Two Essential Components of Any Speech

This guest post is by M. Miche Suboski, Your Business Advisor.

We have all been bored to tears by a speech. We have all heard speeches that sound interesting at first and quickly switch to daydreaming when we realize how unrealistic it was. Some of us have given speeches in which we were horrified to see in one dreadful glance that we had bored the socks off a few and lost the rest of the audience we were supposed to have engaged. It is an incredibly painful experience. 

Once you have experienced this as a speaker you become committed, truly committed to never having it happen again … which is probably why you are here reading this. Believe me, it can get better.

Although there are other essential components of a speech, two of the most fundamental are that it be both compelling and grounded. 

Being compelling is a relative assessment. Only those that hear it can say whether or not it was compelling. You cannot simply recite your speech in a vacuum. You must try it out on those for whom it is meant. 

How do you make a speech compelling? A quick, high-level check is to ask:
Who is my audience?
What is it they care about?
How can I help to make that happen?

Step 1 – Keep looking at your speech as you write it from the perspective of your audience and their concerns, then how does this help them make that happen.

Step 2 – Have those listening to the speech as you practice hold the role of your audience.  Make sure as you have them critique (make them take notes), they tell you how they felt as you spoke different parts. Having them respond to your intellectual arguements will only confuse things. You will know you are being compelling if they sit forward, nod their heads or get goose bumps (we all wish!!). If they yawn, look at their watch or get glassy eyed … change that part.

Having a well grounded speech is one that has a fair number of grounded assessments. An assessment is grounded if facts are either presented or globally accepted that back them up. A fabulous paper written by Peter Denning “Assertions and Assessments – CS4900 Technology and Transformation” can begin to shine a light on how we speak to move others into action. 

A well grounded speech will include:
- assessments that include assertions (facts) with the speech
- assessments that have assertions (facts) backing it up that are globally accepted

Step 1 – Look through your speech. Are there assessments in the speech? If so, are they backed up with fact?

Step 2 – Get rid of any and all assessments that cannot be grounded in fact.

Those of us that speak to what our audience truly cares about and speak to them in a way that motivates them to action will not have to fear the dazed look of the disinterested, or worse, have to speak to the back of departing participants. How wonderful is that?

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How to write a Graduation Speech

A person is never asked to speak at a graduation ceremony unless the individual has many accomplishments, or  exemplary performance has brought him or her to the top. In most cases people who are asked to speak in ceremonies are the dean of the school, a mentor, a politician, or of course, the valedictorian of a high school graduating class or a suma cum laude for a college graduation. Unfortunately, just because someone is smart does not mean he or she knows how to write a graduation speech.

Important points to remember in writing a graduation speech:

  • Be calm and at peace. Place yourself in a serene place where you can free your mind from all worries and ponder deeply on the content of your speech.
  • Have a pen and paper on hand. It is more creative than setting in front of a computer. It is good to scribble a bit and mumble a bit to allow your mind to get a head start on a great piece. Setting in front of the computer often tempts the thinking individual to do something else.
  • Know what is expected. What precisely do the organizers want you to talk about? You may be the campus scholastic champion, but do they want you to talk about your actual experiences, or they just want you to talk about your inspiration, or your study habits?
  • Give your audiences consideration. Ask yourself this questions “Who is my audience?” “How am I going to catch their attention?”, “How am I going to avoid boring them?” Speakers speak to educate, inspire, or chastise the audience. In order to do so we need to take heed of the following:

-  The audience’s knowledge of the subject. When your audience’s knows a good deal of the subject you can make assumptions.
-  The audience’s attitudes toward the subject. Other members of the audience may hold opinions opposite to your own. Plan ahead to pacify likely opponents.
-  Know exactly how long and when you are speaking.

  • Organize your thoughts. You may begin with a quotation, a story, or an experience. Make sure it is chronologically delivered to avoid confusion. Decide where to put emphasis on strong points. Make sure quotations are being quoted properly. 
  • It may help to pray about what you are composing. The greatest works often seem divinely inspired.

See some great videos on how to give a speech.

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Perfect Retirement Speeches

Some of the hardest speeches to write are retirement speeches. It becomes far easier if you have guidelines to follow. The easy way out is to announce to the world that you wish you were already sitting at home enjoying a nice cup of Joe. You will be thinking about your old comrades in arms when you have your feet on a footstool setting in front of the television watching a soap opera while they are plowing through piles of paperwork. Well, that is a good way to open and bring out a chuckle, but it doesn’t convey what you really feel, or does it?

To deliver a  perfect speech for the occasion, think about your audience. Be ready to face your old coworkers, each one of whom is going to be waiting for you to mention them. You do not want a professional to write this kind of speech for you. It requires the right touch, and in most cases must rely on your native humor as well as aspects of your relationships with others.

If you have spent many years doing a job, you must have found aspects of it rewarding. Tell the crowd what you liked about it, why it was rewarding. Sure it took you away from home and hearth, but in a way it was a second home. Talk about how much you learned and perhaps mention that you might go into consulting, and when they find they can’t do without you, well, you might be back in another capacity.

Don’t forget to thank all the people who helped you do your job well. There will always be people you should be thankful for, and if not – you can thank a few machines.  Whether you are a professional manager or have wielded a shovel your whole life, there have been those who have stood by you. Admit that you could not have done it on your own. But remember the old adage…”If you want something done right…” That should draw a laugh, but ultimately, you will want to be humble about what you have achieved and what you gained from others.

Finally, you will want to mention how hard it will be to leave it all behind. This is the saddest part for the one who is retiring. Yes, you will miss the rewards associated with working, but the thing you will miss most is the people, and that is what kept you from going to xyz Company when they offered that huge raise.

The key to a good fairwell speech is to “leave ‘em laughing when you go”, but don’t neglect to put a tear in their eye as well. When you are done they will remember you not just for what you did at work, but for the upstanding manner in which you left.

The great thing about a retirement speech is that it allows you to impart insights that may have been inappropriate before. It is a great opportunity to be frank. Dwell on the good things, but if you have anything negegative that you feel you must say - first think about it long and hard. And if you still wish to say it, try to soften the blow with a bit of humor. Everything has its ending, but remember retirement is just a new beginning.

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How To Prepare and Write A Wedding Speech

Are you excited and a little uneasy on how you will present your wedding speech? Weddings are special occasions where friends and families come together to celebrate the union of two people. Making a great speech shows respect for the couple.  Use the steps outlined below to make your speech effective and a successful one:

Thoroughly prepare your speech. Don’t rely on past successes or your ability to speak “off-the-cuff”. Preparation prevents the possibility you will become tongue-tied at the crucial moment. Write down everything you want to say to the newly weds. While you are writing the speech remember, this is not about you. It is their day, and it is your job to deliver the speech or the message they want to hear.

  • Introduce yourself and tell how you are related to the couple.
  • Tell a funny story about the married couple. Don’t tell an offensive story. This will keep the crowd alive and interested in what you have to say.
  • Give credit to the parents – after all they are probably paying for the party. Tell about some of the sacrifices the parents made for either the bride or groom, how they influenced them in a positive way.
  • Don’t forget to express to the audience how happy you feel about the marriage. And remind them that there is a reason they made a vow to marry “for better or for worse”. There will be trials, but you have confidence they will find a way to work through them.
  • As part of the closing remarks, it can be effective to give a small personal gift. Appropriate items might be a short video of their lives first separate – now come together. Other ideas include a collection of pictures, the places they went, funny picture. A power point presentation can be a powerful tool as well.

When delivering the speech, breathe and relax. Remember the crowd is made up of friends and family. Everyone knows the married couple, so everyone has something in common.

In speech making your motto should be the same as the boy scouts, “Be Prepared.” Preparation will help you to deliver your message clearly and effectively. Learn and discover  more  ways on how to write speech. Click here for more details.

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Effective Ways to Write the Perfect Speech

A speech, for some, seems easy, and can be performed off-the-cuff. The right words seem to roll right off their tongues. How would you like to be able to be able to have command of the moment, appreciated by people, because you know exactly the right words to tell them. You, too, could be in demand to speak at special occasion such as weddings, and to be master of ceremonies at events.

The fact is you could be an effective and in-demand speaker. It only requires practice and, of course, knowing how to write a perfect speech for the perfect occasion.

  • First and primarilly, it must be prepared from the heart. It can be rewarding to take heartfelt notions and turn them into something that affects other people in a positive way. Try to visualize what it is that you want to convey and then describe it as though you were painting a picture. The picture you describe should conform to your own vision.  The passion inside will come through and you will catch their attention. It does not matter how long or short your speech is. Remember Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only a few minutes long. Just make sure you make your point.
  • Know your subject and know your audience. If you do not already have a thorough grasp of your subject matter, it is time to study it. If it is a topic you can read about, go to the library. If it is a person study him on the internet. If you can, talk to him or her personally. Find out as much as you reasonably can. Of course, your audience will generally want plenty of detail, but there is a limit. Your audience will have an orientation, be it a friend of the person under discussion or trying to learn about the subject of your presentation. The level of expertise of the audience also plays a huge factor. You do not want to explain elementary things to doctors or delve into philosophy with young children.
  • Know the occasion. There is no speech that is suitable for every occasion. You will have to tailor your words to the moment. If it is a formal occasion, then your speech should be formal, too. Speak wisely, and speak carefully.

You have watched great speakers. They made it look easy, but years of practice and preparation are behind that seeming ease. To be a great speaker takes time and effort. Don’t think, just because you can be glib in a conversation, that you can speak without preparation. You don’t want to create a disaster nobody wants. Remember, speak from the heart, know your subject, know your audience, write your speech for the occasion.

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Wedding speech – How to write a touching piece

Most of the wedding speeches given by both the father of the groom and the father of the bride is either too short for everyone to listen or too long for everyone to feel bored and sleepy.

If you are looking for a perfect and suitable piece for the unforgettable wedding of your son or daughter. Here are some of the easy and reliable steps in order to write a perfect wedding speech.

Step 1.
Introduce your self- this is the first step you need to prepare; the introduction you need to prepare must be short and precise.

Step 2.
Tell something about the bride or the groom (“their story”)- you do not need to narrate the whole love story of the couple, just give some little but unforgettable memory you have about the two of them, like; how they met?, how was the first impression of you as the parent of the bride or groom? And many more to add some spice and to give them some details about the couple.

Step 3.
Make the speech Humorous. – Telling everyone a funny story of the couple would alleviate the sadness and the boredom others feel. Humorous event that you experienced with the couple is very ideal to be included in your speech, but make sure that it would not humiliate both the bride and the groom.

Step 4.
Give advice- give the newly wed couple the perfect advice that they need in the journey that they will be experiencing as new couple. Make sure that you are serious in giving the advice.

Step 5.
Thank the Brides Parents or the guests-express you’re heartfelt thanks to the person who came and to the person behind the successful event. It is not that easy to organize and to prepare a wonderful event so, thanking them would make them feel important.

There are many ways in order to make a perfect and unforgettable piece, the simple steps above on how to make a touching piece would really help you in making one.

If you still need some help, you can get more wedding speech resources by clicking here.

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How to Write a Speech

Writing a speech is not a hard as it sounds. If you stick to the rules provided in this guide you will know in the end how to write a speech that captures your audience and leads to the desired outcome.


Step 1

Do a brainstorming session. Write down everything that comes into your mind when thinking about your speech topic. Limit yourself to 10 minutes. Write down everything no matter how useless it seems at the moment. Remember to use ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade your audience. Use a good vocabulary, but not one that causes you to lose your connection with your audience.

Step 2

Do some research on your topic. Use libraries, experts, friends & family, magazines and – of yours – the Internet. Use a good vocabulary, but not one that causes you to lose your connection with your audience.

Step 3

Get your material into order. Most of the times the structure of your speech evolves out of it. Which arguments are forming? Is there some kind of pattern like past-present or current state-desired outcome? In other words, feel passionately about your topic.

Step 4

Structure your speech. The easiest way to do this is what we all learned in school: Introduction, main part, ending.

Step 5

Try to capture your audience’s interest with the first or second sentence of your introduction. Build clear and sensible transitions (segues) from one thought to the next. The biggest mistake speakers and writers make is to assume people will follow their leaps of logic. Spell out to the audience when you are taking a turn in your thoughts with phrases like: “As an example of this” or “This brings us to the larger problem of,” and so forth.

Step 6

Put your arguments in the main part. Even if you have lots of arguments you should choose the three or four strongest ones. More could ask too much of your audience. Even if you have a definite attitude towards your topic try to implement the other side’s arguments in your speech. Start with them first and later invalidate them with your own arguments.

Step 7

The ending is equally important as the other two parts. Don’t end your speech half-heartedly. The last impression your audience gets from you is the one that will stick. Try to envision a goal that you want to reach with your speech. If you want your audience to do something end with a call to action. If you want your audience to remember the speech as a funny one end with a joke.

Your words should clearly show that this is the end. There’s nothing more embarrassing than an audience who doesn’t know if to clap or not.

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How to Write a Speech : Speech Introduction Demo

Hearing a speech introduction demo helps one understand what makes a killer introduction. Write a great introduction to a speech with tips from public speaking professor Tracy Goodwin.

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Persuasive Speech Topics – How To Find Them

Writing a convincing speech can be fun yet very demanding. However ahead of writing your persuasive speech you have to choose your subject. Persuasive speech topics are usually more serious than other subjects. You have to think of something that has weight and where there’s more than one opinion on it.

Choosing the right topic isn’t as easy as it sounds. Whatever you choose greatly affects how your speech turns out. A wrong topic can actually backfire.

To prevent this from happening here are some tips on selecting great persuasive speech topics.

1) Watch the news.

It is very important to keep up with current events. Watching the news will give you an extensive range of topics to choose from. You will even get bonus points if you speak about something that is hot at the moment. So the next time you are eating dinner in front of the television why not switch to the news channel once in a while. Also when you’re online checking out Twitter’s trending topics can help you find the talk of the web.

2) Find your comfort zone.

When writing a persuasive speech choose a subject you feel comfortable with. After all, the words and the delivery of the speech is your duty. If you want to write about why vegetarianism is good for you but you eat lots of meat yourself you might miss out on some inportant aspects (and of course credibility).

3) Listen to other persuasive speeches.

One way you can find persuasive speech topics is to listen to other people trying to convince you of something. At the moment lots of people talk about gay marriage for example.

Once you’ve accomplished all three point you can write the persuasive speech that is best for you. Remember, whatever you choose will have a significant influence on your presentation. So, keep up with the news, find your comfort zone and get familiar with other pieces.

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Funeral Speeches – A Challenge During Hard Times

Funeral Speeches are probably the most challenging speeches of all. It is hard to capture the life of a person in a few paragraphs and a few minutes.
Did you see Michael Jackson‘s memorial service this week? One of the most touching moments was when Michael’s daughter Paris came up to the microphone. She didn’t say much. But what she said touched everyone in the audience.

Not everybody’s eulogy will be as short as Paris Jackson’s. But you should strive to include as much emotion as she did. Funeral speeches are meant to comfort the grieving families. They should bring the deceased to life for those who may not have known him or her well. They can include some surprises even for closer relatives but above all they should remind everyone of happy times with the deceased.

If a person lived a long and fulfilled life the funeral speech will not be the same as when a child dies or a young person is killed in a traffic accident. After all, what comfort can there be for the loss of a beloved child? What kind of funeral speech shoudl there be if the death was so sudden that everyone is in a state of shock? Such funeral speeches call out for imagination and full understanding of a terrible loss.

Funeral speeches must be sensitive to the feelings of everyone at the funeral. It is extremely important that you do not say anything to offend anyone or disrupt the ceremony.

Every funeral speech is different because every person is different and should be honored in an individual way. We are told only to speak well of the deceased. The main reason for that is not to upset the living. Nobody wants you to stand up in church and speak, however sympathetic, about alcoholism or debt. or Funeral speeches are after all a public declaration of personal and private feelings. But not matter how you feel, every eulogy should end on a positive note. Even non-believers need your assertion that a person will live on, even if they don’t believe in a paradise. Always remember that you cannot undo what you say in any speech. So whatever you say, especially with funeral speeches, say it kindly.

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