Have you ever tried to give a speech? Well, unless you are a well-known public writer, the entire process may consume a good chunk of your time. Here, being prepared is the greatest rule. Avoid just writing a dull speech that doesn’t capture the emotions and needs of the public. Write a persuasive speech that will live throughout the minds of many generations.
By now, you might have heard the all-too-famous Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln. Well, he is not just one of the greatest United States presidents but also one top-notch speech writer. But it’s not so hard to be like Lincoln. Here, we have come up with some key tips that we could all use to become like him when it comes to how to write a persuasive speech.
1. Make It Short
Each year, Congress is forced to listen to the Presidential speech through the State of the Union Address. It takes over an hour! Do you remember any of these speeches? Can they last the test of time?
What you may fail to know is that after Lincoln’s speech in Gettysburg, Edward Everett delivered a close to two-hour oration that was around 13,607 words. So, which speech do we still sing as we fight for democracy and equality? While Lincoln’s speech was not long, it captured the key ideas and emotions within only minutes. Surprisingly, Lincoln’s speech took only two minutes and ten sentences to win the hearts of the people, and only 272 words!
2. Ignore the Formalities
While it’s good for the President to acknowledge the dignitaries and state visitors present, it doesn’t always work for other speakers. Once they make this mistake, they end up losing their audience. Stick to the key issue and the people will give you all their attention.
3. Define Your Purpose
Giving a speech goes far beyond talking to showcase your voice or impeccable organization. Instead, always remember to deliver a clear and actionable message. Commit your audience to action!
For instance, Lincoln activated the Union’s resolve and purpose to win the great war of Freedom. Hence, your speech should give real ideas to your audience you can put into action.
4. Capture the Emotion and Heart of Your Audience
Speech is not just a simple argument or something that just acknowledges events and facts. The primary purpose of expression is to connect with the hearts of your audience. Speak to their emotions and charm them with a promise or hope. It should not shy away from talking about the key issues affecting your target group. While providing ideas, it should also console and excite their hearts!
5. Talk to Your Larger Audience
Writing a short speech should not only communicate with those around you. While you must understand your immediate audience, your speech should talk to people from different works of life. A real short written statement created a ‘ripple effect’ across all corners of the nation and was recited in every public forum. Steve Jobs is a fantastic example of someone who uses his speeches to communicate to the whole world.
How will your speech affect your larger audience? Simply, have a clear message to deliver. Nowadays, the growth of the internet provides a fast platform to spread your message!
6. Imagery Is Important
Lincoln used different forms of representation during the Gettysburg Address. You’ll find phrases such as “Brought forth” “conceived” and “perish.” Using far more than just bland words is essential. Instead, try to create a picture inside people’s minds by using only your words. Use imagery to symbolize your central theme.
7. Make Use of Historical Phrases
A short speech should also provide your audience with reference points. The simplest way to do this is by using phrases from famous speakers. Of course, they should have a direct connection to the central message. Use famous lines from the Bible, poetry, Shakespeare and also from books. If the quotes are famous with the target group, then they will probably be met with acceptance and praise.
8. Revision Is The Key!
Once you’ve written your speech, the process doesn’t end there. Constant change is essential to making a short speech spectacular. Remove the unnecessary content by defining the main idea. Also, ensure proper flow of words and carefully develop sentence phrases and imagery.
9. End on a High Note
Lincoln completed his address with one famous line that still rings through the ears of the public. “A Government of the people, by the people and for the people, they shall not perish from the earth.” Finish with a line that people will understand and remember forever. Other than the opening, it’s the other most famous line.
Preparing Your Speech In 15 Minutes
If you follow the steps outlined above then you are more than on your way. To be able to get this done quickly you can’t overthink it. Here’s how to practically write your persuasive speech quickly.
- Spend a few minutes brainstorming your ideas. Spend 2-3 minutes quickly jotting down key points, anecdotes, or examples that support your topic and goal. Don’t worry about organizing them yet.
- Outline your speech: Arrange your ideas into a simple, logical structure with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Spend 5 minutes creating a bullet-point outline of your speech.
- Write your speech: Spend 5-7 minutes turning your outline into a full speech. Write in short, simple sentences, and use clear language to convey your message. Avoid jargon and complex terminology.
- Rehearse and edit: Spend the remaining time briefly rehearsing your speech, paying attention to pacing, tone, and clarity. Edit any awkward phrasings or unclear sections as you go.
- Prepare for delivery: If possible, write down or print your speech so you can reference it during your presentation. Practice deep breathing and focus on speaking confidently and clearly.
Remember, with only 15 minutes to write your speech, it’s crucial to work quickly and efficiently. Stay focused, keep your message simple, and prioritize clarity over perfection.
Your Audience Is A Key Player
When you know how to write a persuasive speech, it can be done quickly. It is not so hard right? All it requires is some basic techniques. Often, we tend to think and say too much. Eventually, we move away from the message. Remember that your audience is the key player in making a short speech sound great!