If you need help with delivery and on cultivating an engaging stage personality, have a look at the Public Speaking Tips section.
As I mentioned in the Principles of Public Speaking article, great speakers are those that combine the best of both of these elements (content & delivery) to produce great talks around persuasive and informative topics.
Tips On How To Write A Speech: Here's your list...
The list below outlines some of the basic tips & technique on how to write a speech that will get more than light applause.
I recommend that you not only read the summaries, but go more in-depth and turn over every stone, by clicking on the links in these pointers, and reading the full articles on each one:
- The importance of headlines. Start at the beginning by learning to generate captivating headlines with a need-to-know-more factor. Reading the headline of your speech will usually be the very first way that the audience will interact with you, long before you've opened your mouth - so it's important to get this right from square one.
- How to Write a Speech and keep things simple. Few members in the audience will be impressed by your perficient choice of aberrant eclectic colloquialisms. So learn why you need to write on 5th-grade level and keep PhD-isms out of your speeches.
- Every speech needs a 'holy-cow' moment and great speechwriters have learned to utilize tension and climax to their advantage. Learn how to keep the audience interested by creating strong expectation.
- A speech without a clear blueprint and definitive goal will produce little lasting fruit. Learn more on the importance of developing a main theme for your speech, and then wrapping your content around it.
- Audiences love authenticity, and in our day and age speechwriters neednt be shy of incorporating personal stories or authentic and relevant material into their talks.
- The most persuasive public speakers have trained themselves to write speeches that focuses on the benefits to the audience. The "What's in it for me?" question is one that every good speech needs to address.
- Learn the importance of using perspective in speechwriting. This is especially relevant if you're going to be using a lot of numbers or data in your speeches, in which case you need to 'dress them up' by putting them into a perspective your audience can fully grasp.
- Using stories to your advantage. Stories have been message tools since the ancients and have stood the test of time, simply because it is so effective.
Moving on from how to write a speech: If you're looking for specific help regarding choice of topics, head on over to the Persuasive Speech Topics section of this site, for a look at speech ideas that might interest both you and your audience.
A great speech has the potential to change anything.
And by anything I include small things like the pulse of the audience, bigger things like your fame and popularity, and huge things like the course of entire nations. Great speeches are catalysts of change that often bring about a shifting in focus and action - usually of large groups of people at a time.
And anyone in any sort of position of influence will one time or other be forced to address people, and this why, for public speaking, taking time to learn how to write a speech that'll get attention and promote change, is essential.
Luckily you don't have to be a literary genius to write great speeches. We're not talking Hemingway here, but simply implementing a few tried and tested techniques that are sure to help you improve in writing and composing a speech.
But first, a 'take note': While the rest of this site focuses on delivery, on presenting great talks and coming across with enough personality that you can grab and hold on to your audience's attention, this section will focus on content and will zoom in on speech writing.