Mark Twain once told an audience that “I…never could make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it.” His remark probably generated some laughs, but behind his statement lies a serious point. How do we write effective speeches that feel spontaneous and ‘from the heart’ while also putting in the requisite planning and research? Becoming a strong speechwriter requires more than drafting a three-point address and inserting a few anecdotes. It means working with some of the same craft elements that go into good storytelling in general: voice, imagination, and creating a world that listeners can feel and see.
In this three-hour workshop, we will examine the building blocks of good speechwriting. We’ll undertake practice exercises that will help us integrate our natural storytelling abilities into a thoughtful speech on a focused topic. We’ll discuss the challenges that come with professional speechwriting, or writing for executives, politicians, and other leaders. And we’ll remind ourselves that great speeches all have one thing in common: they connect the speaker with his or her audience. Good speeches are heard, not read, and even the most spontaneous or ‘impromptu’ speeches entail planning, attention to detail, and—if we’re lucky—a bit of inspiration.
- Generate a draft speech on a topic of their choice in response to workshop exercises;
- Examine the building blocks of good speechwriting;
- Practice delivering a speech in order to explore the difference between reading and hearing in speechwriting;
- Explore the nuts and bolts of speechwriting as a professional option.
Open to writers of all levels.
Class Limit is 20.