Speechwriting Magic: 3 Ways To Cast A Spell Over Your Audience

by drjim on July 13, 2010

It Turns Out That Your Speeches Can Be Magical

It Turns Out That Your Speeches Can Be Magical

When you deliver a speech you stand up straight, you speak clearly, and you have fantastic eye contact. What more could anyone ask for? How about a speech that is both memorable and magical…

Do Your Homework

If you want to create a speech that will do the two most difficult things that any speaker can attempt, inspire and motivate your audience, then you’re going to need to write a killer speech. That speech is only going to be as good as what you are able to put into it. This means that you’ve got some homework to do.
If you wait until when you are sitting down to create your next speech to start to collect the information that you are going to need to make a great speech, then it may already be too late. The really good speechwriters are always collecting information. They read everything that they can get their hands on and those items that catch their attention get filed away somewhere they can find it when they eventually need it.
Your ultimate goal needs to have more information that you’ve collected for your speech than you could possibly use. This will allow you to sort through it all and pick out only the best bits to use.

Magic Speeches Start One Word At A Time

What’s interesting about speech writing is that all too often we are our own worst enemies. We all know what a great speech sounds like and as we are creating a speech we quickly realize that our first draft basically sounds pretty lousy. If you aren’t careful, you can get caught in an almost endless loop of editing in which you try to get a sentence perfect before you write the next one.
Don’t do this. Instead just let the words flow out of you as you create your first pass of the speech. One way to make sure that your speech is able to grab your audience’s attention and holds it is to identify 6 or so main points that will grab attention and which have a good story associated with them.
As you practice your speech, what you are going to be listening for is the “rhythm” that your speech has: it has a lot to do with the pace of the speech and how it all links together.

It’s All About The Ears

I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent in the past working on getting my Power Point slides just perfect. It turns out that what I should have been doing. Your audience really isn’t going to remember what your slides looked like after your speech is over. Instead, it’s your words that will stay with them if you choose them correctly.
If you take the time to make sure that your words are used to draw a sequence of mental pictures in your audiences heads then you will have found a way to leave a lasting impression. An important note here is that we write differently than we speak – we use more slang and contractions when we are speaking. If you write your speech out and then read it as you wrote it, it’s not going to come across as a natural way of speaking.

What All Of This Means For You

Finding a way to cast a magical spell over your audience is what every speaker wants to find a way to do. Creating a great speech is one way to make this happen.
The way to make happen is to get into your audience’s head while you are writing your next speech. Once you do this you’ll understand that your audience doesn’t really want to find out just how smart you are (what can they do with that?), but rather what they really want is to know what they can do with the information that you share with them during your speech…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: What’s your secret to writing a great speech?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Humor, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Well, maybe not – simply because although I do like using humor in a speech; however, it’s a tricky beast and it can turn on you at any moment. Just how is a speaker supposed to determine when some form of humor is inappropriate for the audience that he / she is speaking to?

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