Speaking of the Emmys… good speech writing is gold

Published on
September 29, 2015

Did you see the inspiring and emotional speech from Viola Davis when she became the first African-American to win an Emmy for best actress in a drama? If not, do yourself a favour and watch it now!

Viola’s moment in the spotlight is a great reminder that, no matter what industry you are in, a well-crafted speech can make a huge impact. Here are Rowland’s top five tips for developing a killer speech or presentation.

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

New ideas for writing and organising your speech or presentation will emerge. Allow time to get the words and the flow right, then practise again and again. Test your ideas with someone who’ll give you honest feedback.

2. Write for your audience and the occasion

Write with the needs of the audience in mind, and the context of the occasion. And probably avoid jokes, unless you’re really sure of how they will land.

3. Begin at the end

Write your conclusion first. What’s the call to action, the parting thought, the emotional impact? Then write the beginning and the middle with your punchline in mind.

4. Strong opening

Your opening is your promise to the audience about what they’ll get from your presentation – promise something you can actually deliver. Find a hook, and use it.

5. Write for the ear, not the eye

Think about how the words will sound, how they fit together. In this case, beauty is in the ear of the beholder — don’t write a speech the same way you would write an essay or a paper.

Rowland runs great Presentation Skills Training public courses. Contact a member of our Training and Development team on 07 3229 4499.