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Learn how to write a speech that stands out

“Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears;” you don’t have to have the talents of William Shakespeare to write a speech that stirs up your audience. You simply have to follow the very easy steps offered here in this article and you will be able to deliver your speech with pride.

The problem when people are asked to write a speech is that it combines two events for them that they might dread. In the first place, they think about giving the speech and that makes them break out in a rash so the stress levels are up but then they realise that they have to know how to write a speech too. This makes the stomach positively tango because they have to deliver their own writing in front of an audience. The imagination then starts to kick off with disaster scenarios. For instance, you might see yourself losing your voice and sweating heavily in front of everyone. Another regular imaged speech writers’ scenario is people falling asleep while they spout off their tales in a droning voice. Some folks have even imagined being pelted with rotten vegetables like they used to do hundreds of years ago.

It is at this point that procrastination normally begins because the speech giver’s sub consciously imagines that if they never actually get to write the speech that none of those dreaded happenings can occur. Well, it doesn’t have to be like that at all. Let’s get stuck in and solve your speech writing problems.

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If you are sitting staring at a blank screen or piece of paper and you wish to learn how to write a speech, your troubles are over. Tell yourself that you will take your time and do easy workable steps until you have the finished speech. The secret is in taking one step at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Tell yourself that you simply have to do this one step and nothing more. You will be amazed at how it gives you confidence and stops you from procrastinating. Writing an outline simply means that you need to determine some factors. For instance:

  • Who is your audience going to be? Let’s look at some reasons why you might need to give a speech. You are trying to get people to vote for you. This could be to do with politics or you could be trying to get elected as some sort of club member. Either way, you want folks to vote for you so your audience is going to be your electorate. Alternatively, you might be a best man at a wedding. In that case, your audience are going to be family and friends and you want to touch their hearts and make them laugh too. Or, you may be giving a speech at a funeral and this means that your audience will be a mixture of family, friends and strangers. They will expect to have their spirits raised gently. Another variable is that it could be that you have to give a speech for your peers at university. Depending on the type of speech, you might have to impress them with your academic ardour or you may simply have to try to persuade them to think you like you. This audience may be made up of a mixture of friends and also rivals.
  • What is your speech going to cover? Basically the best way to think about this is to mind blast a list. Put the alarm on your ‘phone for five minutes’ time and write down as quickly as possible what your speech is going to be about. After that, try to think of at least three main points that you might wish to cover. For instance, if you are going to be the best man at your friend’s wedding. Your list might say “Why Emma is so lucky to be getting Andrew for a husband – he has been the best friend anyone could ever have. First point – how we met on the first day at infant school. Second point – how he saved my life at scouts when I fell in the river. Third point – how he always listens when anyone has problems, even if he does eat all the food in their fridge.
  • How long will your speech last? This is really important. If you are running for election and you have been given ten minutes to persuade the voters, do not think this means twenty minutes, it doesn’t. You have to have your speech timed within ten seconds.

At this point, if you think your speech will never get written, you should cheer yourself with the thought that once you learn how to write a speech, you have got a new skill that will last you for your lifetime. The structure of your speech is all important because it will act like a map for you when you actually start writing it.

  • Introduction. To get started with a bang, you need a hook. This does not mean something that Long John Silver would use instead of a hand. It simply means something that will make your audience sit up and listen. Before you rest your head in your hands and despair, you have to remember that your hook is a work in progress. You write one to start off with and as you go along getting to know your speech more and more, you keep returning to your hook and polishing it. By the time you come to deliver your hook, it will be exceptional. For instance, if you are trying to get votes – you could get their attention by stating: “I don’t want you to vote for me”. This would be followed up by a series of points whereas you declare, “I don’t want you to vote for me if you don’t want a fairer society for your children to grow up in. I don’t want you to vote for me unless you want your children to have better access to higher education without being left full of debt”. Can you see how it works?
  • The main body of your speech. This is where you will put your points across. For instance, if we return to the best man speech, this is where you would tell your audience about meeting Andrew for the first time, how he saved your life and how he eats all the food in your fridge when you are moaning on. In this case, you would be offering your audience three humorous anecdotes that promote Andrew as an all-round good egg suggesting that Emma has found pure gold for a husband. Essentially, you are trying to make your audience glow with happiness and also make them laugh.
  • The call to action or end. This is the part that the whole speech is about really. It is what you have been building up to. For instance, if it is the wedding speech, you pull your three points together to give everyone the impression that Emma and Andrew are the perfect couple and so now that everyone knows that they have to have to time of their lives to celebrate. However, if you are trying to get elected, you are urging folks to go and vote for you. You have to give the impression that by voting for you, they are taking action that will change not only their lives but the lives of their family and friends too. For instance, you might say “If you want your life to carry on as it is now with the rich gorging themselves on all our resources while the ordinary person is struggling to pay their bills, then don’t vote for me. However, if you want better public services, more choice within the education system and a fairer society for us all, then vote for me now.”

One of the key places where people tend to go wrong when writing a speech is not to anticipate their audience. For instance, the wedding faux pas happens far too often. This usually happens when the male that has been invited to speak as the best man is under the impression that he has to make the groom look like a bit of a playboy. This is disastrous because the audience that he is addressing is the family. They want the groom to look like an all-round nice person that can be a bit of a romantic hero sometimes too. It’s as simple as that. You have to play to your audience.

The same goes if you want people to vote for you. it really is no use telling an audience of voters that are struggling to pay their bills that you will provide all the works of Dostoevsky in their local library. This is not their immediate concern, putting food on the table and clearing their debts is. You can write the best speech in the world but if you do not tailor it specifically for your audience then you may as well read them The Three Little Pigs.

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