Speech Writing

Writing a speech is very different from writing an article, brief or proposal. Speaking and writing are distinctive versions of the same language, unique in their output, syntax and function. Presenters and trainers need to appreciate the differences

Articles in our "Speech Writing" Category:

A Catchy Title

By Stephen Boyd | March 12, 2012

I sometimes read the index of "Vital Speeches" just to look at speech titles. I find that if a speech has an unusual or humorous title, the speech is of better quality. I have always asked my students to give their speeches titles when they submit outlines to me before they speak. In listening to thousands of speeches, a catchy title more often than not was the beginning of a well-thought-out and engaging presentation.

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Have A Hook!

By Stephen Boyd | January 9, 2012

Most business speakers who represent their companies as they speak to clients do not have ambitions to become motivational speakers. You, however, can learn to improve your own business presentations by learning from successful motivational speakers. A key to be effective in your career presentations is to have a "hook." Paid motivational speakers often have some unique challenge that they have overcome, so they use that event as a "hook" to share success ideas in their speeches.

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Use Quotes To Strengthen A Speech

By Stephen Boyd | October 4, 2011

When someone says or writes something powerful or memorable, jot down the quotation and the author. When you want to include that thought, say it exactly as the person expressed the idea so powerfully - and give that person credit for the statement.

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Public Speaking By Numbers

By Stephen Boyd | August 17, 2011

When I was a boy, a popular pastime was to paint by number. You would buy a kit that included an outline of a picture or scene and each part would have a number. A key told what color to paint a certain number. Once you painted in all the numbers, you had completed a "real" painting. I think speakers can also use numbers which, when connected to the content, produce an excellent presentation.

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Earning Respect As A Public Speaker

By Stephen Boyd | May 13, 2011

Knowledge and experience go a long way in any career; that is why a teacher who has been in the classroom for ten years is going to be paid more than the person who is in the second year of teaching. These two traits are especially true with the public speaker.

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Comedians Can Write Too

By Stephen Boyd | April 7, 2011

When looking for material for your next presentation, read what comedians write. For example, Tina Fey begins one article with, "In 1997, I realized one of my childhood dreams. (Not the one where I'm being chased by Count Chocula.)" That is a good example of how to start a speech - a startling statement that prompts both interest and laughter.

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Make Opening Words Count

By Stephen Boyd | February 28, 2011

Speakers should make the first words of their presentations count. Don't spend opening seconds thanking the group for the opportunity, or talk about what a beautiful facility you are speaking in, or what a marvelous day it is. Choose opening words that make the audience want to listen.

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Preparation Requires Going To The Source

By Stephen Boyd | February 9, 2011

With everyone having access to materials on the internet, we as speakers have more challenges in developing content that is new, original, and recent. That is why personal experience or spontaneous humor is so important to develop and master. Thus personal research and preparation are essential for our presentations.

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Making A Good Speech Superb

By Stephen Boyd | December 8, 2010

We always want to improve our presentation skills. Here are some little acts which can take your presentation to the next level. Just one of the following can add quality to your speech.

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Caring and Communication

By Stephen Boyd | June 24, 2010

As a speaker, you must show your audiences that you care. You can do that by being prepared, adapting your material specifically to that audience, learning the background of the group to which you are speaking, and generally being pleasant in your demeanor. But there is one other caring ingredient that is huge with audiences.

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The Wow Factor!

By Stephen Boyd | April 6, 2010

Every speech needs a 'Wow!' factor or in other words content that makes the audience respond with 'Wow! I didn't know that!' In fact, if you are delivering a 30-minute speech, you should have a 'Wow!' factor every 10 minutes. An audience's attention span is short, so you know you are likely to lose your audience at various places in your speech. Each time you include a 'Wow!' you bring the audience back to you.

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My Mentor I Never Met

By Stephen Boyd | March 15, 2010

I am a firm believer in taking advantage of OPE or other people's experience. Find someone who does well what you want to be able to do and pick that person's brain. Take her to lunch or ride with him on a trip. I've done this several times and have found the experience to be invaluable. I have learned from a variety of such mentors.

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Pay Attention To The Words

By Stephen Boyd | February 17, 2010

Don't use words carelessly. I admire the wordsmith who can find just the right word to express an idea. Pay attention to the words you speak. Think about words before you speak them. Listen to words others use that explain an idea better than you could have and ask yourself if they are words you can use in your own speaking and writing vocabulary.

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When Less Is More

By Stephen Boyd | January 21, 2010

Often a person says too much instead of too little. In a variety of communication situations, less is better. For example, if you are using a PowerPoint presentation, don't put 50 words on a slide.

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Think Before You Speak

By Stephen Boyd | September 16, 2009

Over the years on different occasions, I have left my jump drive, notes, and props at home simply because I was not thinking. One way to insure your success in speaking is to think ahead about what the speaking situation requires of you.

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May I Quote You

By Stephen Boyd | August 5, 2009

When people can express ideas better or more creatively than you, quote them! Michel de Montage said, "I quote others only the better to express myself." That thought is why the speaker should look for quotations that he or she can use to increase the value of content as well as motivating the audience to pay attention to the thought expressed from the quotation.

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The Value Of Transitions

By Stephen Boyd | June 24, 2009

Careful transitions are an important part of preparation. A transition is a bridge from Point A to Point B - a connection between two points. If you learn to use specific transitions, you will improve the fluency of your speech as well as avoiding the verbalized pauses and unnecessary words. Good transitions demonstrate a command of language, thus enhancing your credibility.

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Speaking On Short Notice

By Stephen Boyd | May 14, 2009

You may not always have adequate time for thorough preparation before you give a speech. For example, someone gets sick, or there is a death in the family, or a snowstorm cancels flights and the speaker can't get to the program. You are called at the last minute to fill in. Here are some things to keep in mind.

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Strategies For Emergency Speech Surgery

By Stephen Boyd | April 1, 2009

One of the toughest challenges in speaking is when you are told a day or an hour before you speak that because of extenuating circumstances you must cut your 30-minute presentation to 20 minutes. You have prepared carefully and you know you have at least 30 minutes of important material. What do you do?

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The Ps Of Preparing A Presentation

By Stephen Boyd | November 5, 2008

A speech well-prepared is nine-tenths delivered. This thought points to the importance of careful preparation of your presentations. You cannot cram for a speech like you can for a test. You cannot fake a good presentation - preparation is a must.

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Be Concise!

By Stephen Boyd | January 28, 2008

We talk too much in our society. For our speeches to have more impact, let us consider talking less. When we do talk, we should say what we need to say in as few words as possible.

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Contents Of The Ideal Speech

By Stephen Boyd | January 4, 2007

Any time you are assigned to deliver a speech, you may wonder what to include or what will guarantee a great speech. To a degree it depends on the audience and the purpose of your speech, but there are certain items to include that will fit most kinds of audiences and most kinds of speeches. The purpose of this article is to examine what those parts might be.

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Scripting Out Key Messages

By Stephen Boyd | September 15, 2005

Have you ever considered how often you deal with similar problems or situations? In most occupations, you dont have 200 unique messages to communicate each day, but rather maybe a dozen similar situations. To immediately improve your interpersonal relationships, keep track of those similar important situations and develop scripts that you write out and become familiar with.

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Need To Know Versus Nice To Know

By Stephen Boyd | December 31, 2004

One of the most challenging parts of preparing a speech is deciding what to include. One way of limiting your topic is to consider what would be nice for the audience to know as opposed to what the audience needs to know on your subject.

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Ponder To Prepare

By Stephen Boyd | September 14, 2004

Spend time pondering what you plan to say in your next speech. Just thinking about your speech while driving your car or walking your dog is a valuable step in preparation. Start preparing far enough in advance of the day your speech will be delivered to spend ample time in pondering the possibilities for your presentation.

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Be Brief!

By Stephen Boyd | July 26, 2004

People today expect short speeches. Keep stories under two minutes. When possible say less rather than more. Know the length of your speech by practicing it. Have few points and learn to divide parts of your speech into time segments. Current great speakers are known by their brevity.

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Design Your Speech Not Write It

By Speaking Tips | December 1, 2003

Speaking and writing are distinctive versions of the same language, unique in their output, syntax and function. Presenters and trainers need to appreciate the differences to know when to speak, to write or to use both in tandem.

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How To Organize The Body Of A Speech

By Speaking Tips | November 17, 2003

A speech generally falls into three parts, the introduction, the main body and the conclusion each with it's own unique function. The body of the speech is the biggest and is where the majority of information is transferred. Consequently, it requires careful thought and consideration to organize the body of a speech effectively.

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Keeping Your Speaking Well From Going Dry

By Stephen Boyd | April 30, 2003

If you speak a lot, there are times when you may feel your material is getting stale and you lose enthusiasm for your content. When that happens you need new material that excites you and thus makes your speeches more stimulating.

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