6 Steps for Writing a Speech
Do you have to give a speech publicly any time soon? If you do, you need to know how speeches that are given publicly differ from presentations that will be viewed online. You need to know how to write a good public speaking speech before you give your speech.
One difference between speeches written to be given publicly and presentations written to be viewed online is that the former is given before a live audience at specified time and place. The later may be shared, viewed, and reviewed at the reader’s convenience.
The steps for writing a speech for public speaking are for similar to the steps for writing a presentation in general. However, at each stage of the writing process you need to keep your audience in mind.
1. Research Your Audience
Whenever you do any type of writing you need to consider who you are trying to reach with your writing. Speech writing is no different. In general, the more you know about your target audience the more effective your writing will be in reaching them.
In the example above, you know that your audience is going to be the other members of the Chamber of Commerce—who are likely to be small business owners just like you are.
Once you’ve defined your audience, you can gear your speech towards them. To do this, ask yourself questions like:
What does this audience need?
What problem can I solve for them?
Is there anything else I need to consider about my listeners?
2. Select a Topic
- Identify the nature of the speaking event and purpose behind it;
- Know your audience;
- Think of your personal interests, knowledge and experiences;
- Identify any relevant latest news;
- Brainstorm any possible ideas;
- Make a short list of possible topics;
- Make a decision and commit to it.
3. Research Your Topic
Some public speaking situations may require that that you cover a topic that you are less familiar with. You are free to use any Google-source and articles to find a reliable data.
4. Write Your Speech
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you’re ready to write your speech. Here are some basic speech writing tips:
Begin with an outline. To create a speech your audience will remember, you’ve got to be organized. An outline is one of the best ways to organize your thoughts.
Use a conversational tone. Write your speech the way you would normally talk. Work in some small talk or humor, if appropriate.
Use the speaker notes. Typically, speaker notes are not seen by the audience. So, this is a good place to put reminders to yourself.
Be specific. It’s better to give examples or statistics to support a point than it is to make a vague statement.
Use short sentences. It’s likely you’re not going to give your speech word for word anyway. Shorter sentences will be easier to remember.
5. Select a Presentation Tool
For most presentations, you’ll want to use a professional presentation tool such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or a similar package. A presentation tool allows you to add visual interest to your public speaking speech. Many of them allow you to add video or audio to further engage your audience.
6. How to Make a Public Speech
Now that you’ve completed all of the steps above, you’re ready to give your speech. Before you give your speech publicly, though, there are a few things you should remember:
Don’t read your speech. If you can, memorize your speech. If you can’t, it’s okay to use note cards or even your outline—but don’t read those either. Just refer to them if you get stuck.
Practice. Not only will practice help you get more comfortable with your speech, it’ll will also help you determine how your speech fits into the time slot you’ve been allotted.
Do use visual aids. Of course, your presentation template adds a visual element to your public speech, but if other visual aids work with your presentation they can be helpful as well.
Dress comfortably, but professionally. The key is to fit in. If you’re not sure how others at your meeting will be dressed, contact the organizer and ask.
Speak and stand naturally. It’s normal to be a little nervous, but try to act as naturally as you can. Even if you make a mistake, keep going. Your audience probably won’t even notice.
Be enthusiastic. Excitement is contagious. If you’re excited about your topic, your audience will likely be excited too.
You’ve just learned how to write a good public speaking speech. Now, it’s up to you to create the best speech for your needs. Good luck!