How do political speech writers create speeches that captivate the minds of millions? Today they are sharing some of their secrets, and here they are:
- Filter through ideas. Even the greatest speech ever cannot contain all of the knowledge in the world, which is why it’s important to pick the main ideas and stick to them in your speech. Imagine if you only had one minute to deliver your speech and make this one minute count.
- Write like you speak. At any point of writing the speech, remember that you’re the only one who will see its written form – the rest will only hear your words. A well-written speech does not resemble an essay or other written work – it’s a unique genre of writing. Sentences should be shorter, contractions are more than welcome, and it’s okay to break some grammar rules if it helps you make your point. Remember to not include words in your speech that you can’t imagine saying in a conversation with your friend. While writing the speech and after it’s finished, read it out loud to see what kind of impression it will make.
- Use concrete examples. The more concrete examples and details from real life your speech has, the more successful it will be. Speeches that include personal examples are much better received than speeches that only retell some statistics or list theoretical knowledge. Bet you can find a good example for every aspect of your speech!
- Do some research. No matter which topic you’re speaking on, people need to get the impression that you definitely know what you’re talking about. That is why prior research is absolutely necessary. Research can help you make your point more effectively and make people know that you’re a pro in your field. Trust us, everyone is doing research before their big speeches – even the President, who clearly has someone writing every speech for him.
- Use a problem-solution structure. If the goal of your speech is to persuade your audience in something, then there is nothing better for meeting your objective than this classic structure that has proven to be effective over centuries. In the first part of your speech, describe the problem and what has led to it. In the second part of the speech, offer your solution for the problem. Statistics and exact facts could be greatly helpful for this type of speech.
- Edit your speech. Even if you think you’ve been as brief and precise as possible when writing your speech, you can always go back and cut a few words out of the text. Follow the example of an established US political speech writer, who has the sign that says “Fewer words = clearer point” above her desk. The fewer words you say, the more effective your speech will be and the clearer the message you’re trying to convey will look.