Managing yourself creatively

How to Prepare a Speech?

Whether it’s to address the next convention you attend or to kick off a community drive, your chances of being tapped to give a speech this year are very good. Of course, you’ll want to give the best possible account of yourself. Some tips on putting your speech together:


Is the purpose of your speech to persuade, inform, and amuse? Unless you have a clear idea of your goal, you – and your speech – are apt to fizzle. So first of all, decide what you are trying to accomplish.


Make sure it’s authentic, up-to-date, and interesting. Read widely enough to get a “rounded” view of your topic, not just those sources that agree with your point of view. Put your information into a logical sequence in order to build toward the purpose you have in mind.


This needn’t be a formal outline; just enough to indicate to yourself the progression of your thoughts (e.g. problem, causes, extent, cure). The point is, get the broad sweep of your speech down on paper.


Once you have your outline, you are ready to beef it up with facts and figures. If, by their very nature, those facts are dry, make them more palatable by introducing them under the guise of examples, illustrations, or even an anecdote where suitable.


Unless you “talk their language”, your speech is apt to fall flat. What, generally, are they most interested in? If you keep this interest in mind and guide your speech writing accordingly, you will almost surely come up with a winner.


No speaker is invited to talk because he has an enormous vocabulary or expresses himself in interminably complex sentences. Remember, it is far more difficult to follow a line of thought by ear than by eye. What ” reads” well does not necessarily “listen” well. So check your writing for simplicity, brightness, good language, and accuracy. Whenever in doubt about your choice of words, stick to the shorter one.


If you speak too quickly or too slowly, you may be difficult to follow. Check your volume-few things are more irritating to an audience than a voice that can’t always be heard. Get expression into your voice – a deadly monotone will alienate your listeners. Try not to have to read your speech verbatim; even if you fluff a line or two, your speech will have more impact if you look at your audience form time to time. If you have access to a tape recorder, tape your speech and listen to a playback as objectively as you can. If one isn’t available, ask your wife for her criticism. And take it.