Draft your speech

It is now time to add flesh to your outline and create a first draft of the speech. Before we start, note that a draft is just that, a first-cut at your speech. Your first draft of a speech should never, ever be the final draft.

The outline we created in the last step will serve as the basis for our first draft. We take each element of the outline and apply our creative writing juices to turn that outline into a portion of a speech.

There is no right or wrong way to move from outline to draft. Be yourself, use your own voice and remember, you can change anything and everything you write later. For now it's just important to establish that first draft.

Let's take some examples from the outline in the last step.

The conversion from outline to draft can be simple, exchanging an outline element for a speech sentence...

Outline:

  • Introduce myself

Speech draft

"As my perspiring brow and nervous demeanor might suggest, I am honored to introduce myself as the Best Man for today's wonderful occasion. I will not be speaking for long today because of a throat problem. John says he will cut it if I bring up any embarrassing stories about him."

... or more likely the process is less direct and more creative...

Outline:

  • Pay tribute to key participants
    • Compliment & raise toast to the bride
    • Thank & compliment the bridesmaids
    • Pay tribute to parents of bride and groom

Speech draft

"I know it is a cliché but I would just like to comment on how stunning Sarah looks today, she is beautiful, John is a very lucky man. And without further ado I would like to raise a toast for Sarah. <toast>

"As is traditional in any wedding I would like to complement the Bridesmaids on their help with the wedding, particularly for managing to get Sarah to the church today. It's amazing what a pair of handcuffs can do. The Bridesmaids look beautiful, outdone only by our stunning bride.

"I would like to pay special tribute to John and Sarah's parents. They have helped make this a very special day. Can I also say how beautiful both mom's look, they are simply divine."

Once you have finished your first draft of the speech, it's time to take a rest. Put the speech down and forget about it for a day or two. First, you need a rest. But second, your critical eyes will function much better in the cold light of day. You will be amazed at how much your speech will improve when you go from first to second to third draft - but only if you leave time between each draft.

There is no scientific way to know when you have reached your speech's final draft, but here is a good indication: If you find yourself broadly happy with the speech and find yourself making minor changes from draft to draft, it's time to stop.

 

Sample Speeches

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Get tons of content and great ideas for your speech.

Sample speeches

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