Giving a speech can be hard. Writing it doesn’t have to be.
Follow these tips to keep your audience captive.
1) Be concise.
Your audience won’t remember your entire speech, so decide which points you really want them to remember. Don’t waste time on formalities, and don’t take your audience’s attention for granted.
2) Be sincere.
Whenever possible, avoid relying on cliches, buzzwords, or industry jargon. This doesn’t mean you can’t use these things, but you shouldn’t use them in place of actually communicating with your audience.
3) Be honest.
Don’t make statements that you couldn’t back up if you were pressed, or statements that will provoke obvious objections from the audience. An otherwise sympathetic audience can turn on you if they know you’re lying.
4) Be relevant.
Consider the social context in which the speech will be given, as well as any recent events you think will be on their minds. This will not only make your speech more powerful, but can help you avoid blunders and gaffes.
5) Be confident.
You’re writing the speech, not giving it, so there’s no reason to be nervous. Avoid filler words, apologies, or anything else that might undermine the speaker’s authority, even if you think it will disarm the audience.
6) Be coherent.
Write the speech the way you would organize any other piece of writing. Make sure the ideas are connected, ordered, and relevant to the main point of the speech. Don’t go on tangents or confuse the audience. If you use figurative language, make sure it’s clear, unambiguous, and not distracting for the audience.
7) Be meaningful.
Take this opportunity to have an impact on the audience. Say what you think should be said, not what will take up the most time or space. Bluster is cheap and in no short supply. If your speech says something, anything at all, someone in your audience will remember it.