HOW TO WRITE AND DELIVER A FREAKING AMAZING SPEECH IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS
To Script Or Not To Script
I have had more than one person tell me that they don’t like to prepare a speech, they’d rather just wing it. When I hear that I immediately think that they are over-confident , amateurish, and getting ready to crash and burn. More importantly, I believe that they are missing a huge opportunity to connect with their audience. You may get lucky in front of a group of friends from time to time by delivering off the cuff, but 9 times out of 10 you will suck! John Wooden’s line “ the failure to prepare is preparing to fail” is absolute gospel when creating and delivering a freaking amazing speech. I am a huge propent of scripting. This is where some people disagree with me so read what I have to say and decide for yourself. Scripting your comments will allow you to craft exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it. You may say “Patrick, I don’t want to come across as scripted”. Great point! Then don’t read your speech! There is nothing worse than someone who reads a speech from behind a lectern. I was having a conversation with a fellow professional speaker named Warren Greshes. Warren teaches selling skills and we were talking about how to engage clients on the phone. Warren said “Patrick, give me the first line of your phone pitch”. I told him that I didn’t have a first line. “Why not?” he asked. I told him that I didn’t want to sound scripted. He then asked me if I had ever been to a Broadway show in New York city. I told him that I had seen a couple of shows on a recent visit and He said “Patrick, did the actors do a good job?” “Of course Warren, they are the best”, “Did they sound scripted?” “Of course not”. “Patrick, do you think that Broadway actors wing it or do you think that they work from a script?”. I said that they work from a script. “Why don’t they sound scripted?…BECAUSE THEY PRACTICE !” Most amateur speakers script out their speech, but they go no further. When they get up in front of the room, it is obvious that they are reading a speech. When I deliver a speech, you will hear many of the same stories. I have practiced these stories so many times that even the inflections on certain words are the same from speech to speech. After you script your remarks…PRACTICE! The key here is not to just memorize words, but learn your speech. There is a difference. Once you learn your stories, then you will have the confidence that makes a good speaker a great one, and if you veer off script, you can find your way back. Former Auburn football coach Pat Dye used to say “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”. I realize that this is a Vince Lombardi quote but my blood runs orange and blue so as far as I’m concerned it’s a Pat Dye quote. PRACTICE!!!
· SCRIPT FIRST
· LEARN WORDS
· PRACTICE DELIVERY
TALKING TIP: DON’T BRING UP A SCRIPT OF YOUR SPEECH TO THE STAGE. IF YOU NEED NOTES, USE BULLET POINTS AND KEYWORDS TO REMIND YOU OF WHAT COMES NEXT. BY THE WAY, 90% OF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PODIUM AND A LECTERN. YOU STAND ON A PODIUM AND SPEAK FROM BEHIND A LECTERN.