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What Questions Should You Ask Before Writing a Speech?

Here’s a really useful post from Dr Nick Morgan at Public Words, a well written and beautifully presented blog on err.. the kinds of words you say in public-

Nick Morgan, Public Words: What Questions Should You Ask to Prepare a Speech?.

A great and comprehensive list with a simple of addition from me, particularly relevant if you’re speaking as a part of a longer event or day of presentations.

If you’re part of that day, I think that it’s courteous and clever to ask the organisers  (or the separate speakers) what the content covered before and after your speech will be, with key thoughts and themes too.  Then you can link back and forward to other speakers and their subjects by name and show that you’re ‘in sync’ with the whole event, and not just concerned with your 30 minutes of stage time.

Some colleagues are unwilling to share, and some are offended if you ask, but most see the sense, so it’s worth persevering.  I followed a famous ‘stand-up comedian’ at a big corporate event in London last year, and he refused point-blank to share what he’d be saying.   What could I do? I turned up early enough to see his ‘act’ and fitted in what I wanted to say around what he’d already said.  He was ungracious all through, but I was better able to do a great job for the clients (who also saw how selfish he’d been and helped me prepare without him anyway) and the audience in words and writing noticed the links.

Basic professionalism and politesse will, nearly always show, and help you to stand out from the vast majority of the other speakers around you.  Good luck.

This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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  1. Pingback: You’re always pitching when you’re presenting- Jan Schultink’s pitfalls in IPO presentations

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