Jun 30 2016
The pen is mightier than the sword

By Susan Croft.  

Are you a speech writer? 

Speech writing can be a daunting prospect. However a well-written and well-delivered speech can be a forceful medium for promoting an organisation and highlighting its leaders as well as a powerful way to communicate messages. But a poorly planned and written speech can have the opposite effect, even delivered by the best speakers.

I am sure you have on occasion listened spellbound to a speaker who has their audience on the edge of their seats. What a wonderful experience it is to listen to a riveting speech or presentation which maintains our interest, challenges our thinking and sparks our curiosity – all too rare in most workplaces.

As Socrates famously said all that matters is ‘delivery, delivery, delivery’ and he was right – up to a point. But what also matters is the actual written speech, the words used in the presentation – the ideas conveyed, how the messages are crafted and the entire creativity of the spoken words. This is the job of the speech writer.

The job of the speech writer 

Speech writers in history and in current times have held revered positions in seats of power such as the White House, Number Ten Downing Street and the Kremlin. They are the people who craft the compelling messages that leaders want to convey to the general populace which you can learn from their examples. Having the ability to write a great speech or develop a really good presentation is a wonderful skill, whether you are writing it for your CEO, boss, senior partner, Chair, trustee or even yourself.

Using some of the oratory techniques used by President Obama, the late Steve Jobs, Tony Blair and others can help add drama and creativity to your writing. Ever hear of ‘ascending anaphora’ or ‘captatio benevolentiae ‘ or ‘praeteritio’ ? Let alone knowing how to spell them!

What next? 

If this blog has sparked your interest you should register for the Centre’s workshop: Writing Speeches: keynotes, presentations and special occasion addresses that will get your audience on the edge of their seats. See you there!

Susan Croft is an international trainer and public speaker. She runs highly interactive workshops which include debate, small group exercises and role playing. She likes to think of her classrooms as learning labs and believes that if people don't have fun, they don't learn very much. 

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