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Help Me Write a Better Speech

Because they are spoken, speeches offer a lot of flexibility in terms of how they are written. However, this large degree of latitude can also make it difficult to really narrow your ideas down into a compelling speech. Read on for a few tips to help make your speech more captivating.

1) Keep Sentences Short

Understanding a written run-on sentence is difficult enough; it's practically impossible to follow when you're hearing it only. Keep this thought in mind when you're crafting the sentences in your speech. Your audience will have a hard time remembering how your sentence started if it's a long way from where it finishes. Make your sentences short for maximum comprehension.

2) Order Your Thoughts

You must plan the content of your speech in order to make the ideas flow logically for your readers. You are bound to have more than one topic (or argument) in your speech, so do your best to order them in a way that makes sense. If your speech is about fire safety, for example, you might have the following topics:
  1. Fire hazards around the home
  2. How to plan for an emergency
  3. The categories of fire
Make sure you talk about your topics one at a time; don't jump back and forth, or you may lose your audience. Also, put all information for each topic together so that it's all in its logical place. This means that if you want to list all the fire hazards in a home, group them all together under the “fire hazards around the home” topic so that your audience can fully understand the point you're trying to make.

3) Make Notes for Yourself

One of the wonderful things about speeches is that your audience won't necessarily see the paper that you're speaking from. Because of this, feel free to jot down any notes about the way you want to say a certain phrase, where you want to pause for emphasis or dramatic effect, etc. These notes can help you a great deal when you're on the spot, trying to make your speech meaningful for your audience.

Of course, if your speech is also going to be read right off the page, be sure to create a good copy, free from any pencilled-in hints to yourself about your public speaking. Also, double check that your document is free from typos or grammatical errors before you turn it over for someone to read. You may have allowed yourself to get away with spelling and grammar mistakes in your speech, simply because people wouldn't know the difference when they're only hearing what you have to say instead of reading it.

The unique thing about speeches over written forms of communication is that the tone of your voice can add a lot in terms of impact for your audience. A speech means that you don't have to rely on your words alone to get your message across. Make the most of your speech by varying the pace and tone of your voice. Remember to pause in strategic places so that your audience has a moment to absorb what you're saying. Practice not just what you want to say, but exactly how you'd like to say it; carefully chosen voicing can take the clarity and impact of your speech to the next level.



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