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
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.
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
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
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!"
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.
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.
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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