Home > Personal Writing > Memorable Speech Writing

Memorable Speech Writing

By: Liz Wu - Updated: 31 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Speech Speech-writing Public Speaking

Being asked to give a speech at a public event such as a wedding or a funeral is enough to make even the most relaxed person break out into a cold sweat. However, coming up with material for a memorable speech doesn't have to be as painful as it seems. The following are some ideas on how to approach this type of writing task.

  • Consider your listeners: Will you be speaking to friends and family? Colleagues? Strangers? Think about who will be in the audience and adjust your tone and your language respectively. Use a formal or informal approach as you feel appropriate. If unsure about how to proceed, or if there will be a mixed audience, follow your gut instinct. As long as the speech is sincere, it is likely to be well-received.

  • Say it with a quote: Figuring out how to begin may be the hardest part. One effective opener is that of a favourite quote - either one's own or that of the person being honored. Choose one that clearly evokes the personality of the one you are speaking about. Alternatively, start off with a quote that expresses a universal sentiment - something everyone can relate to.

  • Tell a story: Another way to get started is with a personal anecdote related to the subject of your speech. If you are writing about your daughter's wedding, for example, you may want to share a memory from her childhood that evokes your feelings for her. If eulogizing a friend, you may want to talk about a particular moment with that person that is special to you. It doesn't have to be profound - only meaningful. Something as simple as singing along to the radio or going hiking with someone can set a mood of appreciation and connectedness.

  • Be creative: Standard literary devices, such as metaphor and simile, can help you get your point across elegantly and succinctly. Combining different media, such as music or slides, can also help convey what words can't. Play with different ideas of presentation; speeches don't have to be synonymous with boring.

  • Rehearse repeatedly: This may sound obvious, but read your piece out loud several times before you consider it finished. Listen to the rhythm and the sound of the words, the inflections you give them. Are you satisfied? Is your speech easy to give? A good speech should feel natural, just as if you were having a conversation with someone. Remember that a line that looks good on paper may become quite a tongue-twister once you try to say it. Choose your words carefully, with performance in mind.

  • Leave lots of space in your prose: Think about where you want to breathe or pause to let the audience contemplate what you have said. You could give the most brilliant insight, but if you plough right over it without a stop, it won't be effective. Give your words a chance to sink in.

  • Think holistically: Are there any actions you wish to incorporate into the piece (such as giving a toast or presenting a gift)? If so, you will want to take these into account while writing, setting up a good moment.

  • Use tasteful humor: Regardless of the event, a little levity always helps. Some worry that laughter is not appropriate at serious events, such as a business meeting or a funeral, but in fact, that is when it can be the most powerful means to open people to your message. Be sensitive, but be light.

  • Write from the heart: Glib might be clever, but honest is better. Think about what this person (or occasion) really means to you. If the answer is nothing, you may want to question whether or not to give the speech. If you have no choice in the matter, try to think of what the person (or event) means to the others in attendance, and shape your piece accordingly. In the end, giving a speech is a public service, and as much an honour to write as to be recognized within it.

    You might also like...
    Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
    my very excited having found your website. it's very helpful,clear and understanding.i'm new follower of this website. i always want to a writer but in want of proper knowledge .i never think that i'll be so. but i'm much hopeful. thank you very much!
    rajni - 31-Jan-13 @ 7:02 AM
    Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
    Title:
    (never shown)
    Firstname:
    (never shown)
    Surname:
    (never shown)
    Email:
    (never shown)
    Nickname:
    (shown)
    Comment:
    Validate:
    Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Giles
    Re: Narrative Journalism
    Hi there You might be interested in Well Told - it's the first conference in the UK to be dedicated to narrative and longform journalism.…
    18 April 2017
  • vanweha
    Re: Learning to Think Like a Writer
    i am young man who recently finished his high school. i have that passion of becoming a writter but i am too vulnerable to…
    12 March 2017
  • Lexy
    Re: Informative Writing
    This helped me with my informative essay for English honors 1. This was very helpful thank you.
    27 February 2017
  • Xeptional Angel Emen
    Re: What is Microfiction?
    can I write a micro story that the ending isn`t actually the end, like keep my audience in suspense or I must complete the story to give it…
    27 February 2017
  • CLS
    Re: Objectivity and Subjectivity
    Is inter-subjectivity possible?
    20 February 2017
  • ExploreWriting
    Re: Improving Your Sentence Structure
    dabbs - Your Question:Thnx for the suggestions Jennie. It is very much helpful to meOur Response:
    17 February 2017
  • ExploreWriting
    Re: How to Write a Letter of Complaint
    denna - Your Question:I want help writing a letter about an incident that took place at theGYMOur Resp
    17 February 2017
  • dabbs
    Re: Improving Your Sentence Structure
    Thnx for the suggestions Jennie. It is very much helpful to me
    16 February 2017
  • denna
    Re: How to Write a Letter of Complaint
    I want help writing a letter about an incident that took place at theGYM
    16 February 2017
  • Zeek
    Re: Short Story v.s. Novel
    "Have you ever poured over an extremely short story..." PORED, not "poured." You POUR milk into a glass. You PORE over a composition.
    11 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ExploreWriting website. Please read our Disclaimer.