Writing speeches for corporate executives is a demanding task requiring a considerable amount of knowledge and skill. Executives expect speeches written for them to move their listeners emotionally and to use persuasive language that impresses the speech’s theme on the mind of the audience. The speech should also match the occasion. Various types of public speeches are given by corporate officers:
- Keynote – A speech that outlines the central message of a particular event.
- Opening – This type of speech that sets the tone for an event and welcomes the participants.
- Motivational – A speech that inspires the audience and often directs them to take a specific course of action.
- Vision – A speech that lays out a path for progress for a company or organization.
- Closing – A speech that sums up an event and might also point the future.
In addition to making sure that the speech fits the occasion, writers must also adhere to certain time-tested practices that great speech writers use to hold an audience’s attention.
Here are 10 crucial points to remember for writing an effective executive speech.
- Brevity – The speech should be no longer than you need to make your point. Long speeches tend to bore the listener. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only 272 words long, yet remains one of the most famous speeches in history.
- Structure – Every speech should have an introduction, a body where the main points are made, and a conclusion that summarizes the important points.
- Write Conversationally – Speeches that use long words or complex language rarely make a strong impact on a listener. Use language the audience would hear in everyday conversation.
- Use Imagery – Language that paints a picture in the listener’s mind is more likely to be remembered. Strong physical imagery is generally more effective than abstract language.
- Highlighting – Highlight the main point of the talk by using your most memorable language on this portion of the speech.
- Famous passages – Use memorable passages or quotes from other speeches or works of literature with which the audience is familiar. This will help you hold their attention.
- Strong Conclusion – Do not simply thank the audience at the end of the speech. Try to come up with a clever and concise way to phrase your main point.
- Revise – You should never be satisfied with a first draft. Look the speech over and revise it until you can no longer find any ways to make it better.
- Read Aloud – Reading the speech out loud gives you an indication of how the speech will sound to an audience and helps you avoid language that sounds too abstract or complex.
- Humour – Audiences love humour, so try to include a humorous anecdote or phrase, where appropriate.
If you follow these tips and put forth your best effort, the end result should be a speech that listeners will respond to positively.