For many people the prospect of delivering a speech is a case of bad news, bad news. There’s the speech itself, and then there’s the writing of the speech.
Speaking at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Fundraising Conference, Sherri Saginor, president of Smart Speech, said that it doesn’t have to be so bad. Yes, the assignment should be taken seriously, and it involves preparation, but it can be done.
Saginor offered encouragement in the form of the following tips:
* Speech template. Don’t want to read from a fully-written speech? Use just a template. It can be contained on one page.
* Whether the speech is going to be fully written or just a template, still use a template as a guide: Main point, supporting subtopic 1, supporting subtopic 2, supporting subtopic 3, closing.
* Process: 1. First draft: write from start to finish. 2. Take a break. 3. Second draft: Rewrite or revise from start to finish. 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary. 5. Final edits.
* Length. Time reading the speech for one minute and then plan accordingly. Average speaking speed is about 120 words for minute. Short and clear trumps long and wandering.
* Format the document for easy reading. Text only the first half of the page, for example. Use an easy-to-read font, in a large (18) point size. Double or triple space.
* Delivery. Read the speech out loud. Record and listen. Practice in front of others. Concentrate on the message, not the medium.