Don’t just speak it, write it down

Image: doctor_bob (morgueFile)

Sometimes the hardest part of giving a speech is writing it.  For me writing a speech is very much an iterative process.

I quickly write a first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact it’s usually far from perfect, the important part is getting something down on paper.

Once that’s done I type it up on the computer, and print it out.

This is where it gets fun.

I find myself working better not with computers but with simple pen and paper. With a printed version of the speech I can quickly see what words and phrases I can change or improve, look at ideas that seemed inspired as I was writing the first draft and see if they fit in with the overall flow of the text. and most importantly make sure that there is a clear message running through the whole speech. Soon the paper is filled with notes and corrections, so I type up a new version,  print it out and start the whole process again.

As I work through each version of the speech, I taste the words,  I speak them out loud. I find this very important because sometimes the written word has a different flow to the spoken word. Where in a book a long flowing sentence can be a joy filled with texture and vividness, the same sentence spoken out loud could be the worst tongue twister imaginable.

The advantage of writing a speech this way is that there is no pressure to write the perfect speech first time, it evolves into the best spoken vehicle for your message, the only requirement is time.

Don’t just speak it, write it down.