Writing a good speech is a complex and highly important job for those in charge of organizations who often have to use them as a means to convey a specific message. According to the fifth meaning of the word discourse in the RAE, which is what we will deal with today, it is a “reasoning or exposition of a certain breadth on a subject, which is read or pronounced in public”.
In Spain, the job of a speechwriter is often frowned upon, probably because we do not have that Anglo-Saxon tradition that gives so much importance to oratory, debate, and the construction of messages. There are still those who believe in improvised speeches, in messages released at any time and in any way, without being aware of the risks that this entails.
Speeches are a powerful communication tool if they are handled properly, if they are used as part of an overall communication strategy, and if it is clear that they are, at the same time, events that can damage the image of the speaker and the organization they represent. if they are not well managed. Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech
For all this, today from Stratego we give you 8 tips to help you build a good speech.
Read and learn from the best.
Remember that speeches are heard, not read.
Tell a story, personalize.
Prepare a good start and a great finish.
Tailor the speech and message according to the audience.
Give rhythm and conviction to the reading of the speech.
read and learn
Like everything in life, things are not learned by osmosis, but work is necessary. That is why it is advisable to read and listen to many speeches, to read and listen to many texts, in order to be a good speech writer.
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Keep in mind that it is to be heard, not read.
Never forget that speeches are not made to be read, but to be heard. It is very important to avoid complex and bombastic expressions that can be spectacular in a text, but that can turn a good idea into a wordy speech.
Tell a story, personalize
Concrete examples, cases with names and surnames, and close stories that make the speech close. A good speech is in a way a story, with its beginning and its end, with its story, and it will also reach the audience better if it has characters. In this case, there is no better example than the famous speech given by Steve Jobs at Stanford University in 2005, a benchmark for motivation and the application of discursive techniques.
If we say that a good speech is a story, it must also have a story structure. It must have a very powerful start and a great finish. It is proven that most of the audience will stay with the initial part and the conclusion.
Think about who your audience is and what your message is
A good speech must be tailored to your audience. It is not the same to speak for the shareholders of your company as at an event for students, in front of international farmers, or for your neighbors. Depending on the audience, the language, and the message change. In addition, you must take into account if there is a double audience, that is if the media are in addition to the public. In these cases, you can even design a double message, one designed for the general audience and another focused on the media. But be careful, be careful not to accumulate too many messages, because we can saturate and confuse the audience.
People are tired and bored with empty speeches. To achieve a good speech it is necessary to have something to say, to know what we want to convey. A vision, a motivation… anything except empty words that, even though they sound good, don’t say anything. When you finish, people are clear about what you have talked about and what you have told them.
I have always opted for short speeches, although it is clear that there are exceptions in which there is no choice but to extend. In my experience, a 4-7 minute speech is generally the most efficient. If we condense the message, we make it more powerful, and more direct, we eliminate empty verbiage and we maintain the concentration of the audience.
rhythm and conviction
Once we have the text, it is essential that the person who is going to read it review it over and over again, if necessary, modify it to make it their own, to feel it. Let him study it, let him know each of the ideas it contains to know when to pause when to change the rhythm when to hold the intonation. A reading rate of 150 words per minute is recommended.