Have you ever put together a first draft of a speech or presentation that just doesn’t get the message across that you’d been hoping for? We’re here to help show you how to start writing a speech.
If so, then it is worth back peddling slightly. Apologies if this sounds like common sense, but experience suggests that speeches often get written as part of the following process:
- The speaker is asked to speak at an event because they are an expert
- Experts tend to know a huge amount about their subject
- They start writing before deciding what they really want the speech to achieve
- They forget that the majority of their audience tend to know a lot less about their subject than they do
- Their draft tends to veer between topics and loses focus
- They then ask for help!
On that basis, it is worth spending a little time thinking and planning before starting to write.
Planning should begin by asking one very simple question:
What, in one sentence, would you like your audience to say about your speech once you have finished?
In essence, that single sentence is the key. The speech then needs to be written to create that outcome.
This requires an argument. Rather than trying to start by fleshing that argument out over many pages, just try and write a synopsis of the entire speech in a single paragraph, and ensure that it still meets your one sentence objective.
You now have a plan and a structure around which to develop detail.
This doesn’t mean that everything becomes easy. But it should enable you to think with a little more clarity. At that stage you can start to focus on the things that will really make your speech memorable. Like simple language, a punchy script, an appropriate balance between humour and sincerity and detail that is relevant and interesting without being too technical.
Approaching it this way should make a world of difference. And if it doesn’t, I’d be delighted to help bring it to life!