Public Relations Writing: Lesson #12 - p. 5

Speechwriting (continued)

Need ideas on a how to format a particular type of speech? One very good book on public speaking 1 has a handy system of organization for a number of types of speech, depending on the objectives of the speech. In The Presentations Kit, Claudyne Wilder identifies ten objectives for different kinds of speeches, with ten formats to match. For more tips from Ms. Wilder, check out the Wilder Presentations Web site.


Objective Format
Identify the problem
    Discover the real problem amidst many issues. Example: Identify problems due to rapid expansion.
  1. State what you want to have happening vs. what is actually happening
  2. Specify what things are happening that are the same
  3. Specify what things changed about the time the problem started
  4. Suggest the underlying problems
  5. Present potential solution(s)
  6. Suggest the next steps.
Present Strategy Recommendations
    Decide on the best strategy or strategies. Example: Choose best advertising strategy.
  1. State the objective
  2. State the present situation
  3. State the desired outcome
  4. State the potential strategies
  5. List the advantages and disadvantages of each stragegy
  6. Recommend one or more strategies and what to do next
Sell a product, service or idea
    Sell people on the benefits of a product, service or idea. Example: Sell boss on 4-day workweek in the summer.
  1. State the objective
  2. Determine and state the needs
  3. List the features
  4. List the appropriate benefits
  5. Specify the next steps
Recommend Decision Alternatives
    Present the best decision among several alternatives Example: Choose a computer system from among three vendors
  1. State the decision to be made
  2. List all the musts and wants
  3. Rate the importance of wants
  4. List the alternatives
  5. Eliminate alternatives not meeting the must criteria
  6. Compare the alternatives to see how much they satisfy the wants
  7. List any strong positive or negative consequences of each alternative
  8. Recommend one alternative and suggest steps for carrying it out.
Identify Potential Problems
    Identify potential problems and suggest preventive and/or contingent actions. Example: Identify what might go wrong with the computer installation.
  1. State the goal
  2. List anticipated issues that may block achieve the goal
  3. Rate the seriousness of the issues
  4. State preventive and/or contingent actions
  5. Identify a prime mover and deadlines
Teach Skills
    Train people in new skills. Example: Teach a new safety procedure.
  1. Give introduction
  2. State skill areas to be learned
  3. Explain areas using key points, examples, anecdotes, handouts, questions and exercises
  4. Summarize major lessons of the day
  5. Suggest the next steps in order for participants to apply the information
Share Information
    Share information of any kind. Example: Explain purchasing department's needs to the financing department.
  1. List information to be shared
  2. Explain the task
  3. Define the buzzwords and jargon words
  4. Relate to your listeners' interests
  5. Explain its significance to the organization's goals.
Communicate Bad News
    Make the best out of bad news Example: Tell people the tasks they are doing is no longer needed.
  1. Discuss the background
  2. State the bad news
  3. Present options to choose among
  4. Conclude reaffirming the options
  5. Guide audience into choosing most preferable option.
Report Progress
    Report on the progress of something, like a project or report. Example: Share the results of customer focus groups.
  1. Define the subject and the area
  2. List all the issues
  3. Categorize the issues
  4. Prioritize the issues
  5. Delineate the next action steps
General Format
    If none of the above apply, this will help you present information in an organized, logical manner. Example: any 10-minute informal meeting presentation.
  1. Open: State what talk is about
  2. Key Points: List the 3- 4 major points of the talk
  3. Details: Go over the points in detail
  4. Examples: share anecdotes, examples for clarity
  5. Close: Restate major points
  6. Next steps: Suggest actions to take

If you were making a short speech to talk how "From the Heart" should be an example to students everywhere, and might even be expanded into a national program on college campuses across America, what would your message be? What three points would you want to emphasize for an audience? Email me with your response. In the subject line of the email put PRW-Lesson 12. This is how I'm "taking attendance" for this class.

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