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How to Write a Good Speech About a Person in Your Life


A well written speech can leave people talking long after the last word has been spoken. School children continue to memorize Lincoln's Gettysburg address more than a century after it was written and people continue to quote John F. Kennedy's inaugural address decades after his death. While your speech about a person in your life might not go down in history you can leave your audience with a chuckle or two and stories to ponder.

Choose someone who has an interesting story or who has made a strong impression on you and taught you something. Think of your own experiences with the person and jot down anecdotes that come to mind.

Gather additional information about the person. Talk to him directly and to people who know him. Get details and stories about his childhood, work life, social and community activities. Find out from others what makes your subject stand out.

Sketch an outline for your speech. Make a note of an opening joke or story about the individual to begin. Note the points and the anecdotes you want to include in the body of the speech. Include examples and personal narratives to illustrate your message. Look for an ending that leaves the audience with something to think about.

Fill out your outline. Engage the audience from the start. Tell a story or a joke or describe the person in the introduction; or begin by speaking about values and show how this person demonstrates those values. Use a sentence or phrase to let the introduction flow into the body of the speech. In conclusion, encourage the audience to imitate the standards of your subject or to reflect on what they have learned from people in their own lives.

Revise your speech for structure, content and flow. Your points must be clear and logically ordered. Make sure all details and examples effectively illustrate your points. Practice your speech silently and then in front of someone else for feedback. Make additional revisions as needed based on your own impression of the speech and suggestions you receive.

Warning
  • If you can speak comfortably from an outline, do not write the speech out word for word because this can make your presentation seem too rehearsed and unnatural.
About the Author

Ellen McCormick has been writing education, family and religion-related articles since 2003. She has contributed to Mater Ecclesiae institutional publications, Circle Press and a variety of websites. McCormick has a Licentiate (a U.S. Master of Arts equivalent) in educational development from Anahuac University and a second in religious sciences from Regina Apostolorum University.

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