Monday, February 16, 2009

Speech Writing - 3rd Production

Knowing and connecting with your audience is key when it comes to public speaking.

If you are, for example, speaking in New York, and want to emotionally sway your audience in regards to increased security for terrorism, you might BRIEFLY mention 9/11, and talk about how something similar must never happen again. And I say briefly because 9/11, like any other terrorist attack, religious reference, abortion opinion, or other, creates a lot of emotion in people. Some people lost relatives due to the 9/11 attack, so be careful. The last thing you want to do is smile while talking about 9/11, because your approval rates will sink faster than the Titanic.

You could, arguably, use that point anywhere: L.A., Texas, Rhode Island, wherever. But if you want to speak to New Yorkers personally, you need a little more connection that is related directly to them. If you're in L.A., for example, you might want to talk about rising crime rates, or changing the political system there so it works more efficiently.

Those points are all good, you might say, but how would I apply them in everyday life? I mean, this is the 'youth voice,' or 'voice of the youth;' it's not like I'm traveling cross-states here daily!

And you're right (if that's what you're thinking-I tried to create a hypothetical concern there). You probably aren't, and you're probably just looking for tips on how to present an excellent speech, presentation, or other.

So let's take it down a few levels. If you're presenting in a competitive environment, where everyone's speech is mostly the same, but good in the eye of the teacher, your job should be to STAND out. If you're doing a speech where you're trying to gather student's support on running a social activity for the whole school, or something similar, try connecting with them.

"Ladies and gentlemen, students and teachers. I am standing here today with little words that are of much complexity, of little complexity in my speech. I look at my competitors, Ryan, Joshua, and Meg (COMPARE yourself to them. LET THEM see that there might be something new to you that the others did not, and could not, bring to the table.), as I think about their speeches.

They were excellent; they were truly superb and accurate in almost every sense. (Be respectful; your audience may not be in your favor yet, and audiences always like respectful speakers.) Except for ONE. (Draw EMPHASIS-show that you care about that one little detail, and that it is significant for your audience and pivotal that they know it.) They did not talk about how it will help you. They did not talk about how you are important, or how it is you, Ren, or you, Compton, or you, Elisa (point/look at them, let them know that they are INDIVIDUALLY being talked to, and that you're not just an uncaring professional face.), that eventually writes their name in support of this activity.

They did not address the fact that this election is not about choosing leads for the social activity, but this election is about you. You as a people that write our names in favor, that have to see beyond personal emotions and friendly connections, but in the long shot of looking for who WILL SERVE THEM BEST. (Emphasize, lay your points out--use hand motions if it helps.)

You electing me as your leader is more than an honor, more than a personal moral booster, but a significant sign that represents the student body. A sign that...."

And you can continue from there. But the audience, in all reality, unless you're talking directly to teachers, politicians, or people who are actually practiced in the area of speech making, and know when you could be/are bluffing, they don't really care.

The biggest challenge for people who are trying to win their audience's favor is connecting with undecided voters. Professionally speaking, your competition could just as easily smother you over with a few 9/11 references and fancy words. Undecided voters in any sense, especially politically, are dangerous. But they could also be highly effective.

Thanks once again for reading this week's blog, and hope to see you next week!

-Fresh Writing


  1. Very good work, Fresh. You should post more articles, though.

  2. hi
    nice work,i was shy as a teenager,i never cud get any kind of guidance from anybody..those who were worthy were dominated by the expert of all(i mean the competitors in school)so the aspiring speakers never got the happy and glad that people like you are putting efforts to make things easier for the kids

  3. Thank you for the compliment! I'm doing my best...:)

    I just need to find some people that actually NEED or WANT the help- then I'll really be in business. :)

    Thanks for commenting!

    -Fresh Writing