Everyone has heard a speech being delivered at some stage of their lives. Some of these speeches have inspired us, others have amused us greatly, while a few may have reviled or even bored us to tears!
Some people are blessed with charisma, and regardless of the topic or situation in hand, they are seemingly able to find the right words to deliver a message that is heard. In a nutshell, being heard is the essential purpose of writing a speech.
These tips will not make you a wonderful speech writer, but hopefully they will offer an insight into the vital components necessary to write a compelling speech which fits the occasion.
1) Speeches are similar to writing an essay, and they should comprise an introduction, body and conclusion.
2) Before putting a single word to paper, it is essential to know how much time has been allotted, the target audience and the topic of the speech. This sounds obvious, but it is remarkable how many speeches we have read and edited which have completely rambled off topic, or which sound inappropriate for the target audience.
Also, it is not improbable that a person can read 3,000+ words in 5 minutes, but it is highly unlikely they will be able to deliver the message hidden within with maximum impact if they are reading as though they are in a race to catch the 5.15pm train from platform 9 and three-quarters from King’s Cross Station!!
Therefore, it’s always best to keep the speech brief and informative.
3) Have a plan!! – Set out a plan for your speech to ensure you include thank you notes or acknowledgements for all the important attendees, and that no key topics have been omitted. Omissions are embarrassing and will detract from your speech.
4) Keep your introduction brief and concise, and raise the key issues that will be discussed. A polite anecdote or joke would be a useful inclusion to help you grab the attention of the audience.
For tips on concise writing, please refer to our article on “10 Common Writing Mistakes and How to Correct them”http://ukproedits.com/uncategorized/278/.
5) To avoid over-complicating your speech so that the important message is lost, try to focus on a maximum of 5 main points. Set these out in order of priority in the body of the speech.
Delete or add additional points as required. However, resist the temptation to include too many additional notes, as these will dilute the key message which is intended to be heard. Start with the most important point, and after touching on all the other key points, always conclude the body part of the speech with a reminder of the most important point again.
6) Try to provide brief quotations or concise statistical or factual notes, which validate the key points.
7) End the speech with a conclusion which provides a concise overview of the key points that were raised, and which reiterates the main purpose of the speech.
The inclusion of an additional note to provide the audience with a further final point to think about may also be included. Lastly, don’t forget to thank your audience!!
8) Always read the speech out loud after you have drafted it, to ensure you are comfortable with the content, it meets the time constraints, and you can deliver it with maximum fluidity without having to rush.
Bonus Tip 1 - Try to avoid including words that are overly complicated, and which you are uncomfortable with pronouncing. This will help you sound assured and confident whilst delivering the speech.
Bonus Tip 2 – Try to include a short sentence which helps you transition smoothly from the introduction to the body of the speech, and finally to the conclusion.
Good speeches are not easy to write. Therefore, why not take the pressure off yourself by asking UKproedits to edit or draft the speech for you. We have an abundance of experience of drafting speeches for top level public and private organizations, which are guaranteed to have the desired impact.