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Speech Prep

By alexiapetruzz Dec 31, 2012 1710 Words
Writing a speech can be a daunting task for many people. Perhaps you're worried about the quality of your writing skills, you're nervous about your public speaking inexperience or maybe you just don't know what to write. By setting out a few clear goals before you start writing your speech, you will be better equipped to judge its progress and success of your speech prior to its public airing. A hilarious Best Man speech may have your audience rolling in the aisles, but if you fail to give tribute to the Bride and Groom you will have failed in your role. By setting clear goals, you will be better positioned to judge the likely success of your speech. This section will show you how to write a speech, subsequent chapters will show you how to deliver that speech, and yes, conquer your public speaking nerves. At this stage you should have a great plan for your speech. That is to say: you have considered the occasion at which you will be speaking, potentially speaking to a selection of people who can help you write your speech. You have also thought about the potential themes of your speech and identified one primary theme with a small number of sub-themes. You have also given thought to the people key to your speech including the subject(s) of the speech and those who know them, other speakers and the audience. This set of lessons will show you how to turn this collection of thoughts and ideas into a great speech. We will look at the structure of a speech and then return to the concept of key messages or themes of your speech. It will then be time to start writing your speech, first by creating outlines of the speech, then by moving onto drafts, before reaching the final version. Speech Structure - How to organize your speech

Most good writing, we are told, must have structure. A good speech is no exception. By providing your speech with a beginning, a middle, and an end, you will lay the foundations for a successful speech that fulfills all of your aspirations. Opening

The first thirty seconds of your speech are probably the most important. In that period of time you must grab the attention of the audience, and engage their interest in what you have to say in your speech. This can be achieved in several ways. For example you could raise a thought-provoking question, make an interesting or controversial statement, recite a relevant quotation or even recount a joke. Once you have won the attention of the audience, your speech should move seamlessly to the middle of your speech. Body

The body of your speech will always be the largest part of your speech. At this point your audience will have been introduced to you and the subject of your speech (as set out in your opening) and will hopefully be ready to hear your arguments, your thoughts or even your ramblings on the subject of your speech. The best way to set out the body of your speech is by formulating a series of points that you would like to raise. In the context of your speech, a "point" could be a statement about a product, a joke about the bridegroom or a fond memory of the subject of a eulogy. The points should be organized so that related points follow one another so that each point builds upon the previous one. This will also give your speech a more logical progression, and make the job of the listener a far easier one. Don't try to overwhelm your audience with countless points. It is better to make a small number of points well than to have too many points, none of which are made satisfactorily. Closing

Like your Opening, the Closing of your speech must contain some of your strongest material. You should view the closing of your speech as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to: * – Summarize the main points of your speech

* – Provide some further food for thought for your listeners * – Leave your audience with positive memories of your speech * – End with a final thought/emotion (e.g. With well wishes to the Bride and Groom, With fond memories of a departed friend, With admiration for winners and losers at an awards ceremony). Create a speech outline

Outlining is a popular pre-draft technique when writing and it is one I commonly recommend to aspiring speechwriters. An outline is a hierarchical representation of the content of your speech. Think of it as the skeleton upon which you will add the flesh of your speech. Let's take a Best Man Speech as an example. Start your outline at its very simplest: * Opening

* Body
* Closing
That was easy. It gets a little trickier though. The next step is try to flesh out some additional points, using the notes you have about the occasion, the theme, the subject and other information you have gathered from people relevant to the speech (family, friends and colleagues of the subject of the speech, other speechmakers etc.). * Opening

* Introduce myself
* Body
* Pay tribute to key participants
* Recount how I became friends with groom
* Describe some of the groom's best traits - with humor * Words of advice to Groom from a married man
* Closing
* Ask the audience to be upstanding
* Raise a toast to the bride and groom
For the first time, a speech is taking shape! Your speech will take further shape as you take each element of your outline and, where appropriate, you add more additional outlines. Let's take the element Pay tribute to key participants above. The next level of outline might look like: * Pay tribute to key participants

* Compliment & raise toast to the bride
* Thank & compliment the bridesmaids
* Pay tribute to parents of bride and groom
Continue to iterate through your outline until you feel you have captured the essence of your speech. Be sure not to mistake the outline for the speech itself. That's the next step. For now, be happy to achieve a great framework that will guide you as you write your speech. Draft your speech

It is now time to add flesh to your outline and create a first draft of the speech. Before we start, note that a draft is just that, a first-cut at your speech. Your first draft of a speech should never, ever be the final draft. The outline we created in the last step will serve as the basis for our first draft. We take each element of the outline and apply our creative writing juices to turn that outline into a portion of a speech. There is no right or wrong way to move from outline to draft. Be yourself, use your own voice and remember, you can change anything and everything you write later. For now it's just important to establish that first draft. The conversion from outline to draft can be simple, exchanging an outline element for a speech sentence... Outline:

* Introduce myself
Speech draft
"As my perspiring brow and nervous demeanor might suggest, I am honored to introduce myself as the Best Man for today's wonderful occasion. I will not be speaking for long today because of a throat problem. John says he will cut it if I bring up any embarrassing stories about him." Outline:

* Pay tribute to key participants
* Compliment & raise toast to the bride
* Thank & compliment the bridesmaids
* Pay tribute to parents of bride and groom
Speech draft
"I know it is a cliché but I would just like to comment on how stunning Sarah looks today, she is beautiful, John is a very lucky man. And without further ado I would like to raise a toast for Sarah. <toast> "As is traditional in any wedding I would like to complement the Bridesmaids on their help with the wedding, particularly for managing to get Sarah to the church today. It's amazing what a pair of handcuffs can do. The Bridesmaids look beautiful, outdone only by our stunning bride. "I would like to pay special tribute to John and Sarah's parents. They have helped make this a very special day. Can I also say how beautiful both mom's look, they are simply divine." Once you have finished your first draft of the speech, it's time to take a rest. Put the speech down and forget about it for a day or two. First, you need a rest. But second, your critical eyes will function much better in the cold light of day. You will be amazed at how much your speech will improve when you go from first to second to third draft - but only if you leave time between each draft. There is no scientific way to know when you have reached your speech's final draft, but here is a good indication: If you find yourself broadly happy with the speech and find yourself making minor changes from draft to draft, it's time to stop. Before you begin writing your speech you need:

•Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. If you haven't done one complete this 4 step
•sample speech outline. It will make the writing process much easier. •Your RESEARCH
•You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for Basic Speech Construction
Your speech will have three parts: an opening or introduction, the body where you present your main ideas and an ending. Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending. How to write a speech

•Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research •Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression •Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action •Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening •An often quoted saying to explain the process is:

Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction)
Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

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