Writing a speech in 11 steps • Content & Marketing

No Comments

We are not all natural speakers and public speaking is often a difficult exercise.

But with a hard-hitting speech that will captivate your oratory, the ordeal becomes much easier!

Whatever the objective of your speech: to inform, to convince or to entertain, here is how write a speech effective in 11 steps!

1. Define the context of the speech

Before you start writing your speech, start by setting the context.

The form of speech

There are several forms of presentations. Of course, they can be found in the same speech, but it is important to discern the nuances:

    • the argumentative speech : if your text is to convince the public, you must focus your writing on arguments and examples to prove that your idea, your solution is relevant.
  • the explanatory speech : you are there to make your audience understand a fact and your explanations must therefore be purely objective.
  • the descriptive speech : recognizable by the addition of spatial indicators, this discourse is used to describe a place, a character or an object.
  • the narrative speech : it tells a story or an event and incorporates many action verbs and time indicators.
  • the injunctive speech : your goal is to get your audience to act or give advice by using verbs in the imperative and subjunctive.

The framework of the speech

A speech delivered after a business lunch will be constructed differently than a text read in the morning in front of an attentive assembly!

It is therefore relevant to identify:

    • When ? In the morning, after lunch, at the end of the day after X speeches …
  • For what occasion ? A seminar, a conference, an inauguration …
  • How long ? Do you have free rein or are you limited in time?

2. Adapt your speech to your audience

Ensuite, perfectly target your audience. You will not address customers, employees or shareholders in the same way.

This will allow you toadopt the right level of language and the good tone. But, be careful, try to be as explicit as possible, whatever your target.

Of course, if you are speaking to an expert audience, you can use technical terms, but keep in mind that the purpose of your speech is to be understood by everyone.

As to tone of your speech, best suit your audience and the circumstances. As much as you can incorporate hints of humor for a departure drink, as austerity will be required to announce a layoff plan …

3. Argue about the concrete

If you are seeking to educate or convince the audience, you should back up your speech with facts and concrete examples. Before you start writing a speech, it is essential to gather all the necessary information and check its credibility.

You have to know your subject perfectly and be able to present all aspects of it, even the negatives. For example, if you are presenting a new product at a conference, consider anticipating criticism directly in your speech. You will only be more convincing!

4. Structure your ideas

Now that you have identified your goals and have documented yourself, write down all your ideas. Do not write your text yet, give free rein to your reflection.

Then keep the ideas more relevant and prioritize them as lists or keywords. Don’t go overboard, you probably have a lot to say, but focus on one or two main messages.

Beyond that, you risk confusing both your speech and the minds of your audience!

Structure your ideas
source : unsplash

5. Write an effective speech while taking care of the substance

After having outlined your speech, it’s time to move on to the writing phase!

Write a relevant plan

Writing a high-performance speech requires a good outline structure. Just like in an essay, the speech begins with an introduction, one or more development parts, depending on the context and a conclusion.

    • L’introduction : it must be concise, attract the attention of those present and arouse their interest. Imagine yourself in front of a sleeping hall and ask yourself how to wake up the assembly!
  • the development : now is the time to develop your arguments. Your first part addresses your main argument, followed by an example (or an anecdote, statistics …), then comes the secondary argument, followed by an example and so on.
  • The conclusion : short and punchy, it should take up the different points of your speech.

Our tip

Each part of your development should be structured with an introductory sentence and a concluding (or rather transitional) sentence between your paragraphs.

Integrate logical connectors

To bring fluidity to your speech, consider linking your parts together with transitions.

It can be linking words (besides, by the way, however, because…), coordinating conjunctions or even expressions like “in the first place”.

6. Hang your audience

To engage your audience from the start of your speech, you will have to surprise, arouse curiosity, capture attention … In short, find THE catchphrase !

For example :

    • Surprise with an affirmation or a real fact, but so improbable that your interlocutor will be amazed.
  • Engage with a question everyone is asking.
  • Focus with a story or anecdote.

Throughout your speech, keep your listener engaged by using methods of modalisation, that is, by expressing your feelings about what you are talking about. To do this, use:

    • Verbs (to believe, to love, to hate, to appear…) which express a judgment or an opinion.
  • Adverbs or modalizing noun groups (in my opinion, probably, personally…).
  • First person possessive pronouns or adjectives (I, me, my…).
  • Figures of speech (metaphor, hyperbole, comparison…).
  • Marks of subjectivities with a valuing or deprecating vocabulary.

7. Engage the audience

Building an effective speech also means being aware of being in front of an audience. feel free to involve your audience so that she feels concerned by your words.

    • Call out to your audience: ladies and gentlemen, my dear associates, my loyal customers …
  • Integrate “you” as often as possible.
  • Add sentences like: those present know the problem well, you will surely remember …

8. Support a speech with repetitions

If in writing repetition is not recommended, it has a very different impact on oral! The more you repeat your message, the more your audience’s subconscious will record it.

To convince, the repetition is a very effective strategy. We find the technique in politics, but also in the field of advertising. Among the most suitable figures of speech use:

    • L’anaphore which consists of repeating the same word at each beginning of a sentence (like the speech of Martin Luther King Jr: I Have a Dream).
  • The redundancy which uses the same principle, but with the whole lexical field and allows to insist on an idea. For example: he won the project, he defeated all his competitors!

9. Animate a speech with visuals

Visual aids are a great help in keep your audience awake and better convey the oral message. Do not hesitate to use presentation videos, to project slides or to supplement your speech with graphics.

Speech animation
source : unsplash

But be careful, your visuals must be a complement to your presentation and not a substitute ! They are there only to reinforce an important point or to facilitate the comprehension of complicated elements.

Remember, if your audience’s attention is focused only on the visuals, they’re not listening to you anymore!

10 / Conclude your speech with an opening

You come to the end of your writing, and the conclusion is like coffee at the end of a good meal, it’s the final touch that will make an impression!

Make your audience leave with a good image of you. If you want to leave a serious picture, conclude with an anecdote that demonstrates your expertise. If you’d rather see your listeners leave with a smile, end with a funny story.

Whatever you decide, always finish your speech by an opening. This may be :

    • A call for the financing of a project.
  • An incentive to learn about an initiative or to make contacts.
  • A call for debate …

11 / Read and reread your speech

You now have all the basics to write a good, relevant and engaging speech. It would be a shame to botch its proofreading! here is four tips for this last step :

    • Leave your speech aside for a day or two to reread it this time with a fresh eye.
  • Reread it several times if necessary and do not hesitate to clarify your words, to delete passages that are too heavy and to vary the wording.
  • Have a colleague, colleague or friend read it to get an outside opinion.
  • Finally, read your speech aloud using the correct intonations, silences and body language. If you’re not used to public speaking, practice as much as possible to perfect your diction and avoid having your eyes glued to your sheet on D-Day!

Our advice

Know how to write a speech and get to write the perfect speech are not always synonymous! Lack of time, lack of writing skills, lack of inspiration… There are many reasons that can block your writing project. If this is the case, there is only one solution: entrust this task to our editorial experts !

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

Request a free quote

We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More from our blog

See all posts

Leave a Reply