A Speech’s Second Life

Is it possible to reuse a speech after you have given it?
Is it possible to reuse a speech after you have given it? Image Credit: Alan Levine

Let’s face it – when we give a speech, we put a lot of time and effort into it. First we have to come up with what we want to talk about, next we need to write the speech. Once we actually have a speech, we need to practice it and once we feel that we’re good enough, we can give it. What happens then? In a perfect world someone who heard our speech will come up to us and ask us to give it again to a different audience. However, all too often that does not happen. Do you just throw the speech away? If only there was something that we could do with all of those speeches that we’ve already given…

A Second Life For Your Speech

Good news: you’ve given a stellar speech. In getting ready to give this speech you spent days thinking through your topic, crafting a killer opening, developing your key messages, finding supporting research, and polishing your conclusion. However, all too quicky its now all over. Or does it have to be? Your hard work on your speech doesn’t have to be destined for the trash bin. Instead, you need to consider recycling the content of your speech in order to give it new life. You’ve already invested your time and energy in creating and polishing your speech, so it only makes sense for you to leverage your content for a different or perhaps an even larger audience. Let’s think about just a few ways you can reuse your next speech.

You Could Put It On File

If you haven’t already done so, you should type out your speech and then save it. Depending on your speaking rate, your speech might convert to a personal essay ranging from 5,000 to 6,600 words. It turns out that this is right on target for the personal essay section of many publications. Take the time to flip through your favorite magazines to see whether they publish personal essays, and then search for “writer’s guidelines” to get details on how and where to send a submission. You can also take the extra step of checking the Writer’s Market website for other possible outlets. If your essay was accepted for publication, then you just might get paid. Even if you don’t end up getting paid, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing your words live on in print.

Getting published in a magazine is not your only print possibility. Speakers should learn how to use the same source work for various speech projects so that they develop a refined pitch for their work. In some cases, speakers have used speech projects as a way to develop and test nonfiction work, particularly in the area of self-help.

You Could Always Tell It Live

If your speech happens to focus on a compelling, memorable or humorous personal experience, you might want to think about sharing it at a storytelling event. Maybe your pitch and your story could land on a website or even at one of the live performances around the U.S. The National Storytelling Network lists storytelling events and groups all across the U.S. and even in some other countries, including Germany, Canada, and Australia.

You Could Become An Expert

One of the things that every speaker should do is to develop a “back-pocket speech” that they can practice whenever they have a chance. When we are writing speeches, we should try to choose a topic that has multiple subtopics, because this allows us to expand on the topic in different ways and in many speeches. If we are able to create a “stock” speech we can give it multiple times. When we deliver this speech, we can reconstruct the opening and closing to fit your audience; however, the body will stay the same.

You Could Post It Online

Thanks to the fact that we are all living in the 21st Century and we have the Internet, it’s easy for your speech to go global. Speakers should understand that more people are getting comfortable with the idea of recording their speeches and uploading them on YouTube. By posting their speeches on the site, speakers are able to get feedback from viewers from all over the world.

What All Of This Means For You

Man does it take a lot of effort to give a speech! Just think about everything that you have to go through: you have to come up with an idea, you have to plan out your speech, you have to create the actual speech itself, then you have to both practice it and deliver it. However, once that is all over, what do you have to show for all of that effort? This is where speakers need to start to get creative.

If you want to find a way to come up with a second life for that speech that you worked so hard to create, you have to start out by writing it down. Turn your speech into a written document. Once you do this, you will then have the possibility of seeking out magazines and other publications that may be willing to publish your speech for a wider audience. You can also seek out other live presentation opportunities where you could give your speech once again. You can decide that you want to become known as an expert on the topic of your speech. Finally, you can always find somewhere that the speech can be posted online.

We want our good work to have as long of a life as it possibly can have. What this means when we are talking about a speech is that we want our words to have an opportunity to be shared with other audiences. As speakers we need to understand that our speech may have to undergo a metamorphosis and change into something else in order to reach that second audience. However, if we are willing to do this, then our speech can truly have a second life.

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

Question For You: Do you think that you have to be careful to make sure that your first audience does not see your reused speech?

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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!

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