Fast Ways To Jump-Start Your Speech Writing Process

Sometimes we all need a little help to get things started
Sometimes we all need a little help to get things started
Image Credit: Samuel M. Livingston

This has pretty much happened to all of us at one time or another. We’ve agreed to give a speech and eventually we sit down to write the speech and then bang – nothing comes into our mind. We draw a blank. We might know what we’ve been asked to talk about, we might know our audience, we might know the importance of public speaking, we might know everything, but still we just don’t seem to be able to find a way to start our speech. What’s a speaker to do when this happens?

Use Quotations

When we find ourselves stuck and unable to get the creation of a speech started, one of the simplest things that we can do is to go looking for a really good quote. In order to do this, you are first going to have to sit back and think about the speech that you have been asked to give. What are some of the most important words that this speech will contain? As an example, if you had been asked to give a speech on school safety, then words like guns, children, growing up, and protection would all be key words that any speech on this topic would contain. Now use those words to go looking for quotes that contain them.

Your goal here is to find one or more quotes that contain the key words from your speech. No, this is not magically going to cause your speech to be written for you. However, once you are able to find a quote that relates to the speech that you want to create, you’ll can then move forward and build a speech around that quote. If you want, you can even start your speech off by sharing that quote with your audience and by doing so the hardest part of your speech, the opening, will be taken care of.

Use Synonyms

So just exactly what is a synonym? A synonym is a word (or phrase) that means nearly the same thing as another word or phrase in the same language. An example of a synonym would be “display” and “exhibit”. Once again, you are going to have to spend some time thinking about the speech that you will be writing. What words jump out at you? What words will you be using in your title? These are all key words for your speech. Take the time to go online and do some research: what synonyms go along with these words? Once you start to see other words that relate to what you’ll be talking about, there is a very good chance that your creative juices will start to flow and you’ll be able to come up with a great idea for how you want to write your speech.

Use Email

Let’s face it. Sometimes we’re just not going to be able to come up with a good idea for a speech all by ourselves. In cases like this its going to be time for us to reach out to others in order to get their assistance. It is now officially time for you to open up your email tool and send an email to one of your friends. What you are going to want to do in this email is to let them know about the speech that you have agreed to do. You are going to want to ask them for their uncensored thoughts on the topic that you’ll be speaking on. Your goal here is going to be to try to use them as a sounding board as you try to work out what you want to say and the order in which you’ll be saying it. Sometimes a friend can be a real lifesaver.

Use Your Eyes

Let’s face it – that blank sheet of paper can be quite intimidating at times. In order to get around this problem, you need to change your perspective. Different things work for different people; however, something that seems to work well for most of us is to stand up, and go over to the nearest window. What you are going to want to do is to use your eyes to look out at the farthest point that you can see. Generally this is where you’ll be able to see the sky just meeting the horizon. There is something almost magical about this point – looking at it can have a calming influence on your mind. By doing this you’ll be able to free up your mind and the ideas for what you want to include in your speech will come rushing to you.

What All Of This Means For You

Agreeing to give a speech and then being able to create the speech to share the benefits of public speaking that you want to give are two completely different things. All too often we find ourselves sitting down to create a speech and having our minds go completely blank. When this happens, we are going to need some help.

The first thing that we can do is to try to come up with a list of words that will be included in any version of this speech. These key words can then be used to go online and search for quotes that contain the same words. These quotes can then help us to build our speech. We can also use the same set of words to look up synonyms that will give us new insights into how to build our speech. Sometimes we just can’t come up with any ideas on our own. When this happens it is time for us to send an email to a friend in order to get their help. If nothing else works, then we need to stand up and go look out the window. This will help us to clear our mind and then we can start again.

Often the hardest part of writing a speech is getting started. There will be times that we find ourselves blocked and unable to come up with those first few thoughts that its going to take in order to write a speech. Using these suggestions to get the process started can help us to over come anything that is preventing us from writing a speech. Use these suggestions the next time that you find yourself blocked and you’ll quickly be writing the best speech ever!

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

Question For You: How many different quotes do you think that you can use in a single speech without starting to confuse your audience?

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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 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

What will the goal of your next speech be? If you are like most of us, you understand the mportance of public speaking and you’ll want to grab your audience’s attention at the start of your speech and then find a way to hold on to it throughout the rest of your speech. Although this sounds like a great thing to do, the challenge that we all run into is that it’s really not all that easy to do. All too often the speeches that we create have no real structure to them and they end up leaving our audiences confused about what the main point of our speech really was. We need to fix this problem. We need to start to use the triangle.