Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How Do I Write A Speech?

Someone asked me how I wrote a speech.

We-ell, it's no big secret...you write it just like you'd write an essay. Basic structure: point+explanation+elaboration.

Of course, you'd need to pay attention to a few basic rules.
1. Keep your sentences short. Listening and reading are different skills. You can read long sentences because the sentence doesn't disappear. However, if your sentence is too long, by the time you reach the end, the listener would have forgotten the beginning.
2. Begin with a bang. You want people to listen to you...so you better grab their attention at the start. People normally decide within the first 30 seconds whether they want to continue listening to you or maybe it's better for them to flip open their phone and sms their fish.
3. Have a logical sequence. It's like a mind map... A connects to B which connects to C. But if you jump all over the place, you'll only befuddle people who will then open their phone to sms their fish.
4. Use anecdotes. People looooove stories...
5. Drop in a joke or two. People looooove jokes... most politicians have mastered this particular aspect.
6. Get to your point FAST. People have things to do and places to go...
7. End with finesse. The worst thing you could do is to fall silent. Then when people start to shift in their seats, you say,"Uh, okay, that's all." Ouch. At the very least, say,'Thank you for listening.' Otherwise end with a suitable poem, dirge or whatever...

And that's only how to write a speech. I haven't started on how to deliver a speech... :)

Talking about speeches...everyone should learn how to give a speech because this is something everyone gets to do. Whether as the best man at a wedding or as team leader of a gotong-royong clean-up gang. You HAVE to say thank you for coming to all these people, you know. And although it may be a simple one, it impresses the heck out of people if you can deliver one without swallowing your tongue or boring them.

No comments: