Monday, September 21, 2009

Speech Writing, Part 1

I have just attended a course on speech writing last Friday. The facilitator is as experienced in speech writing as he is generous with his sharing.

I find the 1-day course to be very useful in helping me both with speech writing as well as writing. Below are the notes which I have made so that I could refer to them as and when I need it.

Objectives of a Speech
1. Inspire thinking
2. Stir feelings
3. Motivate action
4. Provide information

I will like to suggest using the acronym "SAID" to remember the 4 objectives of a speech. S - tir feeling, A - action or call to action, I - nspire thinking, D - ata or information.

Qualities of a Good Speech
1. Easy to follow and understand
2. Achieve its objectives
3. Be memorable, if possible

Probably, a good acronym for the qualities will be
A - achieve its objectives,
B - e memorable
C - as easy to follow and understand as ABC

10 Steps in Drafting the Speech - The Process
1. Determine the message

2. Consider the audience

3. Think about the person making the speech

4. Collect information and organize it into about 5 points. Rank them.

5. Start with point 1, then 5, then 3, then 4 and finally 2. [For this step, the facilitator is trying to "ride the wave", with the momentum generated by the most important point 1 to weave in 5. The second most important point is deliberately placed at the end to capture the last wave of interest from the audience at the end of the speech.]

6. Link points with smoooth transitions. E.g. meanwhile, 1st, 2nd and 3rd

7. Write conclusion, then introduction [These two parts are the most important part of the speech. Because it is so important, it will be good to start with a standard opening first. Work on the body before one comes back to polish the opening and ending.]

8. Work on a sound bite. [A sound bite could be a short sentence - at most 2 lines, important and written in a nice and stylised way. It will refer to the text box or quotation that we see in the newspaper.]

9. Review conclusion and introduction

10. Have someone deliver it and assess how it flows. [I will like to suggest that we can also make use of tape recorder - we read and tape it down and review it ourselves.]

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