The Key to Successful Speech Writing
1. Choose an important topic
The first step of speech writing is deciding what your speech will be about. You may already have a general topic or idea of what you want to discuss, but narrowing your topic to a few specific points or one clear purpose will help ensure that your speech stays engaging.
Before composing your speech, perform any research that could be helpful to your purpose. You may need to look up facts like company or product history, usage statistics, case studies, sales figures or demographic information. After you have gathered all of your data, you will be ready to decide how to relate the information to your audience.
2. Consider your audience
The biggest factor when deciding how to approach a topic is the audience you will be addressing. Take a few moments to research the following considerations:
What does the audience already know about the subject?
What do they need to know about the subject?
How do they feel about the subject?
How does the subject relate to or affect the lives of those in the audience?
These points will help you determine what to include in your speech and how to present your information. For example, if the audience is largely unaware of your topic, your speech should be mostly informative. If they are familiar with your topic but may be uninterested, your speech will need to be persuasive.
3. Prepare a structure
An especially important approach to effective speech writing is to have clear structure for your ideas. Outline a logical sequence for each point you will use to discuss your topic, and have notes with you during your speech so you can keep to this structure. Having a clear flow of ideas will help you to be persuasive, inform your audience and keep you on topic.
4. Begin with a strong point
An audience is usually most attentive when a speaker first begins talking, so try to use this time effectively. Condense the main idea or purpose of your speech into one sentence that you can use to open your presentation. Starting with a strong, clear purpose will show your audience where you intend to lead them and should help capture their interest.
5. Use concrete details and visual aids
Use concrete details to support your points. Brief stories, interesting examples or factual data will help to engage your audience and illustrate the truth of your purpose.
Consider using visual aids to further support your speech. Images can be powerful and engaging. You could create a digital presentation to accompany your speech or bring in some related props, such as a sample of the product you’re discussing.
6. Include a personal element
Your audience is more likely to be interested in the topic of your speech when they are also interested in you. Consider using a personal story or example in your speech. If you can present yourself to the audience as someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy, they will be more likely to listen attentively and consider what you say.
7. Consider rhetorical devices
A rhetorical device is a method of using words to make them especially memorable. Consider some of the most memorable lines from famous speeches. These lines are usually enduring because they influence the audience’s emotions by repeating key words or phrases, inverting the structure of a repeated phrase, reversing the order of words or using an unexpected turn of phrase. Stylistic devices such as alliteration and repetition can help catch your audience’s attention.
8. End memorably
The final moment of a speech is usually what an audience remembers most vividly. At the end of your speech, return to the strong purpose you began with and try to end in a meaningful way, such as creating a vision of the future, sharing a true story of success or using a clear call to action.
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