6 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech (on Any Topic)

Adam Frankel, a former speechwriter for President Obama, offers six short tips that anyone preparing to give a persuasive speech ought to hear in an article for Time.

Time to Talk

One of the biggest unofficial rules of speechwriting is to write like you speak. You need to sound natural and coherent, and long sentences with huge words might not be the way to do that; practice aloud what you write as you write it. Another important thing to do is tell a story, the story of where the idea you are persuading came from and how the idea will be useful to people. The best stories stick with people longer than facts and figures. And to tell a good story, you need to carefully consider the logical order of the points you have to make in the speech. Really scrutinize and ensure that your structure of points makes the clearest case possible. Furthermore, you of course want to be concise. Frankel challenges you to remove as many words as possible from your sentences while retaining their intended meaning. And while you are at it, be authentic too. If you find yourself getting bogged down in technical phrasing, simplify your thinking and just consider what it is you really need to get off your chest. Frankel’s final tip is that, when you go to speak, you do so with conviction and make sure it aligns with good values. Hitler was a great orator, but he was a jerk, to put it lightly, so nobody talks about his speeches. Speak from a place of virtue.

You can read the full article here:

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