Writing a speech and producing an essay have much in common, of course, because the one is merely a spoken form of the other, but keep in mind the unique features that distinguish a presentation delivered with your voice and one that others read. Plan your speech according to the occasion, considering the event, the audience, the tone of the speech (somber, serious, informal, humorous, and so on), and its duration. Identify the message or theme of the speech, and how you will approach it. Craft an effective opening that gets your audience’s attention, employing an anecdote, a joke, a quotation, or a thought-provoking question or assertion. Revise the draft as necessary based on the feedback. Though rehearsing for the speech itself is outside the purview of this post, practice reading the speech aloud to produce a final version that accounts for how it sounds as opposed to how it reads.
You should be able to express your introduction in about thirty seconds or less. Outline a handful of points to cover, just as you would when writing a persuasive or informative essay; after all, again, a speech is a spoken essay. Organize the points so that they support and build on each other, and add or omit points as necessary to support your overall message or theme and to fit into your time limit.
Just as you began strongly, be sure to conclude your speech effectively by summarizing your points and finishing up with an additional question or comment for your listeners to take with them. Write the speech out in full, and then evaluate it, working through as many drafts as necessary until you have honed and refined it to a crisp, clear, compelling speech. When you are satisfied with the final draft, ask a couple of people to review it for you and suggest any material in it that may not be appropriate for the occasion, any flaws in organization or clarity of thought, any problems with grammar or usage, and anything that is not necessary or is missing.
It is not a guide on how to turn your MP into a renowned orator.
This is simply a guide to researching a speech and putting it together in a way that is suitable for your MP.
Check it again against your basic criteria (timing, forms of address etc.). Layout It needs to be easily read, so be prepared to write in very large text and with a paragraph break between each sentence.
Page breaks should go at the end of each paragraph and always number the pages in case the sheets are dropped at the last minute.
Collate the sheets with a paperclip – not with a stapler.
Final warning You won’t always have much notice before writing a speech.
I once had three hours to write a 7 minute speech on the Railways and Transport Safety Bill – a subject on which I knew very little.
By the time the speech was finished, my Member was in her seat in the Chamber and a doorkeeper had to deliver it to her.
It is good to get the adrenaline pumping once in a while. Writing a speech for Conference Here are some handy hints to writing speeches for your MP if he or she is taking to the rostrum at the Party Conference – or anywhere else for that matter.
A great speech at Conference can have a long lasting impact, as well as being a fantastic boost to your boss’s confidence, especially if it’s their first time.
But of course a bad speech can be plain embarrassing, and will be remembered – and dredged up – for years to come.
Some people can take to the stage with an idea of what they want to say and engineer an eloquent speech on the spot, although few can match the senior politicians who are able to deliver an impressive twenty minute speech with neither notes nor autocue.
Your Member will have views on how they want a speech prepared.
Some will want bullet points, some will want statistics and some will want a speech in full.
Preparing the ground When you are writing a speech for your MP, the first thing to do is to gather together as much information as possible on the subject. When you have all this information, sift through it to get only the most relevant parts to include in the finished product.
If there is an interested body prepared to help, don’t be shy about asking them to write the first draft of the speech.
But never hand over that draft without adapting it to your Member’s priorities and idiosyncrasies.
The best way to learn these conventions is to attend debates, watch them on television and read them in Hansard.
Some examples of Parliamentary Language So now, start writing.
Try to write in the same style as your MP’s past speeches.
Start off by introducing the subject (although it may be that you can assume some prior knowledge in your audience).
The middle of the speech should explain your point of view, using the information obtained earlier.
When summing up, you should briefly restate your arguments and leave your audience with one lasting image in their minds.
Remember that the conclusion is the one part of the speech that everybody will carry away with them: make it memorable, and make sure that the audience understand the main theme of the speech.
Finalising the speech After writing the speech, read through again and again.
A first draft always tends to be longer than the finished article, so don’t be afraid to gut the speech.
Finally, read it aloud to yourself: what would you think if you heard it? If you would be, the chances are that the audience will be.
The aim of the speech Then think of the aim of the speech: whom are you trying to persuade? Think about your use of the information you have recovered: will you seek to persuade the audience with a fact-based speech?
Or will you try to persuade them through lofty rhetoric?
Other things that you should find out: how should you address the audience (‘My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen’ or ‘Dear friends of Ray Lodge Primary School’)? Will there be a supplementary speech, responding to another speaker? If it is a speech in Parliament, what is the one line that encapsulates the message that you will send the media as a quote from the speech?