Of all the writing assignments freelance and staff writers are asked to take on, speech writing can be the most complex, the most interesting, the most intense, and the most enjoyable form of corporate assignment going. After all, we get to write on all sorts of topics. We get to put words in peoples’ mouths. We get to help in articulating government or corporate policy. Or help launch a new product. And by the time we are sick of the subject it is finished.
Not that there isn’t a down side. By definition the deadlines are tight, access to the speaker almost always minimal, and even though our brilliant words might hit the 11 o’clock news we can’t take credit for them.For the in-house speech writer there is an added complication. Most have many other communication tasks on their plates other than speech writing. Let’s say it takes 20 hours to write an important keynote speech for a CEO. I know very few public affairs/communications employees who can drop everything for three days and devote all hours in the day to this one activity. So it gets spread out over time – half an hour here, half a day there and – fingers crossed – a coherent speech comes out at the other end.
For the freelance writer it’s a similar dilemma. If you have a medium full plate of non-speech assignments on your hands, you pretty much have to drop everything if you are taking on an urgent speech. And they are almost all urgent. What do you do?So when someone calls and says “We need a speech” and you don’t know where or how to start this online speech writing course might just be the ticket.It covers the territory from first request to last draft. It will discuss in depth the six elements of an engaging speech. This is followed by speech samples with commentary on where they meet those five elements and where they don’t.
Do you know what chiasmus or diacope mean? No they aren’t the latest expresso offerings served at Starbucks. They are in fact rhetorical devices. The manual has a short section on these and other devices that we should consider as we take finger to keyboard. The descriptions will make your eyes glaze over and so this section, although important, is mercifully short.
There are a further 10 critical considerations to take on when you agree to an assignment and these cover such things as:
- Why it is so important yet so hard to get the letter of invitation to your client to deliver a speech
- Meeting the speaker – when it is a good idea – when it’s a bad idea
- Finding your client’s voice
- Research – how much is enough?
- Outlines – vital or an invitation to disaster?
- Write & rewrite – from puke draft to final draft
- Openings – the first three make-or-break minutes
- Writing for the ear
- Delivery issues
These are followed by a Dealing With (Difficult) Clients section that will be useful to both the in-house and out-house speech writer.There is also a major category about The Business of being a freelance speechwriter that include such topics as:
- Landing clients
- Firing clients
- Time – yours and theirs
- Who pays for learning curves?
- Deal breakers
- When to turn down work
Staff communications people who are tasked with writing speeches or hiring freelance speech writers will also find The Business section useful.This course mimics very closely the 2 day workshop I hold every year at Simon Fraser University in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, but you have the luxury of completing it over a six week period rather than a very concentrated two days. The course is very much go at your own pace. And be warned there are work assignments.This is what you get:
- A 150+ page manual – in PDF format.
- Participation in webinars and teleseminars that will cover the following:
The Rules of Engagement – Six Key Factors in Crafting a Winning Speech
You’re Called to Write a Speech. After saying yes, what to do next in:
- The First Five Hours
- The First Five Days
Finding Work and Landing Clients. Ten Critical Strategies including
- Establishing your presence in the market place
- Understanding push and pull marketing
- Learning the ins and outs of effective networking
- Landing a client in five minutes flat.
Live Speech Critiques
- Critiquing (gently) your speech samples
You will also have access to:
- A virtual meeting place accessible 24/7 where you can post questions, comments and assignments.
- Plus access to me via email, direct messaging, or online discussion.
What Others Have Said About My Speech Writing Training
I found Colin Moorhouse’s We Need A Speech course enjoyable and informative. Learning about speechwriting techniques as well as listening to the assigned speeches helped open my ear to good speeches as well as their successful delivery. Colin took us through the course with many stories and a sense of humour. I felt more confident writing my most recent speech. Colin made a few seemingly minor edits that resulted in a significant improvement, which was highly instructive. I would recommend We Need a Speech for anyone interested in speechwriting and improving their skills. ~ Christine Koserski, Communications, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
In Colin’s online speechwriting course, I gained practical skills and received personalized feedback that are helping me meet my employer’s speechwriting needs with confidence. The mix of learning channels and methods helped me absorb the material. The course delivered great value and exceeded my expectations. — Tracy Smith
Colin’s speechwriting course was informative, useful, and creative. Having written speeches for over five years I was looking to inject some creativity and passion into my speeches and this course gave me many thoughtful ideas and suggestions from a seasoned speechwriter. Colin is easy to approach and obviously has a deep understanding of the importance of captivating audiences, which is crucial to taking a good speech to a fantastic speech. Alayna Ward, Government of the Northwest Territories
“I both benefited from and enjoyed Colin’s class immensely. While I had extensive writing and communications experience, I had very little when it came to ‘writing for the ear.’ Colin’s teaching, insights, examples, personal attention and feedback have been a tremendously helpful.” Dan Ivanis
I was fortunate enough to receive speech writing training from Colin Moorhouse at a recent professional event. Colin not only taught me the specifics of speech writing, but his material and teaching method was fresh, unique, and engaging. He explored the effect and importance of speeches from historical, current, and future perspectives. This has provided me with a greater respect for the power of words and their ability to earn the gift of attention from an audience. If you want to learn more about speech writing, I would highly recommend that you sign up for Colin’s workshop, that is, if space is still available.” John Vigna, John Vigna Ink
“Colin’s speech writing course is as entertaining, informative and user-friendly as the speeches he writes for clients. I recommend it to all professionals whether they are writing speeches for themselves or for others.” Gilian Dusting Strategic Communications
Your [speech writing] mantras are in my top drawer. David Gatzke Marketing Coordinator, KPMG LLP
“On behalf of the Let’s Talk Business Network, I would like to extend our deep appreciation for your recent Workshop presentation on “How to Create A Powerful Presentation”. This was indeed the “best” workshop we have held in the LTBN Vancouver community. All those in attendance rated a “10” plus with rave reviews all round!” Allan Holender Chief Community Officer, Let’s Talk Business Network Vancouver
“There isn’t a thing about speech writing that Colin Moorhouse doesn’t know. Fortunately, he’s one of those rare specialists who is able to impart his knowledge to a group. Colin spoke at the IABC/BC Editors Club — a strategic interest group that I chaired — several years ago, where he presented a lively, informative talk on the ins and outs of writing in other people’s voices. Ruth Raymond, Principal, Ruthless Editorial Services Ltd.
“I attended one of Colin Moorhouse’s speech writing workshops for professional development reasons. Colin’s inspired presentation was more than merely interesting to the group. It made the craft seem more like a lifelong calling. Everyone attending the workshop left the room wanting to be speech writers.” Beverly Cramp, Past President, Vancouver Chapter, Professional Writers Association of Canada.
The next session date: To be announced