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Basics of Speech Writing
by Ron Kurtus (revised 25 February 2018)
Whether you have an assignment to write a speech for someone else, or you want to write one for yourself, there are basics of speech writing to follow.
First, you make preparations to write the speech, then you write it, and finally you assure it is ready for delivery.
Questions you may have include:
- How do you make preparations?
- What do you do to write the speech?
- How do you assure the speech is ready for delivery?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Before you begin writing your speech, you need to make some preparations. You need to analyze the audience and the occasion. Then you select a subject that will fit the occasion and audience. Finally, you define your purpose of the speech and what you hope to achieve.
Before writing your speech, you need to know who your audience is and what end purpose you have for giving the speech.
- A persuasive speech can be inspirational, convincing, or causing action.
- An informative speech tries to make the audience understand something or to widen the range of their knowledge.
- With an entertaining speech your goal is to have the audience enjoy themselves.
In writing the speech, it is good to start with an outline. You can then refine the outline, such that you have a logical flow, as well as address the points of interest.
Once you're satisfied with the outline, you can write out the speech in its entirety.
First of all, you need to get the attention and interest of the audience. This is done in the opening comments you make. Those comments can be an interesting quote, a dramatic action, or even an amusing anecdote.
The structure of your speech is important for keeping the interest of the audience. You don't want to ramble, have too much information, or make the speech complex.
You can keep interest with a short speech as opposed to a speech that is too long.
Assure ready for delivery
The way to assure the speech is ready for delivery is to read aloud. Doing this, allows you to edit awkward sentences.
Next, you let the speaker read the speech aloud to verify its content. This should assure both of you that the speech is ready for delivery.
Even if you are the speaker, repeating reading the speech aloud should allow you to refine it more.
Should be easy to deliver
You want your speech to be easy to deliver and remember. Material written for reading is different than that intended for speaking.
Sentences should be short or divided into phrases that are easy to say.
Key words help you remember the material, even if you are reading it to the audience.
You may have an assignment to write a speech for someone else or may want to write one for yourself. In either case, there are basic steps to follow: you make preparations to write the speech, you write the speech, and then you assure it is ready for delivery.
Resources and references
The Fundamentals of Speechwriting - Georgetown University
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Top-rated books on Speech Writing
Questions and comments
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