How to Speak Japanese

During a Japanese Speech, With Vs Without Your Script

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During your Japanese speech, there are two ideas; you read out your script and you speak without your script. I think this has been controversial for a long time because both of the propositions are reasonable and understandable. One person says, “If you read out your script, you can prevent yourself from making improper remarks and misstatements.” Another says “If you speak without your script, your Japanese speech will be more colorful and lively.” What do you think which way we should follow? In this article, I am going to try to finalize this argument.

You should make your Japanese speech without your script

Let me get straight to the conclusion. During your Japanese speech, you should speak without your script. I think the best way of making a speech is to memorize a script in its entirety and then to speak ad lib. Does this sound contradictory? It can coexist. Let’s go over both of the characteristics.

Advantages of “with script”

Time Management

You can guess how long your Japanese speech will take by counting how many letters there are in your script. It is said native speakers take 1 minute to complete 300 letters. Considering you are a Japanese learner, it may take 1 minute for you to complete approximately 250 letters. In that case, if the time for your Japanese speech is 5 minutes, you can manage your time by writing your script within approximately 1250 letters.

Persuasive Expressions

Since you have sufficient time to build your logic, your Japanese speech will be very persuasive. If you need some evidences to prove your proposition, you can even prepare them and put into your script.

Prevention from making improper remarks and misstatements

By getting your script to be proofread by a third person and read them out, you can prevent yourself from making improper remarks and misstatements. It is likely that speakers would be nervous or under pressure during his or her speech and it may cause unexpected actions. However, if you follow your well-made script, you can express what you want to convey in place.

Advantage of “without script”

Emotional Expression

If you don’t have your script, there is no choice, namely you have to speak with your own words. It will sound real tone which cannot be made by following a script. Such expression is the one can appeal your audience’s heart.

Nonverbal Communications

During your Japanese speech, what do you think where your eyes should put on? It is obvious that the answer is not on your script, but your audience. You can show your smile and make eye contact with your audience. That way, your Japanese speech will be interactive.


Eat your script

Let me introduce an interesting saying related presentations here; “Eat your script once you memorize it” It means that people incline to rely on and read out scripts because of the easiness. However, speaking without scripts may produce more valuable and attractive speeches if you memorize your script in place. Therefore, you should force yourself to do so by completely disposing of your script. I agree with this saying and that is how the methods; speaking with and without scripts can coexist.


Again, in order to make your Japanese speech attractive and impressive, you have to prepare your script and memorize and dispose of it. That way, you can utilize all the above advantages. On the other hand, you may need courage to stand at the stage of your Japanese speech without your script. I totally understand you, but I really would like you to experience the interaction with your audience during your Japanese speech. That’s very fun and thrilled. I rather think that is the speech. Please try speaking without your script and attract the attention of your audience.

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Author and English Editor

Author – Takuya Tokiwa

Takuya is the co-founder, Project Director of Wasabi and a serial entrepreneur in the education field. He is utilizing all of his knowledge and experiences for innovating Japanese learning.

English Editor – Reka, Blue Kangaroo

Reka has been working as a native English teacher for the past 4 years and teaching students of all ages, background and ability, from 8-88 years of age, from absolute beginner to fluent. If you have any inquiry related English, please visit here.

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