Writing a humorous speech

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Ok, so I’m now down to the slightly harder graft, the speech writing.

Some people find speech writing incredibly easy whilst others can struggle for hours and produce nothing that they feel happy with using.

I’ve found from experience that the way in which we write speeches varies too, depending on who we are and how important we believe our upcoming speech to be.

For example, for a quick 5 minute presentation in a company meeting I may simply write down a list of bullet points I wish to cover and talk around them, relying on my existing speaking skills to fill in the gaps.

For a funeral or best man speech I may take hours and days writing, rehearsing and fine tuning my speech. My first draft of such a speech is likely to be a lengthy document, written word for word.

However, you write, I truly believe that a good speech plan begins long and gets shortened and shortened as you learn its content until the day comes to give the speech and you have either a small list of points on a cue card in your hand, or better still, no notes at all.

Whether you begin writing a speech by writing it out in full, or as a list of bullet points, or somewhere in between, I believe gradually condensing your notes as you learn your speech is key and should be done by all!

So over the next few days I am writing three speeches out in full, word for word, as I would deliver them in a perfect world.

Once I have three speeches I will annotate them with notes about pauses, gestures and movement across the stage that I feel will add to the speech experience for my audience.

If I’m not sure where to use these techniques and which ones I should be using in my speech, I will cross reference it with the judging criteria to see where I can illustrate my knowledge by using these techniques.

Overall, it’s quite long and arduous, but I really do enjoy the piece of art that comes out of the another end. It’s a piece that I hope will demonstrate my speech writing skills and speech delivery skills too – we will see!

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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