Don’t Write that Speech without Answering These Three Questions

Source: Creative Commons

Nearly every C-suite executive will at some point in their career have to make a speech. They almost always are very important…a key opportunity to address key issues with key audiences…a crucial leadership communication opportunity.

Why then, do so many of them suck? We all know the common culprits– dry sentences, meandering points, overuse of clubby jargon. But in my opinion, most speeches are terrible because they fail to answer these three questions:

1) What does your audience fear?

What are the issues that keep them up at night? What challenges lay on the road ahead? How should we be thinking about these challenges?

2) What does your audience not understand?

What are the gaps in their knowledge that only you can fill? Can you tell them how management views the future? What changes will be coming? Leaks and gossiping are a symptom of the true underlying problem, which is a lack of information and transparency. Whenever you speak, endeavor to correct this situation first.

3) What will your audience need to do differently now that they have heard your speech?

If you are speaking to industry peers in a trade setting, what will they need to be thinking about when they are building their companies? If you are speaking to employees, how will the information you have just given them change the way they do their jobs, and how they understand their individual places in the company? If you are speaking to stakeholders, how will the decisions the company makes impact them directly?

Speechwriting, when done well, is breathtakingly simple. However, if you want a speech that lifts your audience and drives your point home, I am always happy to ghost write it. Leadership communication is a big part of what I do here at GosselinPR. Give me a call today, at 317–502–1377, or contact me at susangosselin42@gmail.com!

By Susan Gosselin, President of Gosselin PR. For more information, visit my website at http://www.gosselinPR.com.