When you’re a assigned to write a speech, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Rather than giving in to that fear, take things one step at time. Consider these 5 practical tips for preparing a speech:
- Remember that you’re the expert. Start with the knowledge and experience that you already have. Using that as your starting point, you can build from there — adding both research and creativity. In other words, avoid the temptation of doubting yourself and starting from scratch; instead, begin with your background and experience, and then expand from there.
- Think in terms of “blocks,” sections, or segments. Rather than planning out the entire speech at once, think in terms of 3-5 parts that you can tie together into a whole. Take your audience on a journey by tying those parts together.
- Outline your ideas ahead of time. Structuring your speech will help you guide the audience, but it will also be easier to fill in points and illustrations if you have an outline prepared. You will save lots of time and energy doing this.
- Write for the ear, not the eyes. Remember that people will not be reading your speech, but hearing it. For that reason, analyze every sentence by reading it aloud. If it seems complicated to a listening ear, be sure to shorten and/or simplify. The ear cannot handle lengthy or complex sentences, so in addition to listening to them audibly, look at each sentence visually.
- Ask someone to review your speech. Try to avoid friends and family members if possible (since their love for you might cloud their judgment), and for important projects, consult with a professor, a proofreader, or an editor.
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