To know how to write a speech, you need to first know how to write entertainingly. At least that was what a friend of mine told me when I went to him for help. Naturally this led to a very short but pithy conversation, which I very maturely ended by throwing a pillow at him.
I could see his point, but it wasn’t a very valid one to me. To know how to write a speech, you don’t need to be able to write in an entertaining manner. You need to be able to write coherently. The entertaining part, at least in my mind, comes at the point when you have to deliver the speech. Even the best of comedic speeches can sound as dry as dust if delivered in funereal tones.
So that put an end to that trend of thought. But then we were left with the small factor of my needing to churn out a great speech in less than a week, not to mention the fact that I had to see on how to write a speech that would be convincingly good and not put my audience to sleep!
This point unnaturally enough, was the starting point for my speech. I wrote in big bold letters on my notepad, that I did not want to put my audience to sleep. Then I went on to list the many things that I did, and did not, want out of my speech, and what I ended up with was a nice mish-mash of things that would have had my high school English teacher in despair.
But it got the job done. It got my writing juices flowing and gave me the impetus to first of all get something down on paper. And that I felt was the first point everyone should know about, on how to write a speech. Don’t think overly hard, don’t worry about what you have to write, just get something down on paper and before you realize it you will have what will be known henceforth as the first draft of your speech.
Once this is done, I strongly suggest leaving the speech aside and doing something more interesting such as having a cold one at the nearest watering hole. That was the second item on my list of how to write a speech. This I found is a very good way to clear your mind of all the cobwebs that have been building up since you first learned you had a speech to write.
After that, when you are in a suitably clear frame of mind, most likely the next morning, (or afternoon!), you can then go back to your first draft, read it through, take the relevant bits and pieces of the speech which sound at least halfway decent to your ears, and work on a second, third or even fourth draft, until everything sounds just right. And that is how to write a speech for any occasion, on the fly.