HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL SPEECH (PART THREE)
The last two issues covered Planning and Strong Starts/Strong Endings. Planning lays the foundation for writing to begin.
- OUTLINING. This is the first step and should cover the following:
- The introduction: greeting, objective, attention-grabbing statement.
- Assemble the three points to be covered (Rule of three concept – one of the most powerful for speech writing). Include three sub-points per point if required.
- Insert quotes, stories, factual or statistical information to give substance to the message.
- Outline the summary of your speech in the conclusion. Close strong as discussed in the Planning stage.
- Expand on the points to be covered.
– Be accurate, brief and clear.
– Choose words carefully to inform or ignite, move or motivate.
– Ensure smooth transition from one point to another. Use key phrases like
“Next I will cover….” Or “My next point is….”
- Key question to be addressed while writing: Am I writing with the interests
of the audience in mind?
- EDITING. It is a check to ensure:
– Flow, continuity, clarity.
– Correct grammar, facts and figures
– Relevance of stories, quotes, statistics.
– Strong Opening and Closing.
– Time allotted can be met.
Test what has been written. Read through it, ask also for feedback from a colleague or family member.
Based on Feedback, amend the affected parts. Once again check for a smooth flow and ask the final question: Will this speech (talk or presentation) get the desired response from the audience?
After this comes Practice, Practice and more Practice!
A closing thought from Phil Collins, Former Speech Writer for Tony Blair:
“Remember that every speech has something of ‘You’ in the writing. Don’t take that away when you write. Be yourself. Be comfortable in your own skin”