You can’t be a public speaker without knowing how to write a speech. This speech writing checklist will help in drafting a speech that engages your audience.
If you want to start a public speaking career or become a speechwriter and offer speech writing services, you need to know how to write an engaging and rousing speech.
You may have already written motivational speeches or be familiar with writing an inspirational speech for yourself or someone else.
As a professional speechwriter, you will be required to have different types of speech writing skills, such as formal speech writing or political speech writing.
You may be called upon to write a short speech for a work event, for writing a best man speech, writing a keynote speech for a conference, or writing an acceptance speech for an award function.
Whatever the topic for speech writing, you can learn effective speech writing tips to help you make a career as a speechwriter or to launch your own professional public speaking career.
If you want an expert guideline for drafting a speech that works, Brian Tracy’s formula to create a speech in 5 minutes will give you the speech writing training to help you create any speech you desire.
4 effective speech writing tips
Once you learn good English speech writing skills, you know that when you stand on stage to give your presentation, you’ll have a well-organized speech outline and content. These effective speech writing tips will help you write your speech and impress those listening.
1. Speeches are meant to be heard
For some public speakers, the fear of an upcoming speaking engagement comes from that writer’s block that hits you when you have to write a good speech.
But you don’t have to worry about good spelling or other conventions of writing when you learn the basics of speech writing, because it is not likely that your speech will ever be read by someone else.
The rules of speech writing are not like writing a term paper or a report, for the simple reason that when you actually write a speech, it is not intended to be read, but heard.
If you’re new to public speaking or speech writing, you may find that the best way to write a speech is to write it the way you would write a paper, so you can hear it in your head.
2. Know who your audience is
But more importantly, you need to write a speech that your audience will be able to relate to. Knowing what your audience is interested in will give you some insight into how you can keep them engaged.
This will also help you start speaking with confidence when you get on stage, with the knowledge that your audience knows exactly what you’re talking about, and appreciates your speech.
3. Write a speech outline
Often professional public speakers will write a speech on their topic in the form of an outline based on a defined structure, and then they hang the detail off of the structure.
The detail is the content and the substance of the speech which creates value for your audience. It could include quotations, facts, historical references, and scientific statistics – whatever information you need to support the theme of your speech.
4. What is the desired outcome?
Now, how you organize your speech may be determined by what kind of speech it is. And what kind of speech it is can be defined by what you hope to achieve. So a speech might be designed to convince, to sell, to entertain, or to inform. Sometimes a speech can be a combination of these forms.
But you should clearly define what your expected outcome is so you know whether you’ve achieved your goal by the time the composition of the speech is done. Having that overriding goal well in mind will play a role in how you organize your speech.
Speech writing checklist for drafting a speech
One of the best tips for writing a good speech is to follow a good speech structure. What is a good speech writing structure? The structure of a good speech is similar to a paper.
You need to layout each section and allocate your time even before you write a speech. In Brian Tracy’s Speech Creation Planner, you’ll get instant access to his speechwriting and public speaking techniques that you can use over and over.
Here’s a speech writing checklist that will help you with the steps of speech writing. Depending on the purpose, these are good speech writing points to remember when you write a speech:
- The introduction
- The opener
- The personal introduction
- The statement of the “problem”
- 3 to 5 points for the body of the speech
- The summary and
- The closer or the call to action
For the opener or speech writing introduction, it’s good to use something that brings the audience to you. It’s good to greet them warmly and seek a greeting in response. An anecdote about the hall or the weather even can get the talk off on the right foot.
Then go into your personal information making sure what you share relates to why you’re the one here giving this talk. Keep every aspect of the presentation relevant to the central theme.
Writing a good speech is like writing a good story because you must create a problem and then solve it. The problem statement can be phrased as a question.
For example, if you’re going to discuss tricks for using Microsoft PowerPoint, you could start out discussing the problems with using the software and illustrate them with stories about catastrophes that were caused by that lack of understanding.
As much as possible, keep the problems relevant to your listeners. Then move directly from there to present the body of your work in an organized way.
Make sure you have 3 to 5 solid points. List them and elaborate on what they are. That cements your presentation in their minds.
The conclusion is often a summary of what was just said. It’s good to close with humor as well. But you may also use the final summary of your talk for any call to action you may have in mind for this audience.
If they enjoyed your speech, they may want to know what you want them to do, even if they’re not going to go do it. It will give them some closure and make a satisfying conclusion to the discussion.
Thank them for their time and close. But stick around, because if it was a good talk, you’ll have questions from people who will want to ask you questions or discuss things they thought about afterward.
If that happens, you’ll know for certain you made an impression and did a good job. Don’t forget to learn more ways to improve your speech writing skills from speech writing examples written by famous speechwriters.
In this video, Cody Keenan, speechwriter to Barack Obama, shares his top tips for how to deliver a speech that will be remembered. He says a great speech is authentic, speaks to something bigger, and if you can get some jokes in there, great!
If you’re planning to do some public speaking and don’t know how to do it, you can learn the art of public speaking with tips for speaking to your audience in a way that easily conveys your message.
Public speaking courses & resources
To master public speaking with effective speaking skills and public speaking strategies from famous public speakers, check out these public speaking courses and resources:
- Public Speaking Hypnosis: From Petrified to Powerful in 10 Steps
- Brian Tracy’s Free 6-Figure Speaker Public Speaking eBook
- Brian Tracy’s Free 5-Minute Speech Creation Formula
- Brian Tracy’s Free Become a Professional Speaker Webinar
- Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds
- How To Talk In Interviews: 3 Media Training Tips For Being Interviewed On TV
- Learn Soft Skills & Personality Development for the Future of Work
- Learn the Training Skills of a Facilitator with Coaching Training Courses
- How to Start Creating an Elevator Speech for Your Business
- Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes & Personality Traits
© 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. She is also the author of Devi2Diva, a book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, she writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.