17 tips for preparing and delivering a polished speech

Though drafting and delivering a strong speech may seem daunting, these tips break down the process to make you look like a seasoned pro.

A few weeks ago, I spoke at BlogWorld. I was excited about the opportunity, but also very nervous. I needed to write and deliver an hourlong speech. Even with my experience, speaking at BlogWorld pushed me to break boundaries in speech preparation.

After countless hours of writing and practicing, I feel compelled to share the highlights with you. Here are my 17 tips for speechwriting and preparation:

1. Know your motive for speaking

Why are you speaking? There is always one compelling reason above all others. Do you want to share a message? Influence opinions? Solve a problem? Do you want name and brand recognition? Do you want to practice your public speaking skills? Lock in your main motive, and then align the rest of your speech to it.

2. Understand the venue requirements and the audience

If it is a conference, the organizers will provide this information to you. You need to know who is in your audience, what their interests and desires are, and to what type of messaging they best respond. Make sure that the audience will receive your delivery style and message well. Also find out how long the speech should be.

3. Decide on your overall message

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