I have a friend who has a great quote:
"You might as well be yourself, everyone else is taken."
When applied to public speaking, the simple translation is:
The best speakers are those who take the information they want to present, and then "be themselves" in presenting it. This is difficult to do when you are reading word for word. Or when you are delivering a memorized speech.
Think of it this way: if you were going to recommend a restaurant or movie you absolutely love, would you write out what you are going to say, memorize it, and then deliver it word for word? Why not? Is it because it would be devoid of your heart and passion?
The same is true of public speaking. The best speakers deliver in the moment with heart and passion. And this comes across when 1) you know the bullet points of what you want to say; and 2) you deliver it extemporaneously from your heart and your passion.
Everyone refers to Martin Luther King's speech "I Have a Dream" as the quintessential powerful speech. Did you know that he started out with notes, and part-way through abondoned them to "speak from his heart"? It has gone down in history as one of the all-time greatest speeches. He knew in advance the ideas he wanted to get across, and then shortly after starting, surrendered to his own convictions and delivered those same points extemporaneously. WoW!
The only time you want to deliver word-for-word is when you are quoting another's work verbatim, reciting a poem, citing statistics or research, etc.
Other than that, once you've written out your presentation, distill it into bullet form. And you state your message with the listener in mind, i.e., "what's in it for them? (WIIFT) Why should they care?"
Let's use the restaurant review as an example:
1) Great location - why is it great?
2) Extensive wine list - would my friends want to know this?
3) Unusual menu - this appeals to large groups eating out together
4) Superb service - makes dining enjoyable for everyone
5) fabulous desserts, and then give an example.
You write these 5 points onto an index card or type them on your notes. Then you start at the top of your list, and you deliver each one with the zeal of your heart. Like you are sitting at dinner with a group of old friends relaying this great experience you've just had at a new restaurant.
That is how you be yourseflf.
It's the absolute best way.
Now, if you have tons and tons of research or statistics/reporting that must accompany your talk, then have it outlined in a handout. Then when it comes to that point in your talk, you need only reference key points and/or summarize the research. Those who love statistics will be all too happy to read further on their own time. Those who don't care so much for statistics will be grateful you didn't bore them to death. And everyone will come away thinking you're a genius and well-grounded for have done you're homework on the subject matter.
I hope this helps. If you have more speaking questions, you can visit www.authenticallyspeaking.net
Wishing you speaking success,