When I ask people why they don't like speaking in public two of the commonest answers is that either they don't know how to write a speech quickly or that they don't have the time to write it.

So here is the solution.

Just follow this fast, foolproof process, and you'll be surprised how quickly you can write a speech that is short, snappy and sassy.

How to write a speech quickly

Step 1:
The first stage of this speech writing process is to choose a topic.  Start by spending a minute or two brainstorming, (or mind mapping) potential speech topics.  Capture your ideas on a  piece of paper, irrespective of how crazy some of them may seem.  At this stage, quantity is more important than quality.

Step 2:
Review all the ideas and pick one to use for your speech.  I recommend that you make your decision based on three factors, a) Pick something that you know about,  b) Pick something that you feel strongly about and c) pick something that is likely to be relevant to your audience

Step 3:
Now that you have a topic you can start to generate ideas for content. Spend a minute brainstorming a list of possible sub-themes related to this subject.   For example, if your topic was "How to Write A Speech" You might jot down some content ideas like  - outcome, stories, examples, evidence, relevance to the audience, clarity, simplicity, call to action, structure, signposting, attention-grabbing opening, clear conclusion, etc.  "

Step 4: Now pick the three ideas that you feel most comfortable talking about and then use them for the three primary messages in the body of your speech.   Believe it or not, you've now completed the hardest part of the how to write a speech process!   You have:

  •  Selected a speech topic
  • Identified the three core ideas or messages of your speech

Step 5:
Now take each of these three points and brainstorm some supporting content. For example

Let's go back to my example about  how to write a speech quickly to see how this step might work in practice

  • Message  1 - Make sure your speech is relevant
    • What's in it for the audience
    • Which should they do listen?
    • What do they want/need?
  • Message 2 - Use stories to bring your message to life
    • Stories are memorable, so they make your message "sticky."
    • Stories create an emotional reaction in your audience
    • Example - "The pensions presentation story."
  • Message 3 - Finish with a bang
    • Call to action - if you want your audience to do something - spell it out clearly
    • If you want them to think differently, include a moral  or "take-home message" from your speech
    • Example - I was working with some young people in a school in conjunction with the Speakers Trust.  The final activity was a short a presentation from each student on a topic that meant something to them.  One young girl chose to speak about a family holiday. She told a simple, charming story about a trip to a far but it was her conclusion that stunned everybody.  She finished with a powerful moral that contained a lesson for everyone in the room.  Her closing words were "You see I realised that it doesn't  matter where you go on holiday, it's who you go with that really matters!"

Step 6:
Believe it or not, you've now completed the hardest part of the "how to write a speech quickly" process!   All that's left is to pull it all together using the framework below.

  • Speech title
    Don't start with the traditional "Hello my name is...and I am here to talk about... " You need to grab their attention from the outset with either some startling facts or figures, a challenge, a question, a quote or a short personal story.
  • Body
    Use your three themes from the brainstorm and develop each one a little.  N.B. remember to include some "I statements" that explain why this topic matters to you.
  • Conclusion
    Don't let your presentation tail off at the end. Finish it with a strong call to action where you spell out exactly what you want your audience to do as a result of listening to this speech.

So there you have it. A simple process that will help you write a speech quickly.  Try it yourself and let me know how you get on and, if you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear them too.  Just type into the comments box below.

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  1. Fiona on 19/11/2017 at 17:48

    This was so helpful because I’m didn’t have the information I needed but after I read this I realize that I didn’t need a lot and wrote away and finished in a minimal of an hour which is pretty good for me just because I’m horrible at writing really fast so thank you for this

    • Gavin Meikle on 23/11/2017 at 13:59

      Well done Fiona. Thanks for sharing your experience with using this useful technique. To get more tips like this please bookmark my blog. You should also join my Presenter’s Edge Facebook Page. I post tips and techniques and FB live videos related to presentation skills as well as encouraging discussion among group members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThePresentersEdge/

      Also, my book “The Presenter’s Edge” is available from Amazon. It’s a practical how-to guide to preparing and delivering better presentations Just search of The Presenter’s Edge by Gavin Meikle.

  2. Anonymous on 25/05/2017 at 01:54

    i have a speech to write about foreign language and this was really helpful

    • Gavin Meikle on 25/05/2017 at 12:48

      Thanks for your feedback, It makes a big difference when people like you tell me what has helped. Blogging can feel quite lonely sometimes so I appreciate that you took the time to get in touch.


  3. Anonymous on 12/02/2015 at 22:33

    Thank you so much! I used this to write a five minute speech for The American Legion and it helped a lot.

    • Gavin Meikle on 15/03/2015 at 10:35

      Thanks, Brianna, I am delighted to hear that this post was useful. If there are any other topics or questions you’d like me to write about, feel free to get in touch.


  4. Anonymous on 28/05/2013 at 09:58

    Great text! Thank you very much!

  5. Daniel on 24/10/2012 at 07:14

    Galvin, This is just what I was looking for. I’ve been a Toastmaster for several years and and the Education officer in my club. Though I love Toastmasters, there was something missing. In the real world, you need to be able to use your Toastmasters training to craft a speech on a moments notice. This blog was perfect. While giving you credit, I drafted a workshop based on this blog, tweaked it to fit my audience and gave it last week. It was well received and all who participated enjoyed the program. Gotta love the internet sometimes and how you can find almost anything you are looking for, including how to prepare a 5 minute speech in 10 minutes. I like to think of it as Uber Table Topics. Tomorrow I’m giving a speech presenttion on how to write a 5 minute speech in 10 minutes. I know my new audience will love it. Many thanks.

    Thanks for the inspiration. Daniel

    • Gavin Meikle on 24/10/2012 at 09:14

      Thanks Daniel, I am delighted that you found the post useful and were able to create a useful workshop from it. Let me know if you have any other specific topics youd like me to blog about. Best Wishes, Gavin, The Presentation Doctor.

  6. wk on 20/03/2012 at 04:14


  7. Robin on 18/03/2010 at 09:33

    Good blog subject, crisply articulated.

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