This is the single most important speechwriting tip ever.
There are many tips and tricks to delivering a good speech. But this is the most important secret to writing and delivering good or even great speeches and it is the one thing that most people never do.
If you have to give a speech or a presentation, I bet you that the date is in your diary. That’s a good start. But there are two other dates that should also be in your diary.
The first is an hour to write your speech. Sketch it first then write it out in full. You won’t be able to do more than that in an hour but it is a great start. An hour is not very long to write a speech but if you spend at least one full hour writing before you deliver the speech you will catapult yourself ahead of most of the competition who haven’t taken the time. Obama’s speechwriters (note – plural) take month’s to write a State of the Union speech.
The second date for your diary is an hour practising your delivery. David Cameron spent days practising the delivery of his conference speech that turned him from young pretender into Conservative Party Leader and then Prime Minister. Practice makes better, it identifies wobbles and weird and uncomfortable to pronounce words and it helps you calm your nerves and speak with notes.