How To Say It Right Every Time

       You need to write a speech for an important occasion. Whether it's a presentation for your company, the toast at a wedding, a send-off to a colleague who's retiring, or a memorial speech for someone you loved, you want to get it right. But at the moment you sit down to write the speech, you stare at the white page while a bunch of jumbled thoughts tumble through your head. Or alternatively you can't think of a thing to say. You have an idea how you'd like your speech to sound, but when you try to find the words to begin, all you feel is total confusion.

       You're not alone. For many people, the fear of speaking in public is not getting up and talking.  It's not knowing if they're going to say it "right".     

       If figuring out how to say exactly what you mean has you in doubt, take a deep breath.  It's easier than you think.

       If you've done the necessary research before creating your speech, you already know the basic thoughts, ideas or information you want to include.  Begin by setting down randomly the major points you want to express. Forget about putting them in order.  Just get them out of your head and onto the page.  Whether it's a product description, a relationship story, a history lesson, or an emotional expression of love or thanks, just write them all down as they come to you. Fill as many pages as you need with your preliminary ideas. Then take another deep breath to let your brain settle for a few minutes before you go on to the next step.

       Now, look at everything you've written down and organize it according to level of importance.  What do you want to say first, second and third?  Which will make a good opening statement?  What do you want to save for your big finish?  Move your thoughts around like jigsaw puzzle pieces until you've put them in an order which makes a good picture. You're almost home.

       All you have left to do is write a few connecting sentences between them to link them all together and, voila!, you're done!  Your speech is written.  How hard was that?  Now all you need do is rehearse and polish it to make sure it fits into the number of minutes you've been given to speak. That's it.  That's all there is to it.

       Here's the key. Trust your instincts. Trust that you do know, really, what you want to say. It's sitting there in your head, waiting to find its way out. You have something important to say in the special way that you know how to say it. Trust yourself that you'll say it "right". Your audience is with you; they want to hear what you have to tell them. You have the power. You have the knowledge. Trust yourself to it 'right'. 

       You will!