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The Art of Speeches and Presentations: The Secrets of Making People Remember What You Say by Philip Collins

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CHAPTER TWO

EXPECTATIONS

It is nowhere near time yet to start writing. The next step in constructing a speech is to ask yourself what you expect this speech to achieve. Every speech has one of three functions. It will be primarily about transmitting information, or about persuading an audience of something, or about inspiring people to do something. Most speeches will contain traces of all three functions but one will always be dominant and you need to be clear on what your function is. The different types of speech impose different demands on the writer and speaker. You should work towards writing a statement of intent which sets out what you are expecting to do and to which you need to refer throughout the writing process. At this stage, you should think about whether you do, in fact, need to go on. Every step in the speech-writing process exercises a veto. If you cannot define your intent in making this speech then you ought to think about not doing one at all.

If you have followed the precepts in the first chapter, you ought to have a close appreciation of the audience that is no doubt eagerly awaiting your speech. You should have a reasonably accurate sense of who is expected to turn up and what they think. So, all set to start writing? Well, no, not yet. There are two more important steps to take before we begin the composition. You have spent some time trying to clarify what the audience wants from this speech. Now, using that information, it is time to work out what they ...

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