Speechwriting & Coaching

A good speech makes an important and lasting impression – as does a bad one, for all the wrong reasons. We craft speeches which get your message across clearly, accurately and entertainingly, and provide coaching for effective delivery.

What makes a good, even great speech?

It absolutely is not its length. One of the most famous in history, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, was 272 words contained within ten sentences and took minutes to deliver. It followed a two-hour long, 13,607-word effort from the Hon. Edward Everett, which has been consigned, in effect, to the dustbin of history.

President Lincoln’s speech, however, continues to be known, copied, discussed and celebrated over 150 years later. So, what makes it great? Yes, it is short, but it has also striking imagery of birth, life and death, biblical resonances and highly memorable phrases of which the most famous is probably “and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not vanish from the earth.”

Lincoln was an accomplished lawyer and politician who was also steeped in literature and while we at Blueprint would never claim to be able to craft for our customers anything resembling his masterpiece we too, as journalists, have been steeped collectively for decades in reading across literature, history, politics, the arts and business and can recognise an arresting turn of phrase when we come up with one.

Speech writing involves deciding what the person who is delivering it wants to say, then drafting it clearly, succinctly and in as pleasing a manner as possible – a couple of self-deprecatory asides always tend to go down well. Self-assurance and mastery of the subject are fundamental in its effective delivery.

The best speeches are the ones that have been memorised by the deliverer. That way, it is possible to maintain eye contact with the audience throughout the length of the speech, rather than having to resort continually to notes. And if the speech is to be memorised and any good, it will have been practiced many times, preferably in front of a sympathetic audience, whether the one in the mirror or loved ones at home.

There is quite a bit more to all of this and, as ever, we are happy to provide our customers with any help they might need to give an effective performance. Just call us to discuss further.

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