How to write a great speech: start at the end

Updated: Mar 1

How to write a great speech:

A new speech can be daunting for any speaker. What do I talk about? Will my speech make sense? Where do I even start? Steven Covey had great advice, “Begin with the end in mind.” Too often, people try to start at the beginning and write from there like a paper from college. But, you need a goal to figure out where you are going. Just like planning a trip, you need to know your destination. It might be fun to just drive anywhere but you’ll end up wasting gas and time if you need to be somewhere by a certain date. If you want to know how to write a great speech, start at the end.

So where to begin when trying to figure out how to write a great speech?

Imagine that the audience will only remember one sentence from your entire speech. What would it be? What is the most important thing you want your audience to take away from your speech? Write this answer down in only one sentence.

You want to start with the end in mind. If you know the goal of your speech then writing the rest of it with that goal in mind will be easier.

Once you have your “one true sentence,” build the rest of the speech in support of it. Use the one sentence to develop the theme of your speech; repeat the sentence or variations of it throughout your speech.

You will struggle with the exercise and that is a good thing.

This is the first moment when you finally figure out what you want to say.

It’s the goal, the end in mind, that will help your entire speech come together. once you have your destination, the map will draw itself.

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

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