Writing a speech is not that difficult if you understand the topic and the following few steps.
There are generally two types of speeches. You will either get to select a topic or the topic will be chosen for you. If you are choosing you own topic it’s important to select a topic that you can get lots of information on and one that is going to interest the audience you are speaking to, of course if it’s something you are interested in then it will be easier to get your audience engrossed in it too.
If you are given a topic, my advice is to research as much information as you can about it. Try brainstorming and looking at the topic from all angles. It is far better to have too much information as this gives you the choice to select the best information for your speech.
Once you have selected your topic and researched it, you then need to decide how you are going to put it together. Decide on the message you are trying to get across to your audience and make sure what you write is relevant to the topic.
Every good speech should have a catchy, attention-grabbing opening because this gets the audience focused on you. You then need to tell them what your speech is about. In other words, tell them what you are going to tell them so they know what you are going to cover. The middle of any speech should have relevant information that is interesting and it should always relate to the topic.
Finally the conclusion should summarise what you’ve told them and leave them thinking about what you have said. To make you speech more interesting, try adding some rhetorical questions. This will help to the audience involved and thinking about what your are saying.
Of course any speech wouldn’t be a speech if you didn’t speak it. So in the delivery of it you need to remember to articulate your words clearly, speak confidently and look at your audience. If you can, try to learn your speech so you don’t have to look at your cards and you stay connected with your audience.
In the last three months I have been involved in three Rotary Speech Competitions and have had success at each level of competition following these simple steps.
So go on, give it a go and you will find it’s not as hard as it seems - you might even enjoy it.
Published 6 July 2009, submitted 3 July 2009