Quick and Dirty Speech Making – Part 2

Learn how to create an engaging and interesting speech in six steps. Part 2.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read

Hey gang, this week picks up from last week's episode, where we talked about How to Write a Speech, Part I. We were talking about how difficult and time consuming it can be to develop an interesting and engaging speech. That’s why I created a quick and dirty six-step speech creation technique to make it easier for you.

Last week we covered the first three steps: choosing the topic, brainstorming and defining adjectives, and recording stories for each of the adjectives. Today, we’ll continue with step four, fleshing out your stories.

Step Four – Fleshing Out Your Stories

In step three, we recorded stories that are examples of the chosen adjectives. The fourth step is a little bit harder, because you’ll need to develop your stories a bit. Good stories usually include a setting, dialog, and descriptive detail. (They include other things as well, but for the beginner these are the important things to include.) So see if you can incorporate a setting, dialog, and descriptive detail.

If you remember one of my stories was about John going to grad school, here’s the story fleshed out.

“I know that John was motivated because even though he was very seriously ill, he chose to pursue a rigorous graduate school education at the University of Pennsylvania. I remember, one day, he was in the hospital, and again I was trying to convince him to just drop out of school. [Notice, the hospital was the setting, and here comes the dialog.] With all his strength he whispered to me, “I would rather work towards a goal and learn as much as I can, even if I don’t ever get the chance to use it.”

As you can see by my example, the stories or examples don’t need to be that long. Just a few sentences—three or four is enough to make your point.

Once you’ve verbally refined your stories, remember to jot some notes or key words for each story underneath the definitions you wrote in step two. It is important not to write out every word of your story. You just want key words as a reminder of the story you are going to tell.

Step Five – Pulling It All Together

Now it’s time to pull it all together. Take out the last two pieces of paper. On the top of one write the word “beginning” and on the other one write the word “ending.”

Speeches are about sharing ideas and concepts that are intangible and difficult for the audience to grasp. The main idea of this approach is to make the invisible visible through the stories, the definitions, and the examples.

On your “beginning” page you’ll need to write out the following four pieces of information.

  1. You’ll need to say who you are and your relationship to the person or project,

  2. You’re going to say how you met or know the person or got involved with the project (if it is obvious you can skip this step)

  3. You’re going to tell them the purpose of the gathering.

  4. You’ll say that you are going to share three words, just three simple words and then list your three words.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.