Important rules of speech writing and presenting

A couple of days ago I've taught one of my students. He is a barrister and presents his speeches in Courts. He is highly intelligent and eloquent. English is his native language. When we started working on one of his speeches, we had to cut some words, put stresses and liaisons. My student was surprised how simple rules that I taught him changed the quality of his speech. He said he never heard of these rules. He encouraged me to write a blog about rules of speech writing and presenting.

Bellow is the list of main rules of speech writing and presenting:

1. Never start a sentence with a preposition "and". 

2. Stress the most important words that contain the meaning and the essence of a sentence. As a rule we stress numbers, names, strong words like "never", "not".

3. Write short sentences and use short punchy words. There is a difference between a written and a spoken word. It' is fine to use long sentences if you write a PhD thesis or a scientific article for a magazine because readers can read it several times if needed. But if you speak in long sentences, then your listeners might feel lost in words and lose the plot. Thus you might fail to deliver your message. Very often when I help to prepare speeches I often cut 30% of words. I would like to give you an exercise:

a) Write your speech, then record it.

b) Read your speech again and delete unimportant words. Record this speech again using pauses and stresses correctly.

c) Compare these two speeches.

You will find rules and practical exercises for speech in our apps "4Ps, Power, Pitch, Pace, Pause" and "Fluent English Speech". They will help you to make your speeches impressive, powerful and interesting.


Olga Smith