Let Your Speeches Breathe

I often talk about how important preparation is, and how you don’t want to “wing it” when giving a speech. And I believe great writing is a crucial first step to delivering an outstanding speech. That said, in the preparation phase you want to be careful that you don’t write too much.

In fact, you should write less content than you’ll actually need. For example, if you have to give a ten minute speech, write nine minutes worth of content. Because when you deliver your speech live, it will run long. Trust me, I speak from experience.

No matter how many times you rehearse, your speech almost always ends up taking longer when you do it for real. Whether it’s nerves, holding for applause, losing your place for a moment, ad-libbing, or just soaking in the ambiance of a live audience, the timeline usually shifts.

If your speech can be as long as you’d like this may not be a problem. But, if your speech can’t be longer than a specified time you may find yourself rushing towards the end to fit it all in. And that compromises your storytelling – which you don’t want to do. You’ll leave crucial stuff out, you’ll talk too fast, or you won’t nail an important point. Essentially, you’ll do all this great work building up to your conclusion, but when you get there, your big finish will fall flat. And that’s a bummer for you and your audience.

So, write less content and take your time delivering it. That will make for a much better experience.

To chat more about writing and delivering a great speech, contact me for a free consultation.

Have a great day!