The form and function of any speech you work on should primarily be driven by the texture of the event and the needs of the audience, and not by the political or corporate needs of the speaker to deliver a favourite message.
And, this is almost always a very hard sell to your speaker.
As speechwriters, we always do our clients a good turn if we get them to speak to the needs of the audience rather than their own.
There are times when these are one and the same thing. But, not often.
Think of the politician talking about what great policies the government has to fix health care. He wants to talk in pointless platitudes when all people in the audience want to know is how and when the government is going to shorten long wait times in emergency wards.
Or, take the CEO of a large manufacturing concern who needs to talk to his employees about the company’s reorganization. The workers fear there will be layoffs. They are scared, but they want to hear the truth. Not wanting to deliver bad news, the CEO delivers a speech full of bafflegab about change management, creative downsizing, and streamlining the service file.
Sad to say but true, many of the speeches I work on do not pass the audience test because the clients insists on talking about “their stuff” and not the audience’s needs.
And that’s a big mistake.