The writing of a speech can be time consuming and frustrating. With the right approach it can be a simple, worthwhile and an enjoyable experience for you and your audience. A step by step process to speech writing will assist in relieving some of the anxiety of public speaking.
Having great content with a worthwhile purpose makes the job of delivering your speech much easier. This knowledge also builds self-confidence and makes the process more enjoyable. Content that is interesting and worthwhile to the audience will be received favourably by them. Preparing your thoughts and writing them down in a structured way puts you in control of the process.
Step 1: Know Your Audience – Find out as much as you can about the audience and the organizers of the event. Ask the following questions: Why have I been invited? What would they like to hear from me? How many people will be there?
Step 2: Determine the Purpose – The circumstances and situation can dictate the purpose especially in a work or business environment. The question the purpose of the speech should answer is “What benefit will the audience gain from the speech?”
Step 3 Determine Your Theme – How are you going to achieve your purpose? It is the central idea you will build your speech around to accomplish the purpose of the speech e.g. the purpose of the speech may be – To get members of the audience to vote in the upcoming election. The theme to support this could be – Voting is the duty of every citizen in a democracy.
Step 4: Decide on Delivery Style – The purpose for speaking and the nature of the audience will help determine the type of delivery. Your delivery style will probably be a mixture of styles but with one style dominant depending on the audience and purpose of your speech. The styles are:
Humor and narrative – For providing entertainment
Informative – To help the audience understand something
Persuasive – For the audience to form an opinion, change their mind or strengthen a belief
Motivation – To inspire the audience to take action
Step 5 Research – You need to thoroughly research your theme so that you are an authority on it. There are 4 general sources to find information to support your speech:-
1. Your own personal knowledge and experience
3. Talking with others
4. Writing to experts
Step 6 Select and Arrange Your Speech – You will probably have more information than you need for your speech. To select the information to be included in your speech chose the research that is the best support for your theme. Arrange your speech into the introduction, main body and conclusion. The main body information is best arranged into a logical pattern of thought e.g. chronological, problem and solution etc.
Step 7 Write Your Speech – Start by outlining your speech – this is the blueprint. This will give you the structure and make it easy to see how your speech fits together. When writing your speech use words and sentences that make it easy to read and speak. Use spoken language when writing out your speech especially if you intend to read the speech. Written language can be difficult to listen to and understand. Language that sounds great on paper does not always sound great when spoken.
Step 8 Practice and Edit – Make time to practice. By speaking your speech you will discover phrases that don’t work well, whether it flows properly, do the timings work etc? Edit your speech as required.
In following these steps you will be able to deliver speeches that are valuable to your listeners. When your speech includes worthwhile your poise will increase and your delivery will be more confident.