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Speech Writing Tips: “I Agreed to Speak, Now What?”

By: Deb Bixler

 

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I recently got an email with the subject line “I have agreed to speak at an event, now what?”

 
Congratulations, Anna!
 
Becoming a free public speaker for lead generation is an awesome way to find business! It will really pay off!
 
Below are some speech-writing tips but the best tip I can give you is don’t write a speech. Make a plan for the open and the close, then wing it!
 
Writing a Speech
 
When doing a speaking event, the shorter ones are harder. Regardless of how long it is, the format for planning your event is the same.
 
When you market yourself as a public speaker to groups and clubs, you will find that the topics become routine.
 
Generally, you would only need 2-3 topics in your repertoire, but don’t figure out what you will say until you have the job. If you do not know your topics, then read this article on how to get started in public speaking.
To Answer Anna’s Question: Speech Writing 101
 
Once you have figured out your topic and length of time for the event, the process of “writing a speech” is relatively simple.
 
Anna did say that her event was to be only 15 minutes…Shorter events are harder.
 
For a short speech:
 
  • Decide your one takeaway message or point.
  • Write your open to include your story (a minute or so at most).
  • Bullet-point your body.
  • Write your close to include a prize drawing and giveaway.
 

Do not write the body of your talk.
 
Script your open and script your close so that you are sure to share your marketing message and bio. It should include some content that will create desire for more but not be too sales-ey.
 
Make sure the close includes a call to action for more of what you have to offer. Practice your open and close out loud before the event so you have it down pat. Then work from the bullet points during the body of the program.
 
If your speech is longer, you may have a takeaway message for every 15 minutes of talk time, each with a couple of bullet points as reminders under it.
 
Speech Writing Tips
 
  • Use props, hands-on, or write/draw on an easel if possible to engage them more
  • Move around
  • Tell stories
  • Don’t stand behind a podium; relax and have fun!
  • Get there early and network with the arrivals
  • Network after the speaking too
 
You are NOT there to provide a home party or be a sales person. You MUST add value to the audience and create relationships.
 
Remember the #1 tip of all of the speech writing tips is to NOT write the speech!
 
You ARE an expert on your topic, so you do not need to script out the whole speech, just the bullet points to work from.
 
Speaking gets easier! Just use your first speaking gig as a learning experience. Don’t overthink it, and have FUN!
 
This article was originally published by Home Party Plan Training Center
Published: March 20, 2014
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Deb Bixler

Direct sales party plan educator, Deb Bixler, host of the Cash Flow Show - Direct Sales Radio is the leading authority for home party plan business training. Recognized worldwide, Deb provides corporate consultancy, party plan coaching, online and live training events as well as social media management for the home business consultant.

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