We’d all like to be seen as being great speakers. We imagine ourselves as the next Tony Robbins, standing in the middle of a huge stage with a large audience hanging on our every word. I fully support your dream, but perhaps we need to have a talk about how you are going to go about achieving it. Before you can give a great speech, you are going to have to learn how to write a great speech.
Keep It Short!
The first rule that you’re going to have to both learn and live will be to change how you write your sentences. How long should you be making your sentences? Speech writing author Philip Yaffee suggests that you shoot for sentences that are between 15-18 words. He points out that some of your sentences can be longer than this, but on average this is the size that works best for audience retention.
Keep It Simple
When you are choosing the words that you are going to use in your speech, make sure that that “word of the day” desk calendar is nowhere that you can see it. You don’t want your audience to have to work to understand what you are saying. Instead, you want your words to be immediately understood and your ideas absorbed.
Keep It Familiar
This one is pretty simple – don’t go getting all fancy with your speech just because you can. Yeah, yeah – they’ll know what the word means, but it’s going to come out of you sounding funny – they’ll be wondering what boarding school you went to.
Keep It Lean
When we are writing speeches all too often we get into a mode where we stop writing to be heard and start writing to be read. Nobody is ever going to read your speech so don’t do this. Trim out all of the fat – drop any word that is not absolutely necessary.
Keep It Active
When you are giving a speech, you want to be able to reach out to your audience and motivate them to come around to your way of thinking. If this is going to happen, your words are going to have to motivate them to make a change. This means that you’re going to have to use a lot of verbs – this is going to make your message very, very clear.
What All Of This Means For You
In order to become a great speaker, you are first going to have to learn how to write a great speech. The good news is that this is something that any of us can learn to do if only we follow the rules.
When writing your next speech make sure that you write your speech to be heard, not read. This means that you’re going to have use short sentences, keep it simple, keep it familiar, cut out the fat, and make sure that you use a lot of verbs.
It’s not that hard to write a speech that will create results. Follow these five rules and you’ll be well on your way to writing speeches that people really want to remember long after you are done.
Question For You: What’s the best way to find out what words can be eliminated from the speech that you just wrote?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
You’ve just had the best idea that you’ve ever had for a great speech. You can see it in your mind’s eye so very, very clearly. Now if only you could write a speech that would allow you to get this idea across to your audience as clearly as you see it. Hmm, perhaps there is a way. I’ve got 5 speech writing tips for you that just might help you turn your idea into your audience’s idea…