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Blog: Born to Write 

Writing Tip: Crafting a Speech

My Dad is a retired marketing executive at General Electric, and he used to tell me that a good speech is constructed of three parts: "First, tell the audience what you're going to say. Second, say it. Third, tell them what you just said." When he gave me this advice for the first time, I was perhaps fourteen years old and thought it was the goofiest thing I ever heard. Translating it from Army-speak or whatever it was, I realized he meant that every speech has a beginning, middle and end. The rest is called rambling. If Dad's mantra doesn't work for you, try it this way: "I'm here tonight to speak about...." Then, tell the story. Then re-cap with, "And that's why I'm here tonight. Thank you very much for hearing what I have to say about...." This is a great organizational tool. I return to it when I'm working on a speech and I realize I'm all over the map, or I'm trying to make too many points. Just another example of "Father knows best." Thanks, Dad.