If you every have the opportunity in taking a speech writing class or a public speaking class I highly suggest thinking about taking one of the courses or both of them. I have taken both classes in my college career and was also a teachers assistant for both courses.
I have read and heard a lot of speeches, and even though I have never written a professional speech, a lot of what I do at work is focus on presentations and how to make each of them better so they can be fresh and fun for both the performer and the audience.
You can have two different types of speeches. Informative or Persuasive. The informative speech informs the audience of an event or situation and bases the speech on fact and statistics. A persuasive speech challenges the audience and the goal of the presenter is to appeal to the audience and get them on their side.
The biggest challenges when writing a speech is the beginning and the end. The beginning is crucial because, that is when you need to grab the audience’s attention and it sets the tone for the whole speech. There are many ways in getting the audience’s attention. They are called attention getting devices. The most popular ones people use are… Humor, rhetorical question, quote, personal story, music, or pictures. (side note about pictures) Using pictures is a great way to get the audience in, but when you are not referring to the picture turn the picture around, because ultimately you want the audience to focus on you not the picture.
After your attention getting device, go right into your thesis and explain why you are talking about this certain topic. From what I noticed some people start off with saying “I am talking about..” a better way on addressing to the audience is using “WE” language. Using “WE” language is good because it gets everyone involved with the issue not just yourself.
The middle of the speech should be filled with citations and credited sources, also do not forget to add your transitions. Transition words can make a good speech become amazing with just using those connector words.
Now, comes the end. after an amazing intro and body the end is where everybody gets stuck and I do not blame them. Endings are hard, but the main goal when ending a speech is to have a good clincher. Endings are what people are going to remember the most, because it is the last thing that they hear. First, try and summarize the message, secondly, paraphrase the thesis, then establish order by mentioning the message once more, lastly the closing statement which is your clincher.
Clinchers are hard to come up with, but I promise, you do not need to be a witty person to develop a strong clincher. Like everything else, it just takes practice.
I wanted to post this because, I am working on a speech right now and I wanted to share with everyone on how I develop a speech and I hope this helps to anyone taking or who is interested in taking a speech class. and shout out to my professor who taught me everything I know Nora Montanaro from SUNY Plattsburgh!