There have been countless bad speeches made in the history of public speaking – for every Gettysburg Address, there are a million snooze-inducing orations that no one wants to relive. We won’t even get into how the delivery of a speech can destroy a well-written piece (we’ll cover that minefield later!). What’s the no. 1 thing you can do to improve your speechwriting? Read.
Yep, that’s right. Read. I know, it takes time, and you never have enough time, there’s too much to do, yada yada.
Guess what? Good speechwriting takes time. Your mom was right – you’ll get out of anything exactly what you put into it. Take the time to prepare properly, and the investment will pay off – your speech will achieve the results you want.
So go read everything you can – you never know what will inspire you, what nugget you’ll find in a children’s book or a sports magazine or a good old novel that will help you lift your speech beyond the ordinary. Start with these – courtesy of The Guardian, here are some of the 20th century’s greatest speeches, and they’re brilliant examples of the sheer power well-written words can have. Enjoy – and if you have other examples of inspiring reading for speechwriters, do tell!