Speeches are intended to entertain as much as to inform. Speeches can be designed to persuade audiences, provide clear direction and vision make major announcements, or educate their audiences. The most memorable speeches will be peppered with humour and short stories that drive their points home. They are almost always time limited. Writing a good short speech is always more difficult than writing a good long speech. Short speeches need to be crafted with far more care.
Each speech needs to be tailored to the occasion, the message, and the speaker. Speeches enjoy far more variance than any other form of business communication. Speeches are public “documents.” They should never be considered private or confidential.
Speeches provide opportunities for leaders to make pithy statements that are not only memorable, but provide guidance for a community for years to come.
Good speeches tell stories. They take their listeners through a train of consciousness. They lead them on journeys from what they already know to new insights or perspectives. They change people’s thinking and, by doing so, change their behaviours.
“Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Good speeches are filled with facts that can be easily verified with credible, readily available sources. The facts lend substance to the speech that speculation never can.
Writing good speeches is probably one of the most difficult pieces of business writing business leaders will face because they will prove pivotal to the speakers’ careers and the destiny of their organizations.