Want to know the secret to a great speech?
With all due respect to delivery, timing and body language: It’s writing.
An infographic from Papers Master offers a helpful framework for those pursuing speechwriting glory. Here are a handful of salient takeaways from the piece:
- Consider the needs and preferences of your audience. You’re not speaking to yourself, are you? Write with your audience in mind. To convince a crowd, the infographic suggests going back to B.C. basics—Socrates style. Build your points around ethos (make ethical or moral arguments), pathos (play on emotions) and logos (address the audience’s logic and intellect). You might want to rewatch “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” to glean more timeless Athenian wisdom.
- Keep it concise—and interesting. The infographic notes that great speeches are “clear, concise, informative and interesting,” and that persuasive speech topics should be “debatable, emotionally engaging, thought-provoking and relatable.” If your outline seems bland or bloated, your speech probably will be, too.
- Mind your structure. Write your speech strategically. Don’t waste words or time in your opening. Start with a bang, and launch right into what you want to get across. The infographic suggests immediately snagging your audience’s attention with a sharp hook, which could be a joke or a jarring statistic. You might also establish an early link to your audience that demonstrates what you have in common. “Any alpaca owners in the house?”
- Get straight to the meat. Make sure the main body of your speech supports and reinforces your initial claim.
- Finish with substance. Don’t end with empty platitudes; emphasize your call to action. After you finish writing your speech, leave it alone for at least a day. Then, reread, revise, practice and repeat.
Are you ready for oration domination? It starts with sharp writing. Review the rest of the infographic below for more speechwriting guidance.