How To Write The Perfect Speech

by drjim on March 3, 2009

The Perfect Speech Needs To Contain The Perfect Stories

The Perfect Speech Needs To Contain The Perfect Stories

Last week I had the opportunity to give the perfect speech. Now, you might be offended by this statement and are probably wondering just how I could become so full of myself, so perhaps I should explain myself. I had spoken in this venue four times before, I had been invited to speak again because they liked what I had had to say before, and I knew that I was going to be speaking about a month before I actually got up on stage. These are all the elements of a perfect speech.

Since I already basically knew what I wanted to tell this audience, this time around I really worked on HOW I said it – I wanted to make an impact in their lives. Awhile ago I had read an article in which Patricia Fripp boiled down what makes a really memorable speech: tell a story, make your point, tell a story, make your point, etc.

So I did. I ended up working six stories into my speech and then following them up with the point that I wanted to make. In order to make sure that I would fit the 30 minutes that I had available, I did some quick math: 30 minutes x 150 words/minute = 4,500 words in speech. I then did something that I’ve almost never done before.

I wrote out my speech word for word. I did this because I had read somewhere else that in order for you to “tune” a speech, you need to know exactly what you are going to say. This came out to be about five single spaced pages of text.

How I memorized this speech so that I didn’t have to look at my notes even once during my speech is a story for another post…

Do you tell stories during your speeches? How many stories do you work into a typical speech? Do you write your speeches out? How do you ensure that when you give the speech it doesn’t seem like you are reading them off of the page? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

How To Write A Speech March 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I like your point about telling a story. But I would also add that you should always place the audience to the center of your attention when writing a speech. What does your audience want to hear. What can you say to interest them? In my opinion that’s the key to a “perfect speech”.

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Dr. Jim Anderson March 19, 2009 at 7:50 am

You are correct, of course. I might take that one step further and say that you need to know your audience and what they want to hear; however, once you know this don’t tell them what they WANT to hear, but rather tell them what they NEED to hear…!

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Robin E Pullen June 12, 2009 at 2:45 am

As an emerging speaker I have come realise that my intentions don’t count on the stage. I have had to learn to identify what an audience is really looking for. So, as you mentioned on another post I would agree on the the rules of ‘CONTENT’.

The second key would be CONFIDENCE. This is something that I discoverred through when working my ‘own stories’ into the presentation. No one can tell Your story like You can!

Come to think of it, this also keeps it original and authentic. I guess that something else folk are looking for… the real deal!?

Thanks for the great blog!
Ciao

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Dr. Jim Anderson June 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Robin: it sounds like you are well on your way to becoming a great speaker. One point that I’d like to make is that your intentions actually DO matter! The reason is because you HAVE to believe in what you are talking about to your audience. If you are just telling them things that you think that they want to hear, then your insincerity will come through and your audience won’t be happy. The great speakers take the time to find what views & beliefs they share in common with their audience and then they focus on these while they give their speech.

Good luck and always keep it original and authentic!

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Sareth August 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Plz, let me know how to write a speech on meetings and thank you to someone

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Dr. Jim Anderson August 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Sareth: big question, little space to reply. A speech is just a one-way conversation that you have with an audience. The most important thing to do first is to decide on what you want the audience to do once your done. Next, write the last few words that you’ll say to get them to do this. After that, all you’ve got to do is to write an opening that will grab their attention and a body that supports the point that you want to make. Good luck!

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karen January 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm

thanx alt 4 all the info , it wuz very useful and it will really help me . 1 point I really liked wuz the 1 where had 2 know ur audience , because if ur talking to a bunch of boys on ur obsession with Barbie dolls , I bet that no 1 will like it , so try and intrest ur audience by talking 2 them about something they do on a day to day basis so it will actually help them. also another thing is to start with a hook in order 2 grab ur readers attention , thanx a lot and hope I helped

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