Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the exercise files, part of Writing Speeches.
- First, to help you follow along with the examples, portions of the Importance of Music speech, adapted to three different audiences, are provided. I've also included a Rubric to help you analyze speeches and some diverse speech topics with a variety of purposes. View those topics as, it's your turn to write a speech opportunity. Or even better, to practice writing a variety of speeches. If you have an upcoming speech and you know what the topic is, great, start writing.
If you anticipate having to give a speech soon or know that you will eventually no longer be able to avoid the inevitable, having to get in front of an audience to deliver a speech, then practicing writing speeches now will help you be prepared to write that important speech when the time arrives. The topics are generic enough that you can adapt each to a variety of speech types. To inform, to analyze a cause and effect, to compare and/or contrast, and to persuade.
A couple of the topics, a recently read book or watched movie, or advertisements and marketing techniques could even be turned into entertaining speeches. To practice, choose a couple of those topics that you're interested in and analyze an audience to which you might give the presentation. If you're really industrious, you can even adapt one planned speech to a receptive audience, a neutral audience and an unreceptive or hostile audience. The more you practice planning and writing a speech, the easier it will be to plan and write that speech you will have to give, and trust me, the majority of you will have to give presentations, to your peers in school or in the business world, to the general public or to members of organizations to which you belong.
I encourage you to practice writing a couple of speeches so you are prepared to write those upcoming required speeches. Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln, both well-known and respected American statesmen, who are known for their famous words of wisdom in speeches, understood the importance of planning. Benjamin Franklin said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." And Abe Lincoln, "I will prepare and some day my chance will come." I encourage you to use the exercise file to practice so you will succeed when your chance comes.
- Choosing a topic
- Composing a thesis
- Organizing the speech
- Outlining the body
- Finishing with a strong ending
- Incorporating research
- Adapting to different audience sizes, attitudes, and expectations
- Writing for different occasions
- Preparing notes and visuals