You’ve been asked to deliver a speech or there is an occasion coming up that you have to speak at. There is no way out of it, you have to sit down, write and prepare a speech that will please everyone and that you will be proud of. So, what are the five things you should be focusing on when writing a speech? There are so many things to think about, what to say, what not to say, how do I say what I want to say, so many questions, where do I start in writing this speech? The five things you should be focusing on when writing a speech are:

  1. Purpose
  2. The audience
  3. Content
  4. Structure
  5. Time allowed

1. Purpose What is the purpose of your speech? Is it to entertain, to inspire, to motivate? Do you want your audience to take action, do you want to appeal to them to do something or do want to simply entertain them about someone or something that is very important to you and very important to them. Whatever the purpose, your speech opening and speech closing are key areas to focus on. 2. The audience If you try to focus your attention on pleasing every member of the audience, you are wasting your time. There will always be someone who either doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t like you or will disagree with your speech content and there is nothing you can do about it. We do though as speakers try to please as much of the audience as we can by researching who they are, their background, why they want to hear us speak. We then tailor our speech content around them so that they at least learn, enjoy and / or take some action on what they have heard from us. 3. Content Your focus is mainly on content. What do you want to say, who / what do you want to talk about? By researching the person or subject of your talk, gathering information, doing all the research, you can build and develop good original content (original is key here!). The importance of being authentic cannot be under-estimated. And the more personal experiences or passion you have for the subject and its content the easier it will be to write and indeed deliver your speech. Don’t forget stories, we all love stories! 4. Structure Once the content has been developed and written, now it is time to focus on your speech structure. Where do you say certain things so that the speech has a nice flow to it, almost like a story – a start, middle and an end? We have heard to ‘Tell them what you are about to tell them’, then tell them and then tell them what you told them (more relevant for a ‘subject’ speech). Follow the speech’s expected logical structure and flow, make it easy for the audience to understand and follow it and your train of thought. 5. Time allowed For most speeches, you should know or have given a time that you can speak for. This is important. You must stick to the allotted time. If an audience realize that you have gone over time, they will switch off. Know your time allowed and focus on staying just below it as you practice it. Remove content to stay within the allotted time. Time is critical to speech writers. Be your own best and professional speech writer…!