this if you are reading your remarks word for word.
When possible, I recommend using notes or an outline, rather than a script. But of course there are times and occasions when this is simply not possible.
So what is a speaker to do?
Try writing your speech as if you are writing a personal letter to the audience - and read it that way, too.
You might even start your speech, "Dear (audience),"
While you won't actually read that part aloud, writing in a letter format encourages you to be fully present with your audience - and they will respond in kind.
From the Green Room: Need to read from a script? Try writing - and reading - a letter written just for your particular audience. Make eye contact with the individual people you are "writing" to. This will enable you to be present with the people in the room - even if you prepare each word in advance.