Speech-writing is, in most cases, in a form of end of a year speech, prize-giving day speech or any other forms of speech making occasions whereby one is required to deliver a speech. Speech writing demands the skill of writing almost as one speaks.
Speech writing comes in various forms. However, they all have the same structure and lay out though there could be slight changes in tones in the speech depending on the audience you are preparing the speech for and on whose behalf the speech is being written.
Some candidates in the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) often mistake the mode of essay writing and summary writing for speech writing. Not to worry because after digesting the content on this post, you will gain all you need to know in order to write a perfect speech to suit any audience. It will educate you on the structure, chronological order and type of tones and terms to use in speech writing notwithstanding the audience.
Useful Tips on How to Write a Good Speech
The content depends on the topic you are given but your points must be relevant to the topic on which you are writing your speech. In addition, make sure that you write on all the aspects of the question to earn a under content
(a) In speech writing, you should imagine that you have an audience listening to you. Therefore, you are expected to start your speech with the usual vocatives: “Chairman, The Principal. Members of staff, Ladies and Gentle-men…” Your audience depends on the question you are answering; your question will definitely give you an idea who your audience is.
(b) You must arrange your ideas or points in a logical sequence.
(a) Speech writing demands a good command of language. Use simple sentences because it is important that you should make your audience follow your line of thought
(b) Speech making is meant for oral delivery, therefore, you can use various oratorical techniques like rhetorical questions and you can make use of contracted forms of words like don’t, doesn’t didn’t etc. These oratorical techniques will enable you to write as if you were addressing your audience directly. In addressing your audience, you can use words like, you, our, we, you and I.
(c) Don’t use slangs and colloquial expressions.
Guidelines on How To Write A Speech
In speech writing, you must follow the sequence in which it ought to follow, there is a chronological order you must follow when writing a speech. Interchanging them would be one of the big blunders you should avoid when writing a speech.
Know The Purpose
As the speech writer, you must know the reason for which the speech is being written, you must ask yourself; What am i trying to accomplish with my speech? is it to encourage, inspire, educate, convince, or drive home a point? Your purpose must be well defined as this will determine the tune and direction, structure and result of your write up.
Who Are Your Target Audience
Your speech should be tailored to a specific audience. Your target audience would determine the tone of language you will use in writing your speech. If you’re speaking at a sound healer convention, you won’t need to explain the concept of energetic blocks. And if you’re speaking to an octogenarians-only quilting circle, you probably shouldn’t drop as many F-words as you would with your local guys in the hood..
Know The Length
The length of your write up says a lot. Studies have proven that the human attention span for reading is 10 mins and listening is 15 mins so you need to try and include terms that would catch their attentions. You don’t want to underwhelm or overwhelm your audience hence you need to find a balance. You would agree with me that a fifteen (15) minute keynote speech maybe too long for your speech at your friend’s Bachelor’s party. However, this might be too short when giving a speech at an inaugural lecture.
Practice, Revise, Practice and Practice again…:
This is the final stage in the chronological order of speech writing. Here you have to practice, revise and keep practicing. Practice makes perfect hence cultivate the habit of going over and over again.
Step-by-Step Process of Speech Writing
Still confused on how to get started? Here’s how to write your speech from start to finish. Thank me later!!
- First and foremost, define your speech’s structure. you need to carve out the major ideas for every section?
- Secondly, sort out the main ideas in your outline. To do this, you will have to free your mind and allow your creativity flow.
- Thirdly, this stage involves selecting the seeds from the chaffs. All the points jotted down would need to be properly edited and arranged in a chronological manner and drafted down until you have successfully written a good speech.
- It is not enough to just write a speech. Your fluency would be determined by the quality of time spent practicing. Continuous practice makes your speech a perfect one. That is, the more you practice your speech the more you’ll discover areas that require amendments, which word or term fits certain description and the audience. Don’t interchange cramming for reading and understanding your speech write up. The guideline on how to write a speech above, will help you better understand your speech rather than cramming it.
Speech Writing Structures
Firstly, you must give a brief introduction of who are you, why you are giving the speech and of course your main thesis for the speech.
Ideally, the introduction ought to be short but it could also be made slightly longer as this depends on the context. For instance, if you’re speaking at a naming ceremony, you definitely will be expected to explain your relationship to the parents of the baby and the family and how much they mean to you since it is an informal relationship. However, if you’re presenting to your class at school, you may be able to head straight into your thesis.
Body (The Main Message)
The majority of your speech should be spent presenting your thesis and supporting material in a simple, organized way.
Whether you’re giving an inspirational talk or speaking on behalf of a group or society, the tone of your presentation is the sure way of wining audience’s attention. Don’t be Mr or Mrs know it all, remember the length of your message would has a relationship with their attention span. Pick up your points one after the other and ensure you finish one before going to the other. There must be free flow of transition from one point to another, you can use linker words in the most logical manner.
Ensure you give short stories that are related to the speech if you have any as this would further catch the attention of your audience. Studies have proven that the human brains are great at remember stories, so my take is that you take advantage of this and drive home your points.
Wrap everything up and drive home your main idea, whether that’s through providing a few (one to three) key takeaways, or telling one last story that perfectly drive home your points and get it stuck to the memory of your audience.
Samples of Speech Writing
Title: Official Request For Launching of Red Cross Society Branch In Your School
As the President of the Red Cross Society in your School for example, if you are asked to write a speech that will be delivered at the launching of the branch of the society in your school.
Below is a perfect Sample on how to write a speech on this topic should look;
INTRODUCTION: Your introduction should start with recognizing your audience and then slot in the purpose of your speech before going to the body of your speech.
The honorable Commissioner of Health. Lagos State, President of Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, our respected Principal, members of the Parent Teacher Association. Fellow Students, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of my colleagues, I welcome you all to this occasion of the launching of our school’s branch of the Red Cross Society. The presence of distinguished men and women at this occasion is both an indication of the social relevance of an organization such as ours and we hope, a pointer to the amount of public support we should expect to get as we embark on our goal of service to the community.
BODY OF THE SPEECH: Now you can go ahead and give details in full and drive home your points, here you must give reasons in your speech writing, make sure you have facts and stats that can convince your audience on the purpose of writing the speech. Try and buy them emotionally and make them why you need the Red Cross society branch in your school. Hit the nail on the head and cite your own achievements in making it work, this would show a high level of commitment.
After about one hundred years of its existence, the Red Cross Society can be found in almost every nation of the world, in all the major cities and in many institutions like ours. Despite this already large presence, new branches are being established world-wide. This is a welcome trend in a world that is filled with violence and misery.
We have decided to start a branch of the society in our school, having realized the pressing need in our school for the kind of services it renders. We have watched with concern, several accidents on our busy roads in Lagos State but of more immediate worry to us is the high incidence of accidents in our school environment. Students have been known to sustain injuries both at work and at play during breaks and organized games. Sometimes when indiscipline rears its head among us, students fight and injure one another. We have also learnt from news reports of places where school buildings have collapsed injuring both staff and students in the process.
Such occurrences have always caused us much distress. Even though we saw the need for relieving the pains suffered by victims of these mishaps, we often merely looked on helplessly. On few occasions when we overcame our fear of blood and sought to help the injured, we only complicated their condition because we lacked the necessary first aid skills.
With the establishment of our branch of the Red Cross Society, we hope we will now be able to alleviate the sufferings or not only our colleagues in school here but also of people in the neighboring areas. We know we stand to gain in other ways. For example, our members will gain more insight into the contents of subjects like Biology and Health Science: some of us could even opt for careers in the social welfare and health services.
CONCLUSION: This is where you wrap up your speech. At the stage you should have succeeded in convincing the audience audience to walk out of the room remembering the reason for the speech. The conclusive part of your speech must be concise. You should acknowledge your audience and show appreciation even though it is yet done.
Wrap everything up and drive home your main idea, whether that’s through providing a few (one to three) key takeaways, or telling one last story that perfectly drive home your points.
While we acknowledge the roles of our principal (Add Name of Principal) and (other names if applicable), we wish to place our needs before you and solicit your help. The principal has generously allocated a room to us for use as a store and first aid room. We need help to equip it with medicine shelves, drugs, dressings, stretchers and other First Aid equipment. We are hoping that you, our guests, will help us meet these needs. On our part, we pledge to always render prompt and selfless service to needy people in the community.
Once again, we welcome you to our Launching and thank you for whatever help you have already given or intend to render to our society.
(Name of the Institution or Society)
We used this model as a sample. As said earlier, speech writing follow the same sequence, that is, the introduction, body and conclusive part of the speech.
Not all speech writing require your position or name of institution, you need to add the above when writing on behalf of a group, organization or corporate body. Some speech writings can come very informal hence there will be no need for name of institution or organization especially when it is of a personal relationship.
Hope this answers all you have been yearning to know about how to write a speech? However, you could still reach out to us via the comment section below and we shall respond accordingly.
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