When I first start working with my peeps, the rebels that want to learn how to write a good speech, they often start from the same place. Their focus is internal or on “I”—What should I speak about? What should I share about MY experiences?
I want you to throw this in the dumpster, along with just about everything else you assumed you knew about how to write a good speech! I want you to write a good speech that’s an asset for your business, and you will do that if you follow these 6 steps.
1. Start with what your audience wants and needs
Believe me. I’ve been there. You sit down at your laptop to type your next fabulous speech and that damn cursor just mocks you, blinking, “when you gonna move me? Na-na na-na boo-boo.” Ugh! The first step is the most difficult.
But, when that first step is to THINK and start with a plan, it makes overcoming procrastination so much easier. Start by answering these questions:
- Who is your audience?
- What are their problems?
- How can you transform their problem?
- What is your audience’s starting point? What do they already know about you and your topic when they walk into the room?
2. What do you want to give your audience?
If your answer is you want them to buy your shit, then Do Not Pass Go (please start over at Step 1). And, Do Not Collect $200, because you will never get paid to speak if this is your strategy. “I was so moved by you telling me to buy your stuff, here’s my credit card!” said no audience member ever. It’s about your AUDIENCE. How can you be a giver?
This sage advice from smarty-pants, Simon Sinek sums it up so well, “Even at a distance on stage, we can tell if you’re a giver or a taker, and people are more likely to trust a giver — a speaker that gives them value, that teaches them something new, that inspires them — than a taker.”
3. Give one thing (a concrete transformation)
I know you’re generous. And brilliant. And you can give your audience so many things. But your audience will only remember ONE idea. For real; I am not pulling your leg, sister. So get clear on the ONE big idea for your presentation.
Every story you tell, every sentence you create, every breath you take (I’ll be watching you), relates directly back to that big idea. When you write a speech that gives the audience a concrete transformation, you’ve provided them with value.
This is where buy-in happens. And when the audience gets a small win, they get addicted to the change you provide and will keep coming back for more because you gave them value. Buy-in now leads to more buys in the future!
4. Change your perspective
I beg you to broaden your perspective and see your speech as an asset to your business. This is the secret mindset I uncovered thanks to my friend Tara Gentile that separates successful speakers from the pack of wannabes.
When I listened to the way she talked about her speech, I realized she saw her speech as a product. If created correctly, you too can craft a speech that is a product that you can sell over and over again to people who book speakers. Take the same approach to writing your speech as you would to designing any product or service for your business. A speech is not just a speech – it’s your next best-selling product.
5. Draft your speech (but how?)
Now that you have a plan — you know the starting point, the destination, the one idea and the proper mindset shift that you are creating in your next best-selling product – you can draft your speech.
Should you write it word-for-word, outline it, record your thoughts and then transcribe them, Post-it notes, or something else entirely?
The best way to write a good speech is the way that works best for you. There is no best way for everybody, so experiment with different techniques to find the one that works best for you.
6. Review your speech (and get feedback)
Once you’ve given your draft a once over (or hundreds), it’s time to get an outside perspective. You’re too close to your own ideas and don’t have the mind of a beginner.
I strongly urge you to hire someone to help you craft this talk. Your significant other or anyone who might know the ins and outs of what you do and how you do it won’t be able to give objective suggestions. Check out this list of additional resources that can support you as you refine your draft.
Writing a speech that is your next best-selling product is no easy task, but when you nail your signature talk, you will realize an incredible return on your investment.
To take the fastest path to develop and refine your signature talk, contact me to learn about the Speak for Impact program. It’s my 1:1 signature offering to write a speech that’s an asset to your business and gets you booked out as a speaker.