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One of many ways public relations practitioners reach key audiences is by way of giving and/or writing speeches. Of course, in order to do this, it makes perfect sense to research the target audience and the speaker. That way it is easier to tailor the message to the audience.

As the work for the speech begins, it is important to discuss with the speaker about the objective, strategy, and approach.

  • Objective: The objective of the speech should be fulfilled and accomplish something such as inform the audience of an issue.
  • Key Messages: A speech should at least have one key message. The audience should be left with this.
  • Strategy: The tone and setting of the speech are key. Should it be friendly? A one-sided talk? Should other viewpoints be presented?

When writing the speech also discuss the outline, selection of words, drafts, and coach the speaker.

  • Outline: This needs to include the opening, body, and closing of the speech.
  • Word Selection: Use words such as “you” and “we.” Do not use industry jargon. Simple words, contractions, and direct quotes help make the speech appealing.
  • Drafts: Remember the time constraints and allow time for revisions. It is part of the writing process.
  • Coaching: Rehearse the speech and give helpful tips to the speaker.

When giving the speech have these key things in mind.

  • Knowledge of the objective: As said before, the speech should ACCOMPLISH something.
  • It is for the ear: Writing and speaking are two different things. A piece may look good on paper but may be awful when spoken. Speeches are spoken and heard. Keep the audience interested.
  • Adjust: Once again, the speech should be tailor to the audience. Know your audience.
  • Specifics: Use specific ideas that are clear and memorable.
  • Keep it concise: It needs to be current, short, and to the point.
  • Gestures and eye contact: These can make or break a speech. They can establish credibility and should put emphasis on the message. Look and speak to the audience.

There are a few types of software that visually aid in speeches and presentations. PowerPoint and Prezi are the most popular. Both make it easy to make attractive slides. Users can add graphics, use various texts and fonts, and give it animation.

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