Do I really know how to write a speech? No. But I am doing it.
It has been 8 years since I have talked about anything other than general conversation in front of a group larger than a handful of people.
I met a local woman recently when she stopped at my house to promote her new business. We ended up hitting it off. Before we ended our hour-long conversation she asked if I would be interested in doing a couple of local speaking engagements. Gulp. I said yes.
As she walked away, she said, very nonchalantly, “Oh…I want you to talk about your entrepreneurship skills.”
Are you giggling with me? I cannot say entrepreneurship, much less discuss it.
I am doing the gig today.
I have been writing. I have been writing lists, lists of things that I need to get accomplished, like we talked about here and here. I’ll discuss that later…I am on a study, and your comments are part of it. The rest of the writing has been an outline of the speech.
I had no idea where to start. But the ink flowed. Now I feel compelled to share with you what I learned while speech writing:
- Determine what you are going to talk about.
- Make an initial outline.
- Copy greater details into your 2nd outline.
- Read the speech several times. Then, stand up and speak it. Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Do not read to your audience, speak.
- You can talk about yourself, your business, but keep it interesting.
- Turn your speech into a learning situation for the audience members. Give them something to think about, or something to learn from.
- Do not drone on. Throw in short sentences. Use expression.
- Thank the audience for their hospitality.
- Toss in something fun. Put something of interest in front of the audience for them to wonder about during your speech. For example, at the conclusion, I am going to throw out a few goat and soap related questions and give soap and lotion samples for participation.
Remember, it isn’t about making money, or any other self-gain, it is about the community knowing what you do. Knowing that you are there. It is what they get from you, not what you get from them!
Wish me luck. Am I nervous? For some reason, no.
This is a lot different from my career when I taught the departmental technical procedures. It is a lot different from writing manuals. It is a lot different from attending corporate meetings.
I have never actually done this beofre.
But I can do it, sure I can!
By the way…I need all of the prayers I can get. Tee hee!