The Message Planner is a perfect tool for speechwriting, because speeches that work convey just one main idea. That would be your message. In order to convey that idea, speeches need to make a few supporting points, in the most persuasive order. Sound familiar?
In other words, speeches use the same organizational principle as other PR writings. Like a good press release, a good speech will
This is another way of saying what has often been said about public speaking --
You're supposed to
I always write a speech in stages:
In any major PR campaign, I usually include at least one speech. This becomes what they call in politics, the "stump speech" -- the speech that the candidate delivers at each stop, when he or she gets up on a stump to address the crowd in each new town. I write the speech even before there are any plans to make a speech, because I know that speeches have other uses.
A good speech is the essence of an op-ed article, for example. It can be translated into a white paper or position paper, with little difficulty. As "bullet points," a speech becomes a good set of talking points for other spokespeople involved in the PR campaign. It is adapted easily into a newsletter article, or direct mail piece.
A good speech is the basis of a good planning memo or position paper. Since both a speech and a position paper are "children" of the Message Planner, they tend to resemble one another in style and emphasis. Actually, this can work in either direction -- position papers are easily converted into speeches, and vice versa. In some situations, it is easier to start with a speech, since speeches tend to require collaboration and the process creates consensus.
The reason a speech translates so well is that, since it is written to be spoken, it has an easy flow that adapts to any purpose. It is far easier to translate a speech into an op-ed article, than vice versa. As you know from earlier lessons, I always read my copy out loud, so in a sense I am always "speechwriting." Writing a speech is like all my other writing, only moreso.
But -- now that I've made these points about speechwriting, I have an even more important point to make about speechreading -- don't! Never -- well almost never -- should you read your speech. No matter how fluid it is, a speech that you read is not effective communication.
Instead, deliver the speech from bullet points, following the outline of the speech but not word-for-word. There are only occasional moments in a speech where the words you deliver should exactly match the words on the text that you give to the media.
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