Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Speechwriting Made Easy -- 4 Tips for Success

The Chick Lit Luncheon is Friday, so I have been in speech writing mode this week.  I actually enjoy writing (hence this blog, duh), so I usually have fun doing it if I don’t wait until the last minute – which for me is 2 days before.  Luckily this week, I knocked it out yesterday, which means I was 24 hours ahead of my oh-shit-why-haven’t-I-done-that-yet deadline.  Golf claps for me.
Anyway, I usually just speak without notes, but when I have a time limit I have to write it out or there’s no telling how long people would be at Brook Hollow on Friday – dinner, anyone?  SOOOO, this got me thinking about the blog post today, so here are my four quick tips for a fantastic speech (and yes, that would imply that my speeches are fantastic, and yes, I am the sole judge of that):
  1. Be sure to sound like yourself and write it as if you were speaking normally to people.  Some people tend to want to make themselves sound “smart” and use long words and throw in flowery language.  Don’t do it.  Your speech needs to sound like you are just talking to a friend.
  2. Always keep an ear or eye out for a good quote or story that could work in your speech.  I look for things all year that I can use.  Oprah and Dr. Phil have always been very good to me – their guests who are adult victims of child abuse (that is what I talk about for this speech each year) sometimes give me the most heartbreaking quotes.  And with the DVR, I can back up 4 times to get every word in the quote correct.  And of course I always mention where the quote originated.
  3. Even if your topic is serious (like child abuse), you can weave in some humor.  I think my mother has been mentioned in my speech every year because she is hilarious and/or bringing her up is a great way to use self-deprecating humor.
  4. Practice!  I read mine through about 4 or 5 times the night before and once or twice the morning of.  My kitchen counter is the perfect height.  I print it out in a very large font and then underline words I want to emphasize and places where I want to pause for effect, etc.
I hope this is helpful and I hope to see you Friday – I’m willing to accept your critique in the valet line!

No comments:

Post a Comment