Margaret McGann

Ten tips to remember when writing a speech

In communications and marketing, public relations, speechwriting, writing on March 1, 2010 at 9:32 am
  1. Use plain language – a speech is a conversation so keep sentences short (about 20 words) and simple.
  2. Be precise and concrete – avoid unnecessary adjectives, flowery language, jargon, and clichés.
  3. Avoid passive sentences.
  4. Build emotion and interest – use rhetorical techniques (metaphors, antithesis) to drive home your point.
  5. Use humour – maintain interest and put the audience at ease.
  6. Use quotations and anecdotes – add interest, build credibility and elevate tone.
  7. Make numbers and statistics meaningful (i.e., increased funding will help families).
  8. Write out foreign names or phrases as they sound.
  9. End with a recap of the info and issue a call to action.
  10. Read it aloud to hear how it sounds to the ear.

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