Speech Writing Ideas & Tips

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr

Speech writing is an art. But you can learn how to write more powerful speeches, to structure PR presentations more effectively, to stir the heart and soul of your audience, and get the best results from your public speaking.

Check out these resources to get you started. Other speaking resources you’ll like include: Presentation Tools & Resources, Public Speaking Tips & Presentation Skills and Winning Video Presentations. Sites with a  W are PR Coach “winners.”

5 Speechwriting Lessons from Obama’s Inaugural Speech
This video speech critique has five valuable lessons.

5,750+ Speech Topics, Help, Advice & Ideas
5,750+ speech topics all in one amazing place that’s great for brainstorming!   W W

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
Great resource for all writers.

Famous Speeches
Here’s a valuable archive of famous speeches from the History Channel.

Five Traits of Effective Speakers [Video 4:14]
Video IconMarianne Gobeil talked with Mark Ragan about the five traits effective speakers must have.   W

For a Speechwriter, Research is Crucial  [Video 6:31]
Video IconMike Long talks about why researching your speaker and subject matter is key to a successful speech.

Gestures That Can Make – or Break – a Speech [Video 5:54]
Video IconPresentation skills expert Tom Muciollo explains which gestures make a speech more effective, which to avoid and why your senior executive should take your advice.   W

Gifts of Speech
A unique archive of notable women’s speeches from around the world from 1848 to 2009.

Have You Considered Speechwriting?
How a speechwriter works.

How to Add Power or Humor With the Rule of Three
The rule of three is powerful, attention-getting and effective. See?   W

How to Become a Speechwriter [Video 8:49]
Video IconMark Ragan shares speechwriting tips and advice on MyRaganTV.   W

How to Deliver a Scripted Speech
Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls of a scripted speech.

How to Get Started as a Freelance Speechwriter [Video 5:07]
Video IconSpeechwriting master Mike Long knows all about successful speechwriting. On MyRaganTV, he shares tips on kickstarting your freelance career.   W

How to Use the Rule Three in Your Speeches
Andrew Dlugan offers an excellent tutorial on the power of threes.   W

How to Write a Speech
A free course from SpeechTips.com teaches you how to plan, write and deliver a speech.   W

How to Write a Good Speech [Video 3:04]
Writer Ann Wylie talks to MyRaganTV about speechwriting tips.   W

How to Write a Sticky Speech [Video 7:02]
Video IconFormer American Medical Association speechwriter Liz Mitchell discusses how to write a “sticky speech” on MyRaganTV.   W

How to Write Your Speech in Five Minutes
A sure-fire way to quickly write and effectively deliver a speech in five minutes from George Torok.

Loosen Up Your Stiff Speaker [Video 3:32]
Video IconGetting a speaker to relax and loosen up in front of a crowd is no easy job. Rob Friedman from Eli Lilly gives you tips on writing a speech that makes a speaker comfortable.   W

Professionally Speaking
Ian Griffin blogs about speaking, presentations and executive communications.

Six Minutes
This free public speaking and presentation skills blog by Andrew Dlugan is really worth reading!  W W

Sorensen Award Winner Seeks to ‘Elevate the Conversation’
Speechwriter and award-winner Laurie Vincent shares craft secrets.   W

Speech Analysis #1: How to Critique a Speech
An in-depth look at how to learn by analyzing a speech.

Speech Coaching 101 from “Coach Mike”
Mike Landrum discusses the biggest stumbling block of speakers, how video can improve their performance, and the problem with using PowerPoint in speeches.

Speech Preparation #1: How to Prepare a Presentation
This is lesson one in Andrew Dlugan’s superb Speech Preparation Series. These ten articles are a solid foundation for speechwriters. A must-read!   W W

Speech Tips
Speech tips. Speechwriting help. Public speaking advice. Buy speeches.

SpeechWonk
Speech writing blog from Sheila Alee.

Speech Writing: Be Brief
Four tips to help you make brevity an asset in your next speech.

Speeches.com
All you need for a speech for a small monthly fee. Use Speech Builder to generate your own unique speech to edit, print, email and save. Or access the library resources.

Speechwriting in the Social Media Age [Video 4:25]
Video IconGlynn Young shares some words of caution about social media and why eloquence is so important to speechwriting.   W

Speechwriting: Sharp Editing Can Help Make a Good Speech Great
Six tips that will make any speech much better.

Standing Out as a Speechwriter [Video 3:25]
Video IconChris Solie discusses how to be more involved in the business as a speechwriter and how to stand out in the company.   W

Succeed By Studying Great Speeches
Study guide has a resource of great speeches for reference.

The Full Interview With Jerry Tarver [Video 13:07]
Video IconMark Ragan talks with legendary speechwriter and professor of speechwriting Jerry Tarver on the importance of emotion in presentations.   W

The Speech Archive
Audio and text files of speeches for analysis, presidential and historic speeches and news archives.

The Speechwriter’s Slant
The world of corporate and political rhetoric by Hal Gordon.

Tips for Self-Editing Your Speeches [Video 3:04]
Video IconVeteran speechwriter Mike Long shares tips on self-editing your speeches on MyRagan TV.   W

Tips for Speechwriters from Mike Long [Video 4:46]
Video IconMike Long shares more tips on improving the versatility of your speechwriting skills.   W

Toastmasters Speech Series: Your Guide to the First 10 Speeches
Another superb series by Andrew Dlugan. This is an excellent set of ten articles that covers the fundamentals of public speaking. An excellent resource!    W W

Vital Speeches of the Day
See examples and learn from the best speeches given. Newsletter subscription is great value.

We Need A Speech
Colin Moorhouse’s site for freelance and corporate speechwriters.

What Drives Speechwriters to Drink? [Video 1:42]
Video IconSpeechwriters discuss their pet peeves and what drives them to drink.   W

Why (and When) to Use Personal Anecdotes in Speeches [Video 3:39]
Video IconSpeechwriting veteran Hal Gordon discusses why personal anecdotes make all the difference in speechwriting on MyRaganTV.   W

Why Successful Speech Outlines Follow the Rule of Three
Another great tutorial by speechwriter Andrew Dlugan with excellent tips.   W

Photo credit: Dave McKeague

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