6 quick tips to boost your speechwriting

Cut the thank-yous. Start bold. Take inspiration from ‘Star Wars.’ Even pros can learn new tricks to improve the punch of their words.

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It’s unlikely that you want to get rejected when you submit your brilliance to the respected speechwriting venue, “Vital Speeches of the Day”?

Yet the way certain leaders push writers to lard speech scripts with thank-yous and long-winded jokes, one might conclude they are trying to get turned down at “Vital Speeches.”

That’s a problem, says Editor David Murray, because the techniques that might earn you glory in the magazine that publishes great speeches are precisely those that keep your audiences gazing intently at the speaker instead of peering down at their smartphones.

Murray and a panel of top speechwriters offer tips in the new Ragan Training session, “30 ideas in 30 minutes.” Their guidance goes beyond speeches, offering techniques for those trying to keep readers awake in many other formats.

Here are some tips:

1. Get to the point.

Murray often rejects speeches before reading all the way through. Unfair! Give the poor writer a chance, right?

Wrong. As it turns out, audiences are turned off by the same things that cause Murray to mark your speech in red ink with his jumbo REJECTED stamp: dull beginnings.

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