10 keys to writing a brilliant speech

Do your homework, keep it concise, and write from your unique perspective, but with the audience in mind. Follow these timeless tips for speechwriting success.

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Everything fits together and makes perfect sense.

Some make it look easy, but what we perceive as effortless oration comes from diligent, sophisticated speechwriting. Great speeches are constructed by someone turning a thoughtful, strategic set of concepts into practical tips, stories and action items.

If you have an upcoming speaking engagement or presentation, review these 10 essentials. You might just give the speech of your life.

1. Prepare early. Begin gathering material for your speech well before the big day. As you learn about your topic, ideas for writing and organizing it will emerge.

2. Be audience-centered. Everything you write should prioritize the needs of the audience. Focus your efforts on helping the audience understand what you are saying.

3. Start at the end. Write the conclusion of your talk right away. Decide what you want the audience to do or to think regarding your speech. Then write using that as a guide.

4. Write for the ear, not the eye. Experienced writers know that every medium and project has its own language, cadence, style and structure. Don’t write the speech to be read. Write it so that when your audience hears it, they get it right away.

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