How To Write a Speech

July 11, 2011

in Script Writing

Giving a speech can be nerve wracking, especially if it’s your first time. Whether in the office or at a big seminar, it is easy to let the occasion get the better of you and affect the quality of your performance. To ease the tension and build your confidence, there are five key things experts say you need to consider in preparation.

1. Do Your Research

The very fact that you are giving a speech means the audience believes you to be an authority on your subject matter. Become an expert by thoroughly doing your research before you even think about putting pen to paper. Being well prepared will give you confidence, which in turn will make your delivery better and engage the audience to a higher degree.

 2. The Right Duration

The key to writing a good speech is a great beginning and a great ending, and then to bring these two as close together as possible. Sounds a bit rushed, right? Well consider this: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, perhaps the most famous speech in American history, lasted less than three minutes. Decide how long your speech should be by analysing the target audience and the subject matter at hand. Simplify complicated subject matters and create an impact. It is far better to be short and strike a chord, than to be long-winded and watch the audience waffle on.

3. Keep It Simple

Keep your sentences concise and digestible. Wordy sentences may look great on paper but will trip you up, baffle your audience and decrease the effectiveness of your speech. Make your points powerful and clear by limiting yourself to one or two ideas per sentence.

4. Know Your Audience

A speech must be written around the audience. Study the demographic and edit your choice of vocabulary, tone and style accordingly. Think about humour and wit carefully, because these two aspects of a speech will differ greatly for different age groups, as will serious remarks. Sit down and write a two columned list of things your audience will and won’t appreciate.

5. Read Your Speech Out Loud

A speech isn’t meant for the page, it is intended for the listener, and therefore you must practice your speech out loud multiple times to make sure it flows elegantly off the tongue. Reading out loud will help you identity awkward words and wordy sentences likely to make you stumble.

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