CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEEKING WORKSHOP – JUNE 20, 2021
Writing a Speech About Your Dad on Father’s Day
Writing a speech for someone unimportant to you is difficult, yet you may find that writing a speech about someone extremely important to you is just as hard. If you’re going through your first Father’s Day without your dad, this can also be tough, but all the more reason to speak about him.
Step 1: Reflect
Perhaps the most important part of writing your speech is what comes prior — reflection. Think about everything your dad means to you. Look at some old photographs of the two of you. Recall some inside jokes. Watch a few of your favorite shows or movies.
All of this can serve as “research” as well as get you in the right headspace to craft a meaningful, heartwarming speech that’s undoubtedly about you and your dad. Plus, adding in minor details, anecdotes, and memories make it not only easier to write but that much more special, too. You may also be interested in how to write a commemorative speech.
Step 2: Decide on some details
After the reflect and research phase, you should jot down some of the most significant things that come to mind. What character traits or qualities make your dad your dad? What about him do you want to emphasize to others hearing your speech? What are some of your most special memories? Is there a specific story you’d like to tell?
Asking yourself all of these questions can help the small details come to life — and boom! You’ve made a ton of progress on the actual speech itself, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Creating a solid foundation for the remainder of your speech to rest on is perhaps the most important part anyway.
Plus, breaking up the writing process into smaller parts makes the entire undertaking seem that much more doable (at least we hope so).
Step 3: Write your draft
Now it’s time for the dirty work. Actually writing. Whether you love it or hate it, it can be incredibly healing and freeing. Frustrating, too, yes. If at any point during your drafting process you become stuck, it may be time to take a break. Focus on something else for a bit, or even put the speech writing on hold for another day.
When writing your draft, you should surround yourself with any notes or ideas you’ve already jotted down, as well as any small mementos or photos of you and your dad. If you don’t see him too often or he’s no longer around, these physical reminders of him can serve as powerful sources of inspiration and motivation.
It’s important to emphasize, too, that writing this speech shouldn’t feel like a class assignment or obligation. You should enjoy the process. Think about it as if you’re just having a conversation with your dad or telling someone you care about what he means to you. Speak sincerely — but you don’t have to be serious. Adding in humor and keeping it lighthearted will make it that much more genuine.
Step 4: Practice and edit
After you have a bit written, you should read your draft out loud and begin practicing for the actual delivery of your speech. Again, you shouldn’t let this bug you or make you nervous. Telling others about someone you love should feel liberating. Love is a very powerful thing.
Even if your dad can’t physically be in the room when you deliver your speech, act as if he is. In fact, act as though he’s the only other person in the room if it helps you.
As you’re reading and practicing your speech out loud, this can also call attention to any areas that need improvement. Have you missed any words? How’s your grammar looking?
One of the good things about speechwriting is that you’re free to markup the draft you read from (or memorize, if you want to go above and beyond) — no one is going to judge it. Of course, if you’re providing a printed copy for anyone in the audience, be sure that those are scratch-free.
Step 5: Finalize (and practice some more)
Reading your draft out loud has probably called out all the areas that need work. You may also find it helpful to read your speech from the end to the beginning. It may sound odd, but it can help you focus on each word and whether or not each sentence flows.
Practicing the delivery of your speech to just yourself may not be effective. But, that being said, you may wish to just wing the performance — and that’s totally fine. However, practicing in front of a loved one can be helpful, too. Plus, you know you’ll have at least one member of the audience who’ll be sure to laugh on cue.