This meeting about Speechwriting was full of insights. Wim, Joan and Gamma gave great speeches. Their speeches were completely different, although they started from the same text. During the interview they gave a look inside their speechwriting workflow. Two things became clear: a speechtext reflects the personality of the writer and it takes a lot of writing and rewriting to make a great speech.
During the interview with Yoga – who made it at the District Congress! – it became clear once again that speechwriting absolutely reflects the personality of the writer. Yoga told us: “When you plant an idea, a seed in your head, the speech has to come out. It’s like being pregnant, the baby has to come out“. Yoga advised the audience to give a speech about a topic you’re passionate about. The more life experiences you get, the more books you read (fiction and non-fiction) the better your speechwriting will become.
During the second half of the meeting Gijs Hillmann – the first Distinguished Toastmater of the Netherlands – gave excellent advice about speechwriting, to name a few:
- Start with a central message : you need to put your central message into max. 140 characters just like a tweet. Once you have this, you can start working on your speech;
- Repeat your central message, so everybody gets convinced;
- The power of three;
- Use vivid and strong images : an example : If you plan to speak about public health, refer to the health disasters in Bhopal or Chernobyl;
- Know your audience;
- You have to answer in the beginning of your speech the question of the audience : What’s in it for me?
Gijs was so kind to give us a easy to use Checklist regarding powerful speeches. Nothing can hold you back to give a powerful speech.
Alexander Van Steenberge
Toastmaster of the Evening