Once you’ve received the official notice that you are the keynote speaker it’s time to prepare for your speech. One of the biggest challenges is deciding how to get started. Too many presenters wait until the last minute to put their speech on paper. Even seasoned speakers can fall into this trap. You need to write a speech that will engage the audience and leave them with a greater pursuit of excellence. The important part of writing is staying true to your values and the personal philosophy that distinguishes you.
Your audience will be the best guide for your speech. Ask the person who invited you to speak to give you additional background regarding their organization. Then write an outline of important points that you want to include in your speech. You can fully engage your audience by making a commitment to understanding their important issues. Here are some of the key steps you must follow when writing your speech.
1. Start with a speech outline
2. Using a story to establish a connection with your audience at the beginning of your speech
3. Use active verbs in your speech
4. Express enthusiasm and smile when practicing the delivery of your speech
5. Practice your speech with a smaller audience
6. Memorize the stories that you’ve written and practice them orally
7. Devote yourself to writing quotes in your speech
8. Search the internet and review the writings of other famous speakers
9. End your speech with an inspiring conclusion
Speaking gives you a tremendous opportunity to convey a powerful message. It takes organization. When possible try to include a statistic that the audience would like to know. It is one of the best ways to generate conversations amongst members of your audience. Sharing a statistic can also help you to present yourself as an expert.
Writing an effective speech requires creativity. You can conduct your own brain storming session with friends and colleagues. Ask someone to read your document and give you their feedback. Identify someone who you trust. Select someone who will offer sound advice about your speech. They may suggest other words that will help you to connect with your audience. Audiences like to have a picture of what you are saying in their thoughts.
Don’t wait until the last minute to write your speech. This is the same advice that I’ve given to thousands of professionals and students. Some people say they are more productive under pressure. It’s better to have time to reflect on your words and ideas. Taking time to organize a timeline for the completion of your speech will give you a chance to make changes. You may want to try different words and think about the impact of what you are going to say. You also want to be able to add stories that fit into your speech. All of this preparation may take more than a month to research. It’s best to give yourself and your audience a speech that is well planned and relevant to their conference or event.
The ability to write your best speech is your choice. It will require devotion to the craft of writing. Tell your audience something that is important and valuable to them. Demonstrate how much you care by what you write down and express during your presentation. People can tell when something you’ve written comes from the heart. The goal of a good speech is to touch people’s lives and inspire change. Today is the best time to prepare your speech. Enjoy the journey.
Dr. Stephen Jones is a keynote speaker, education consultant, professional development trainer and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. Dr. Stephen Jones has 28 years of experience helping students of all ages to raise their academic performance.