If you want to know how to write an inspiring speech that captures the imagination of your audience, read on.
As a seasoned copywriter, I approach writing speeches the way I approach any other medium – I keep my audience and key message front of mind.
In speechwriting, however, I also refer this quote by poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
So, here are a few tips on writing a speech that will help your audience to feel how you want them to feel, while telling them what you would like them to know.
Before you start
List the main purpose and objective of your speech, as well as the secondary objectives, and never sway from them. This will ensure your speech remains on point.
This may sound obvious but make sure you know your audience well. Address the issues that interest and resonate with them and adapt your language and tone to suit them.
Write a simple structure your audience can follow, effortlessly. Prioritise the most important point and reinforce it throughout your message. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it by making too many points.
This week, I worked with a creative director who gave a great analogy regarding the meandering brief that had been supplied to us by the client. He said: “If you throw too many tennis balls, your audience won’t even be able to catch even one.”
So, stay single minded. Let you audience catch your main point!
Your opening should hook your audience and there are various ways you can do this.
You could get them to imagine a powerful image. You could use a shocking or interesting fact. Or, if appropriate to your message and how you want your audience to feel, you could use humour.
To keep your audience captivated and persuaded, use repetition. Keep reinforcing your key message by using keywords.
Quote an expert, tell a captivating personal story, or use a key statistic and use alliteration for added impact, such as repeating a ‘p’ sound: “Millions of people have been pushed into poverty because of the pandemic,”
You could end your speech by leaving the audience with a powerful image, a question that begs to be answered, or a challenge they can rise to: “So, how will you respond to the global crisis facing us?”
Remember, a speech should inspire, entertain, and cause your audience to think, feel or act. Written and delivered well, a great speech can remain in the hearts and minds of your audience for years to come. Go for it!
If you would like more tips on how to write an inspiring speech, please