Posted by: Staff | 04.12.2010

The Art of Speech Writing

TYLER STARR ’10

Congratulations to all of you who want to run for a student government position. As you already may know, it takes a lot of courage to make a speech in front of a large audience. Despite how nervous you might be, having a great speech is very important for your chances at winning the race. So, how do you write a great speech? Here are a few do’s and don’ts for writing your next speech.

DO: Introduce yourself. Make sure near the beginning of your speech to clearly state what your name is and which position you are running for. If you can come up with a slogan that rhymes with your name, that will probably ensure that your name will be remembered.

DON’T: Talk about other people’s speeches. As funny as it is to make fun of last year’s speeches, how does that help you win this year’s election? Of course jokes are great (and should be found in your speech), but you should keep condescending jokes to a minimum.

DO: Focus on what you plan on doing in office. Examples are key! Be as specific as possible on how you are going to get students to attend more field hockey games. Every candidate wants to make Beaver better; what sets you apart is that your well thought out and clever ideas are original and the best.

DON’T: Talk about previous student government failures. Though you surely want to distance yourself from a lousy class president, criticizing them is not always the most respectful and useful way to say so. Focus on what you’re going to do that will be different than the previous government, and the audience will surely understand that you plan to improve in places where others lacked. Also, if you call out a previous candidate for his poor work, he and his friends probably will not vote for you.

DO: Practice your speech. If you try to wing it, you’re in serious trouble. For most of us, speaking in front of an audience, even your classmates, can be nerve racking. The more familiar you are with your speech, the easier it will be to stay calm and have fun during your delivery.

DON’T: Bore your audience to sleep. Even if you have the best ideas in the world, if you don’t engage the audience, how are you going to get your ideas across? One way to engross the audience is by making eye-contact. Also, try to be as entertaining as possible by varying your tone of voice. You can keep your audience awake with eye contact, jokes (make sure they are the funny kind!), and creative ideas.

DO: Use evidence. When you say, “I will be a great leader” or “I can handle the responsibility,” your audience will at first be convinced but usually will then want an explanation for why that is. It doesn’t matter how silly the reason, backing up statements about yourself are extremely important. If you say, “I can handle the responsibility,” proceed to talk about a time where you handled responsibility. For example, you can say something like, “I can handle the responsibility because I take very good care of my three dogs who I feed and walk every morning before school.”

DON’T: End your speech playing the sympathy card. Some people in the past ended their speeches by talking about how the election should not be a popularity contest. Of course, it is not a popularity contest, and if it becomes one, you wouldn’t have any control over it anyway. Proposing a popularity contest could actually backfire on you. Also, you shouldn’t end your speech by saying how you have never won an election before. That may make the audience consider why it was exactly that you never won.

So when you’re writing your next speech just remember: be creative, have fun, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

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Responses

  1. There’s a great of speech online written and read by Andrew “That’s not an Ogre, That’s just Kyle Boiler” Garcia.

    If you want to show it to a first date , here’s a link and it’s in pink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V97TmB4Dl2I&feature=PlayList&p=7FF97A4549E0C341&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=2


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