How to Write a Speech: Make Money from Your Mind, and Overcome Your Three Major Challenges
By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
These are my notes for my keynote speech at Lady and the Champs HOW TO Speaking Conference 2012.
Interesting statistic: 100% of all GOOD speeches are not written, they are rewritten.
“How do you write a speech?” Not in a custom-made suit and high heels.
Chances are your masterpiece is NOT going to be created in one sitting.
You open your mind to accept thoughts, ideas, and concepts that will then be developed.
Good starting point: Reflect on your life, family, career, and expertise.
What stories do you tell at dinner parties and family events?
Many of your best ideas will come in conversation, often in noisy places, with the notes written on soggy cocktail napkins or church bulletins.
Save your ideas for when you need them.
Process: Start with ideas and a note pad, then a Word file (while you can still read your handwriting), next a flip chart, then PowerPoint, then rehearse both formally and informally. Record, revisit, and revise.
Work for focused, extended periods.
It is never too early to start.
First big challenge: What is your subject? You do need a focus.
You may say, “Patricia, I can talk about 10 topics with equal authority.”
Good for you. Pick one. Use the process to perfect one…then repeat.
Second big challenge: Your self-confidence.
Frequently asked question is, “What can I talk about with authority?”
Your summer vacation? Apart from your friends, who would care?
Needlepoint? Yes, for other needle pointers. That will pay modestly.
If your goal is to be well paid, is your message valuable to entrepreneurs, associations, or corporations?
Turning point for Patricia Fripp: When she realized she was an expert on how to start, build, and promote a small or medium-size business.
Speech examples that were delivered and adapted from 1976 to 2012:
How to Get, Keep, and Deserve Your Customers
How to Promote Your Business High-Tech, Low-Tech, No-Tech, and Totally Shamelessly
Third big challenge: Getting started.
Start with your family and life experience in chronological order.
Robert Fripp: “Any point you want to make in your speech, you can find an example from your family.”
How did the advice, inspiration, or example manifest in your life?
What was your result? How do you recommend your audience apply this to their situation?
Revisit your business career.
List your bosses, managers, clients who were mentors.
What experiences do your friends have who work in other industries?
This becomes a “chunk” of content.
Even a content speech is going to have some of your personal experiences.
Take your experience; what is the lesson?
Relate the life lesson or universal principle to the current environment, and be clear how your audience can apply that lesson to improve their life or business.
What do your successful friends tell you about their business experiences? If nothing, ask!
Most of them have no interest in being speakers. Do their stories fit into your subject?
How were you inspired, what did you learn, and what did you do as a result?
How has your life, business, or relationships changed as a result?
The Process of Writing a Speech Expanded
Start with ideas, a note pad, then a Word file while you can still read your writing, next outline on a flip chart, give informal delivery, add PowerPoint if needed, then rehearse more formally with a target audience. Record, revisit, revise, and improve. When you feel your speech is as good as it can be, have your masterpiece transcribed. Then edit for clarity and specificity, visual words, and emotional connection. Confirm you are using dialogue, “you-focused” language, and the words sound conversational, not written. Have you removed all clichés, your personal verbal “tics,” and empty words? The better your scripting, the better your delivery will be.
You think this process sounds like hard work? It can be time consuming. It is amazingly exhilarating. When you get this far, your audiences will say, “You can tell they are a natural!”
There is a fourth challenge for the emerging speaker. Getting those first bookings.
World Champions Edge and Lady and the Champs are really excited that we will be introducing our members and attendees to Bryan Caplovitz, President of SpeakerMatch. This is the best service to start building your speaking business or receive opportunities for you to showcase your talent or organization. Listen to my interview with Bryan http://www.worldchampslive.com/ProudSponsors.html
Fripp works with organizations and individuals who want to put their best
foot forward by gaining powerful, persuasive presentation skills.
Patricia Fripp is a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE (Hall of Fame award), Cavett award winner (The Oscar of Professional Speaking), in-demand executive speech coach, and sales presentation skills expert.