How to Write a Platform Speech
The purpose of a platform speech is to provide an audience with the speaker’s goals and motives and persuade them to agree with his ideas. Platform speeches are formal in nature and are most common among political candidates. The written speech should contain four specific elements: a preliminary header, an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
Create the preliminary header for your speech before you write the words to the speech itself. Decide on a topic and research the type of people who will be listening. Depending on your audience, you may have to adjust the information you are presenting. For instance, if you are speaking at a garden club whose interests are roses, you do not want to give a speech about lilies. Tailor your focus. Decide on the purpose of your speech and let that guide you as you write it.
Think of an opening sentence for your introduction that will grab your audience’s attention. Translate the purpose of your speech into a one-sentence thesis statement. Explain to your audience why the information you are presenting is important.
Write a transition sentence. This tells your listeners that you have completed your introduction and are now moving into the main body of your speech. For example, you might say, “Let me explain” and then proceed. Incorporate three main ideas into the body and provide evidence to support those ideas. Write in a logical, accessible manner. Give examples and use visual aids such as photos and charts.
Insert a transition sentence that lets your audience know that you are closing your speech. Briefly summarize the ideas presented in the main body and emphasize one idea that you hope will have the most lasting impression. Write a closing sentence that will guide your audience’s attention back to your opening thesis statement. This will help seal the information in their minds.
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Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.