Public speaking can fill one with a sense of dread, but knowing how to write a manuscript for a speech can make the difference between a successful speaking engagement and one that is not.  Many factors should be considered when preparing a speech.

Preparing an outline is always helpful; make headings that clearly make key points and fill in the facts that are to be presented under each heading.    Consider the phrasing of the headlines as they can be directly used as  the introductory sentences to your points.

Knowing the key target audience is the most important factor in writing the manuscript.  Avoid speaking over them; a group of highschool kids will need to be addressed in a different way than a roomful of adults.  Keep the tone of the speech inline with the target audience.   Lightheartedness may not be an appropriate tone for all occassions, but this approach is perfect for a younger audience.

Knowing how to write a manuscript for a speech sounds like an overwhelming task, but backing up the outline with well researched information keeps the manuscript interesting.  When doing fact based research, try to find a new angle for the information.  A speech on the deadly effects of carbon monoxide in and of itself, for instance, could be boring to listeners who already know that this is a deadly exposure.  Liven the speech up with unusual facts as well, such as that in the 1800’s through the 1900’s carbon monoxide released through gas lamps accounted for sightings of ghosts and other hallucinations, and that Edgar Allen Poe is thought to have been suffering the effects of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning while writing his works.  These facts would be a pertinent, entertaining and unusual way to grab audience attention.  Be sure any facts offered are well researched and accurate, but do not drag the audience attention down with citing continued fact references.  Terms such as “research shows” or “it has been found that” are often a better lead up to your facts and continue to keep audience attention.

Remember when writing the speech that the amount of time taken to prepare it is often far short of the amount of time it will take to deliver it.  It is better to prepare the manuscript to be longer and pare it down than to consider it finished and have to add material.  Using the method of paring down rather than adding on allows the ideas to flow freely, whereas adding material can often result in a speech that sounds choppy.

Once the manuscript is written, preparing to deliver it can be done at first in front of a mirror and then in front of family and friends.  These practice sessions do more than boost confidence, they allow the speaker to practice inflection and emphasis.  Some ideas can be changed at this point since some things sound better in writing than they do spoken aloud.

Knowing how to write a manuscript for a speech is the best step to a confident, successful speaking engagement.