How to Write a Speech in 13 Steps Written by Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc
You can see my credentials in my bio. You should also know that I love to write speeches. In fact, I've been accused of being a better speech writer than speech giver! I'm working on that. ;-)
I'll tell you how to write a speech way I do it, and I'll tell you how to make it great. Plus I'll give you some tips on what to put in, and what to leave out. I love this topic. How Good Do You Want Your Speech to Be?
From outset, you should know that how to write a speech depends on how good you want it to be, and how much time you want to put into it. I'll put most important things first so that you can just go as far as you want, and stop when you run out of time. Remember to leave time to practice speech three or four times. If you can record second or third and listen to it, so much better.
How to Write a Speech People Will Remember
In old days, and I mean back in time of Greeks, much more emphasis was put on writing of speech, content. Now people tend to emphasize presentation, style, vocal qualities, and technology. But writing a good speech is irreplaceable - I'm going to tell you how to get put content in, make it clear, and make an impact on your audience...how to write a speech people will remember.
(Why 13 steps? It just turned out that way. But if you think public speaking is scary, it fits, doesn't it?)
1. Know your audience: if you forget this, everything falls apart. You can't tell dirty jokes to a Christian women's group. You've seen commercial where best man gives wedding toast and goes on and on about how much of a player groom was? Remember who's there and what they want to hear. What do they like and dislike? What kind of humor do they like? If they're a mixed audience, you have to be more mainstream in your language and manner. This is most important part of how to write a speech.
2. Know your purpose: only time you're allowed to break rule #1 is if your purpose is to shock or to inform people about something uncomfortable. In latter case, you'd need to make up for shock value by acknowledging it, comforting them, etc. Besides all that, your purpose determines everything else. Visualize a straight line from you through your audience to purpose. If you want to persuade them, you have to take them from where they are to place of persuasion. If you want to inform, you have to take their brains from where they are, to where they'll know your information. Knowing them, and taking them there is what it's all about.
3. Know what you want them to think about speech later: This is another part of your purpose, essential to how to write a speech. If you want them to say, "you really showed compassion in that speech!" then you have to do whatever you can to demonstrate compassion. If more than anything you want them to remember a certain fact, then do everything you can in speech to implant it in their brain - shock them, plead with them, amuse them, but make sure they focus on that fact.
A Free Persuasive Speech Sample For YouWritten by Brian Benjamin Carter, MS, LAc
Want to see a free persuasive speech example?
So, you've read about finding your own persuasive speech topic, and you want to see an example of an entire persuasive speech? I'm happy to let you see one of mine for free... even though it's part of my new book, even though you might give it yourself without giving me credit, go ahead!
Give me credit if you can... but I hope it's a great example for you so you can learn to write your own speech, and that you might like content and think about buying my book.
(Actually - remember following insight in case you ever write a book - turning part of my book into a speech made that section better! When you write your persuasive speech, you can do a typed version, edit that on computer, then read it out loud, then change parts that don't sound natural. I ended up using speech incarnation of this instead of pre-speech version in my book.)
I don't think whole speech will fit here, but you can download it here: http://pulsemed.org/Achieve%20Health%20Goals%20Free%20Persuasive%20Speech.doc
Toastmasters International's Professional Speaker Manual #5 – Motivation - "Acheive Your Health Goals"
1.Intro a.Hook i.How much is your health worth? Is anything more important than well being? ii.Is it worth more than your money? Could you enjoy your money without your health? Maybe you’ve heard saying that in first part of our lives we use up our health getting money, and then in second part we have spend all our money to get our health back iii.Most of us live how we want until our health interferes – then we want ASAP to escape disease that came from our lifestyle so that we can hurry up and get back to same way of life that made us sick. iv.Good living requires more than generally ignoring your health and occasionally running from disease. Good living has to include well being, an even higher standard of comfort, peace, and physical and mental capacity. v.You might easily agree that well being is important, but do you have have realistic goals for achieving more well being? Have you put these goals high on daily priority list? b.I want to suggest three things to you - that you: i.Face facts about what wellness is, and your state of health ii.Create wellness goals iii.Achieve them c.Hopefully, we share some Common Values, Beliefs, and Wisdom: i.Self improvement is essential to a satisfying life ii.Persistence and Discipline are keys to success in any endeavor iii.I’d like you to apply your interest in self improvement to your well being, and do it with discipline and persistence. 2.Preview a.Tonight, I’m going to give you some insight on difference between avoiding disease, and striving for well-being. b.I’m going to clarify for you what well being is, and what benefits of striving for it are. c.I’m going to make it crystal clear why it’s common sense to live in a way that prevents disease. d.Finally I’ll give you examples of wellness goals, and then tell you how to increase your chances of achieving them. 3.Stories a.First, let’s talk about a writer who had a life-changing experience. i.Norm Cousins was editor of Saturday review for 40 years, and wrote a dozen books and 100’s of essays. ii.In ‘60s Cousins was stricken with a crippling and life-threatening disease. iii.Western medicine had no solution for him, so he devised his own healing regimen that consisted primarily of laughter. He watched endless episodes of Laurel and Hardy, and Abbot and Costello, and laughed his way back to health. He wrote a book about this experience called Anatomy of an Illness iv.He subsequently participated in a UCLA task force to examine impact of positive emotions and attitudes on human illness, and out of that grew a mind-body research center named after him v.It took a life-threatening disease to turn Norman Cousins’s interests and priorities toward prevention and well being. vi.But one of marks of wisdom is ability to learn from other people’s mistakes without having to make them yourself vii.We can learn start putting well being first right now. We don’t have to wait for a life-threatening, or quality of life-changing disease. viii.Besides, if we did, there’s no guarantee that if we did wait, we’d be able to recover as Cousins did. Our very life may depend on getting it right first time. ix.According to Chinese medicine’s oldest book, from 200 B.C., “The sages of old didn’t treat sick they treated those who were well... If a disease has already broken out and is only treated then isn’t that like waiting for thirst before digging a well or waiting until battle begins to make your weapons?” b.One objection to living preventively is this: Everyone wants to bring up old farmer who ate 10 pounds of sausage and eggs, smoked 4 packs of cigarettes, and worked 10 hours in fields EVERY DAY and finally died peacefully in his sleep at age 99 – Obviously, I’ve exaggerated some things- but these people with strong constitutions who can live however they want and still feel good are rare, and notice in example, he did physical exertion 10 hours a day! The rest of us don’t get much exercise, and sit in chairs and on couches most of day, so we’re more sensitive to stress and what we eat. As Plato said, “We have made of ourselves living cesspools and driven doctors to invent names for our diseases.” c.But what about weak constitution? Is there any hope for them? One of my favorite movie quotes is from 13th warrior – a weaponless arab swordsman teams up with a group of friendly Vikings who give him one of their swords – he says, “I can’t fight with this- It’s too heavy!” The Viking Leader laughs and declares, “Grow Stronger!” Young Theodore Roosevelt was a nearsighted, asthmatic, frail bookworm. Because of his frequent asthma attacks, he also loved outdoors and fresh air. He always took numerous hunting and camping trips. When he was twelve, his father challenged him to develop his physical stature, and he responded, spending hours in gym. In college, he rowed, boxed, rode horseback, and camped. He became a cowboy, and then a sheriff. At 40, he resigned from his Navy post to lead “Rough Riders” a volunteer cavalry unit, in war against Spain and became known for his heroism in battle. He was mountain climbing when his vice-presidency ended with McKinley's assassination, and he won re-election after that term. After presidency, he went on an African safari to hunt big game, and then immediately toured Europe. He was shot while campaigning at age 54 - bullet had punctured his right lung, but he still gave his scheduled speech before going to hospital (remember that next time you think about bowing out of your TM commitment!). A year later, he explored River of Doubt in Brazil. He died of a heart attack at age 61, but in those years he lived more life than 3 average men, and live more vitally because of his devotion to exertion.