Exploring how we write speeches

Pen and paper

I have a fascination with the ways in which people write, learn and rehearse speeches and presentations. The process is a very personal one, and although we all go through many of the same key tasks such as brainstorming, drafting and editing when writing a speech, the speed and way in which we complete the tasks varies from person to person.

In truth, the speech that is the outcome of our labours is the result of the way in which we have conceived it. If we all produce our speeches in our own personal way, then the speeches that we write and deliver are therefore a reflection on us, perhaps even a part of our soul. This is all rather deep for an online blog and what this means for those who give away a piece of their soul by writing speeches for others one can only imagine!

However, my fascination with how speeches are produced by individuals has led me to take two actions. The first is to write a day-by-day diary / autopsy / review of the process that I went through to write my winning speech for the UK Business Speaker of the Year contest. You will be able to find that here when it’s written (this sentence will be a hyperlink – keep checking back folks!).

The second action is to put a lot more effort into getting a blog off of the ground that has been lurking in my consciousness for some time now. In short, the blog will be a collection of 500 word (max) entries by speakers from all over the world detailing the process that they go through to produce and deliver a speech.

If you would like a slightly longer explanation, read on. The plan is for the blog not only to look beautiful (each contributor must provide a hi-res photograph of their speech notes and an image of themselves), but also to be an online resource for visitors from around the world to gain insight into to how others ‘do it’. And by others I do not mean just speakers and trainers, but instead speakers of every ability and age from across the globe. The details of how a teenager with learning difficulties writes their presentation is just as valuable to the world as how a world champion speaker produces his.

This idea perhaps isn’t even just a blog. In time, it may become a printed tome, a coffee table book (with value) or something more. But for now, it needs contributors. So, if you’re a speaker (and we all are really) that wants to share your speech writing process in 750 words or less, then please contact me here and we’ll try and get you involved in the project. Your experience is what is needed.

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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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