Speech writing is an important skill to master for anyone who wishes to communicate effectively and persuasively. Most people utilize this skill during their professional careers: public speaking is a necessary part of any job that requires influencing and motivating others, such as in leadership positions. Today, companies are increasingly turning to professional speech writers because the demand for polished presentations has dramatically increased due to technology; written communication now accounts for 90% of all human interaction.
Still, the art of writing an effective speech remains an elusive one due to its subjective nature. While there are certain guidelines and templates that can help you craft a good presentation, the question “how do I write a speech” is much more challenging than it seems. However, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that your written speech is as effective as possible.
What is speech writing?
Speech writing is the process of writing speeches that will be delivered to an audience. This type of writing requires a different set of skills than those used for other types of writing, such as essay writing. When composing a speech, you must take into account the needs of your audience and the venue in which you will be giving the speech. In addition, you must make sure that your speech is well-organized and easy to follow.
What is a speech?
A speech is a formal address or proclamation made by a person or group of people, especially a public figure. speeches are often given as part of a ceremony or to commemorate an event. speeches can also be given in order to persuade or motivate an audience.
Now that we have defined what is a speech let us see how you can write a good speech from start to the end.
Choosing a Good Topic for Your Speech
Before you begin writing, it is important to select a topic that will be interesting and informative for your audience; this can make or break the success of your presentation. The first question to ask yourself is what kind of speech you intend to write. For instance, there are many different types of speeches – a persuasive speech requires a completely different content and style than an informative one does. Consider the following questions when choosing a topic: What is my purpose in giving this particular speech? Do I have anything new or noteworthy to share with my audience? What do I want my audience members to think, feel, or do after listening to me?
Before you start with the writing a speech, you need to have a clear goal in mind. Think for a moment about your specific target audience and what they would most likely be interested in. Your message should always be relevant and tailored to them accordingly.
Define all of your main points that you plan on discussing in your speech. It will be helpful if each section focuses on one central idea or question that will be discussed from different angles. Use specific examples, research data and statistics whenever possible in order to make everything more believable and relatable to the audience.
Effective speech writing tips for college students
Writing a speech in college, high school, or any other academic level can be daunting task. Even professional speech writers can find themselves struggling to convey their thoughts into words. If you are giving a speech, the following tips will help you craft your message and present it successfully.
- Start by identifying your purpose. Why are you giving this speech? What do you want people to know or understand when they leave the room? How do you want them to feel after it is over?
- Know your audience. What are their interests? What are their expectations? What type of language should you be using to communicate your message most effectively with them? Identifying the group beforehand will help you pose questions back to them during your talk, thus making it interactive and strengthening rapport.
- Know your message inside and out. When writing a speech, it is easy to get carried away by all of the information you know about the topic. In order to convey one specific idea, you need to keep everything else out of it that doesn’t further along that particular idea . It is ok to include other relevant facts and figures as long as they drive your point and help you achieve the purpose of your speech.
- Organize your information. Once you have identified the purpose of your speech, make a list of bullet points to get across and determined how you will present it, organize your notes in a logical order. Also consider the flow of information from one point to another. By considering these factors before hand, you will be able to come up with a smooth transition between each element of your speech.
- Practice! Your message will be lost if it is presented in a sloppy, disorganized manner. Vary the tone and speed of your voice as you rehearse so that you can be sure to include everything but sound natural at the same time . The more often you practice, the more confident you will be while presenting.
- Get feedback! A great way to improve on your message is to get critiques from friends, family or colleagues before you present it in front of an audience . Ask them what they thought about the topic of your speech and what did or did not ring true for them based on their experiences. Their insight will provide useful information that can help you make necessary edits before your big day.
Structure of a speech
What is the structure used in speech writing?
There are a few common structures that can be used in speech writing which are: chronological, spatial, and topical speech formats.
The most common is the chronological structure, which moves from one event to another in a linear fashion. This type of structure is often used to recount a story or give an overview of an issue.
Another option is the spatial structure, which presents information according to location or category. For example, you might talk about the different parts of a topic in order or discuss different facets of a problem.
Finally, there is the topical structure, which groups ideas together around a specific topic. This type of structure can be useful for highlighting key points or providing more detail on a particular subject.
Whichever structure you choose, be sure to plan out your thoughts ahead of time and organize them in a logical, coherent manner.
How to format a speech
Any written speech will have the following sections:
This is where you briefly introduce the audience to your topic and why it’s important. It should be a sentence or two at most because you’ll go into more detail later on.
Start with an attention grabber, for example you could say one of the following;
‘Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for coming here today’.
‘Hello my name is… Today I will be talking about…’. Then explain why this subject interests you so much it led to you wanting to talk about it.
This is where you talk about your main points one-by-one, with each idea building upon the next. You can use anecdotes and supporting evidence to convince the audience that your opinions and ideas are valid.
The body can be broken down into 6 body paragraph sections which you should explain briefly in the introduction of your speech. These 6 sections are;
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
- Who was involved?
- What were the consequences?
- What can we learn from it?
This is where you summarize everything that you’ve talked about and leave the audience with a final thought. It should be no longer than one sentence, like the introduction, because it’s supposed to tie together all of your previous points before ending on a strong note.
Conclude with a summarisation of the main points. For example if you were giving a speech about the importance of recycling you could say;
‘We can all make small changes to our lifestyle to help contribute towards the need for more recycling by…’. Then list any suggestions you have as to how this can be achieved.
Finally thank the audience for listening and tell them it has been a pleasure speaking to them. Also consider telling them what will happen now e.g. whether there is going to be a Q&A, drinks reception etc.
How to write a speech step by step
Here is a step by step guide of how to write a speech effectively:
Step 1: Do your research
Research is extremely important when you are writing a speech, no matter how long or short it is. You want to make sure that you never miss anything and that you’re not talking about things people already know about.
Step 2: Make an outline
For this step you should jot down all of the points that must be covered in your speech and then create an order for them. This will help guide you as you write the body of your speech so your information remains cohesive and organized.
Step 3: Write the body of your speech
When you write the body of your speech, use simple language and short sentences. It should be easy to understand and follow along with. Try to weave only the most important points into it that support or prove what you wrote in your outline.
Step 4: Create an introduction and conclusion
Your introduction should grab people’s attention by telling a story, feeding them interesting facts or creating a clever analogy. Your conclusions should summarize everything and leave the audience with something memorable to take away from the speech.
Step 5: Proofread and revise
Before you deliver your speech, proofread and revise what you’ve written to change any words that may seem confusing or unnecessary, tighten up phrases that aren’t flowing well together, remove any fluff or filler words that don’t add anything to the meaning of a sentence or just rewrite whole sentences for clarity. There are lots of great online tools out there that can help with this step too!
What is the difference between an speech outline and a speech manuscript?
A speech outline is generally used to plan what sections will be included in your speech before writing down any details about them . It lists the general points you would like to cover but does not provide information on exactly how they will be organized or presented. A manuscript, on the other hand, provides specific details about how you would like to say each section of your talk. This includes the exact wording for different points and even directions on which words or phrases need to be emphasized when delivered. Both an outline and a manuscript are useful tools when writing a speech but require different amounts of time spent in preparation.
Who should write the speech?
The speaker should be the one writing their own speech. It is expected that they are well versed in what they need to say, and how they would like to say it. There are many reasons why the speaker should write their own speech including:
- The journey of creating a powerful message can inspire the speaker.
- The message of the speech is more likely to coincide with their beliefs and values.
- It will be easier for them to speak about what they really care about.
- They can include examples from their own life that help convince the listener.
- Creating a personal connection with the audience becomes easier when you are speaking from the heart.
What are the advantages of delivering a speech in person?
Speaking to an audience in person provides many benefits. These advantages include:
- Through direct eye contact with your listeners you can make a personal connection with them which helps them relate to what you are saying.
- Being able to use body language and gestures makes it easier for the audience to clearly understand what you are trying to communicate.
- The speaker can immediately adapt his or her message based on how the audience is reacting, which helps ensure that they remain engaged.
- It is easier for a person to speak with enthusiasm and passion when presenting in front of real people as opposed to just speaking into a recording device.
A video on how to write a winning speech
- Speech Writing Format, Samples, Examples – Class 11, 12
- Speech Writing and Types of Speeches – UF/IFAS EDIS
- Speech 30: Speechwriting | Institute for Writing and Rhetoric
- 10 Keys To Writing A Speech – Forbes
- 7 Tips for Writing & Delivering the Perfect Speech – Business
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