Writers Write creates writing resources and shares writing tips. In this post, we share our speechwriter’s checklist to help you write a speech.
I am finishing my series of five posts about speech writing today. I have written about what your audience wants from a speech, how to write a speech, how to deliver a speech, examples of brilliant speeches and why they work, and today, I’m including a checklist to tie it all together.
If you are writing an important speech, I suggest you answer all of these in detail. If it is less important, concentrate on the questions from the middle – The Structure of the Speech.
The Speechwriter’s Checklist – 25 Questions Speechwriters Need To Answer
Overall – Part One
- Have you written a speech that will leave your audience with the emotion you needed to convey? (From What People Expect From a Speech)
- Have you kept it simple?
- Have you checked the length?
- Have you written the right speech for the speaker?
- Have you stuck to the classic structure of a good speech?
- This is the problem
- This is what we will do to fix it
- Have you read it aloud? (From Delivering The Speech)
- Have you marked up the script? (From Delivering The Speech)
- Have you included the seven techniques that make us remember speeches? (From 12 Lessons Writers Can Learn From Famous Speeches)
The Structure Of The Speech
- Have you removed unnecessary thanks and trivialities?
- Have you told the audience what you are going to tell them? This is known as the problem from Question 5 above.
- Have you introduced your topic in a maximum of two sentences?
- Have you engaged the audience by asking a question or getting them to do something?
- Have you included the five Ws and one H about the topic: who, what, where, when, why, and how?
- Have you stuck to a linear timeline without getting sidetracked?
- Have you avoided the abstract and stuck with specifics?
- Have you included one or two statistics (do not include more) to support your topic?
- Have you included one quotation that helps your speaker make a point?
- Have you told the audience how you are going to fix the problem?
- Have you reminded the audience what you have told them?
- Have you offered a solution or suggested a way forward?
- Have you ended your speech on a positive note? Use a short quotation here if it works.
Overall – Part Two
- Does your speech sound convincing?
- Have you made your readers think?
- Have you touched the hearts of your readers?
- Is it enough to change their minds or get them to do something?
If you need to write speeches, you should attend this course: Can I Change Your Mind?