How to Write a Speech in 6 Steps
Irrespective of your profession, you have to write a speech at some point. Although you may have an idea of how to write a speech, it can be a daunting task. You will have to write a compelling speech and deliver it in a convincing way. To come up with the best speech for your next talk, follow these simple steps and you will be good to go.
1. Identify the purpose of your speech
Before you start writing the speech, you should figure out its objective. Is it a class or an office presentation, or a speech at a wedding? If you ask yourself the following questions, you will be able to outline your speech in an effective manner:
What idea do you want to deliver in your speech? You probably have one main point that you want to pass to your audience. Stick to the plan. Incorporating many complex points in your speech will only ruin your speech and confuse the audience. For instance, a presentation about Ancient Egypt should focus on why Ancient Egypt was fundamental in modern civilization. In a wedding, your speech can focus on why the bride and groom are a perfect couple. You may add a few sub-points related to the main point.
How much time have you been given to deliver the speech? The length of your speech can be prescriptive. Your boss may allow you to give a 10-minute presentation or you may only have five minutes to give your wedding speech. Once you know how much time you have, you can use a speech length tool to know how many words to write in your speech.
Who are you talking to? In order to know how to put your words to perspective, you need to understand your audience. Some words may be appropriate for a wedding speech, but appropriate for a meeting in front of your boss and work colleagues. Also, the nature of your audience may dictate the vocabulary you can use in your speech. The word you will use to give a speech to high school students is different from what you will say in a PhD conference.
2. Write an outline for your speech
After answering the above questions, it is time to create an outline of what you want to talk about. List the main points of your speech, and then add content to each section depending on the time you will have to deliver the speech. As you write the outline, you have to arrange the points in a manner that will make the speech flow smoothly.
3. Write the introduction of the speech
Meeting people for the first time can be a tense moment. Even your work colleagues may set high expectations for your speech. You have to know how to break the ice with a captivating introduction so that your audience does not doze off. The following conversation starters will come in handy in your speech introduction:
Ask your audience to think of something
You can start by asking the audience to imagine something that is related to what you want to talk about. If your speech is about climate change, for instance, ask them to imagine a world without polar bears, and how they would describe the animal to their grandkids in the future.
Conduct a body poll
Speech coaches will tell you to make your audience answer a poll. However, this only works in a few minutes, and you may not get the results you anticipated. You should opt for a body poll where you as the audience to raise their hands in a range of questions.
For instance, you could ask them to show with their fingers how many siblings they have. A better way of using a body poll is to ask the audience to use both hands to respond. This will discourage using mobile phones during your speech.
Establish your credibility
Are you a PhD holder or a specialist in the field? Establishing your credibility is important for your speech regardless of the context. Regardless of your credibility, you should point it out in your introduction for your audience to know why they should be keen on what you have to say.
4. Write the body of the speech
After you finish outlining your speech and writing the introduction, you need to add a body to your speech. This is the easiest part since you have decided what you want to speak about. You can use a speech length guide tool to help you know how many words you will add to your speech.
5. Practice, revise, and repeat
After you have drafted your speech, it is time to practice it! Read it to a friend and ask them for correction. You can also use a too like Natural Readers that reads speech back to you. This will help you to know if it sounds sensible.
During your practice, you will realise that you have to revise it. Switch some sections around to make them sound logical. Delete some sections if they do not help to deliver your message. Add new sections if you feel that you have left out important points. Remember that this is not the final speech until you present it in front of the intended audience. The most important aspect to remember while practising your speech is to memorize it, save for a movie monologue.
6. The presentation
If you feel comfortable with the content of your speech and practice you have done, it is time to present it to your audience. Do warm-up exercises prior to the presentation; try power poses and deep breaths to help calm your nerves.
You are good to go!