Question: What’s the hardest part of writing your speech?
The results of this informal poll from LinkedIn revealed the biggest block to writing a speech is (drumroll please):
Apparently, it’s more attractive to scrub a toilet bowl then to write your presentation. It’s easy to sit down in front of the computer, stare at the pulsating cursor while “what the heck should I talk about?” runs through your head on repeat like the Games of Thrones theme song.
Let’s make it a whole lot easier to get your speech started! Use these 7 strategies to write your speech with ease.
1. Don’t start writing your speech by sitting down at your computer
When you have a presentation to give, the first inclination is fire up your laptop, open PowerPoint and start typing away.
Step away from the computer. You’re not ready to write one word of your presentation yet.
You need to think about your audience – who they are, what their problems are, and how you can help.
Having a strategy in place first – a plan – makes it so much easier to write your speech.
2. Get clear on your big idea
The audience is only going to remember ONE idea (yep – you read that right – ONE idea) from your presentation.
You need to be strategic. Figure out what you want to be known for a speaker. You can’t be known for everything you’re an expert in.
Your big idea serves as the beacon for crafting your speech. Every story you tell, every sentence you create, every breath you take (I’ll be watching you), relates directly back to that big idea.
Need help crafting that big idea? Grab the Presentation Sweet Spot and it will walk you through the process.
3. Give your audience exactly what they need
Speakers have a habit of starting presentations with the thought “What should I speak about?”
Instead the question needs to be “What does my audience need from me?” or “How can I serve my audience with this message?”
Speaking is NEVER about you. It’s always about the audience. As I work with clients, I too often see that what my clients wants to say is not what the audience needs from them.
Give your people what they need, and you’ll have them coming back for more of what you can offer them.
4. Plan your call-to-action
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there, and you’ll leave your audience stranded on the side of the road.
Before you start your speech answer this one-question:
What is one action that you would like the audience to take as a result of hearing your speak?
Hint: It’s not buy your shit.
Before you can sell, you must provide the audience with something that solves a problem or impacts their lives in a meaningful way.
5. Implement the one-minute rule of thumb
What’s the one minute rule? For every one-minute you speak, you spend an hour preparing and practicing.
If your presentation is 15-minutes long – that’s 15 hours. 60-minutes – 60-hours. You get the point.
Set aside enough time to prepare and practice your presentation.
6. Discover your best writing strategy
One of the biggest questions I get from my clients is “What’s the best way to write a speech? Should I write it word-for-word, outline it, or do something else?”
For me, I spend a lot of time thinking about my speech before I start storyboarding. Here are several different ways to write your presentation:
- Storyboard using Post-it Notes
- Outline your presentation
- Script it out
- Plan it out in your mind
- Create it in PowerPoint (but don’t use it as your PowerPoint)
- Choose your own way
Experiment, play and find out what works best for you.
7. Get help and ask for feedback
You’re an expert! Awesome, right? But this means you’re too close to your own ideas. You don’t have the beginner’s mind. You don’t understand what your audience doesn’t know about your topic. You need an outside perspective.
Get help and ask for feedback! Don’t ask your spouse, business best friends or anyone who knows the in’s and out’s of what you do and how you do it.
You truly need someone with a fresh pair of eyes for your talk. My best advice, hire someone to help you craft this content. My best speeches were developed when I had an expert helping me with the content. The insight about what was missing from my presentation (or what was overkill) was invaluable in making my presentation a success.
Don’t get stuck writing your presentation! Follow these strategies and make it easy to write your next presentation.
Once you’ve got that speech that is going to make all the audiences swoon, join me on September 23rd to find out how to market that speech in a free webinar.