Writing great speeches is a straightforward, step-by-step process. It is difficult to imagine a leader who is deprived of the ability to speak well. Indeed, the basis of the concept of leadership is charisma.
A leader is able to lead crowds of people while remaining at the “top of Olympus.”
A leader’s ability to give speeches is not necessarily natural. They are often the result of taking a course and a long period of study in universities that focus on leadership and management.
Half the success of one’s speeches depends on how well they are written. So how can leaders write excellent, informative, and useful speeches?
Writing a Speech
1. There are two languages – written and oral. Note that the leader’s speech will not be read but heard. So it must be natural.
2. Follow the structure of public speaking. Formulate sentences briefly and clearly. Avoid cluttering up complex speech turns.
3. Take your time. Do not write a speech in an hour. Identify the topic and give yourself a few days to think about problems and questions.
4. Speech should inform, entertain and induce action. If your speech is not entertaining, you do not satisfy one of the audience’s primary needs – to be happy. You inform because your audience wants to learn new things. If you don’t encourage action, what is the speech’s goal?
5. Use the “hook” at the beginning of the performance. Intrigue the audience to get their attention. People are interested to learn unusual facts about quite ordinary things. The introduction structure lays the groundwork for the rest of the leader’s speech.
6. Introduce good humor at the beginning of the speech if it is appropriate.
7. Make a sincere compliment to the audience.
8. Show that the audience’s interests are related to the topic of the leader’s speech. The audience will listen to you only if they’re convinced that what has been said is useful. Otherwise, you will speak for yourself.
9. Ask yourself questions on the topic (they may appear in the audience). Write down the problems of people in the room to help solve your speech and give the most concise answer to each issue.
10. Be concise. The most valuable resource is time. The more you save it, the more valuable and memorable your speech will be.
11. Pick up related literature, find out what people think about it, and ask the experts questions. If you have no direct access to the experts, read or watch an interview and quote them.
How To Convey an Idea and Meaning
12. The speech must be comprehensible, even to a child. Do not use specific terms or jargon in front of an unprepared audience.
For the leader, it is important to inspire confidence in the audience. The more incomprehensible the speech, the less trust there will be.
13. Add some suitable life examples. The struggle for goals and victories should be described.
14. Create bright images and pictures in your audience’s mind. Give metaphors, but avoid cliches (“start from scratch,” “much water has flowed away,” “ray of hope,” etc.)
15. Make unfamiliar objects and concepts clearer to the audience – associate them with well-known objects and explain them with simple examples.
16. Create a phrase or slogan. Make your phrase your “brand.” Arnold Schwarzenegger has said, “I’ll be back.” The host of boxing matches, Michael Buffer, literally patented the phrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble.”
Repeat them often, but always in place. Your task is to create situations where the brand phrase would be appropriate.
How to Finish the Speech
17. Write a conclusion and make a summary of the questions.
18. Have a call to action. Offer the audience a small step that they can take right now without leaving the hall.
19. End the speech with a climax, which should gradually increase during the performance.
20. You might want to cite appropriate lines of a poem or story but not end on it.
21. Show hope. Talk about the future. Express faith in your listeners.
A Successful Conclusion of a Speech
22. The audience will remember best what was heard last. Finish the unfinished thoughts, give the last inspirational conclusion to encourage people to think and act differently, and end with a spectacular and memorable statement.
Even better, these last words should refer to the beginning of a speech, and then it will be perceived as complete.
What Makes Leaders Write Great Speeches?
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