PART I of II
As a PR pro, writing speeches can be one of the most challenging things to do. It becomes especially difficult when writing a speech for someone else, like your CEO, COO or another C-suite executive, whether you’re in-house or at the company’s agency of record. In my mind, there is no better spokesperson for your company than the person in charge. Whenever there is a chance to use an executive as a spokesperson or as a speechmaker, put him or her front and center rather than speaking yourself. Your executives are whom audiences want to hear, so keep yourself out of the spotlight and help your executives shine instead.
Let’s start with issues to consider when developing speeches and then move to tactics that can make writing speeches for your executives easier.
It’s important to note that you’ll never write the perfect speech in the first draft.The only times you can come close are when you’ve worked with a particular executive for a long time or if you have an executive who is completely afraid of public speaking (most aren’t) and will read your words verbatim. So take it easy on yourself. The idea is to draft a document that you and your executive can work with to get just right for the occasion. You’ll likely go through several drafts of a speech before both of you are happy with the result.
Executives are individuals, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a speech.
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