Sound writing: Secret technique to take your speech writing format from good to GREAT

Sound writing: Secret technique to take your speech writing format from good to GREAT
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Elements of communication

You might have seen this chart of elements of communication before. So what’s the conclusion we draw from this chart while writing a speech or while considering a speech writing format?

It’s obvious, right? We need to focus more on the delivery aspect of the speech. 

This is the trap most proficient speakers fall into. I have seen amazing speakers with exceptional delivery, but the audience hardly remembers what the speech was about after a while. For some reason, the message the speaker wanted to convey didn’t imprint into the mind of their audience.

In the transcript of your speech or the speech writing format you follow, if you have chosen words or sentences that do not appeal to the delivery of the speech, how can you expect to have an everlasting impact on your audience?

This is where sound writing plays a crucial role.

Speech is not mere words and sentences on paper, it is sound on eardrums to your audience.

We have been well trained for writing to read, but no one taught us how to write for speaking. If you want your audience to listen and remember what you say, stop writing your speeches the way you write your articles.
When we speak, we create sound waves and our mind first searches for the emotion behind the sound waves and then information. If we fail to emotionally engage the audience, our information won’t even reach them. Emotions play a major role in how our memories stores and recalls information. Through sound writing, we can maximise our audience attention and retention to create an everlasting impression.

The sound of your voice matters more than your words and significantly more than your body language. This statement might sound controversial and untrue, but, think about it. 

The way you put your words together affects how you deliver. How you deliver makes a difference in how your audience feel. Basically, words are the building blocks of your speech and it’s very important to choose the right words in your speech.

Sound writing takes good ideas and makes them into amazing ideas. It enables you to tweak your script and deliver a compelling speech.

Sound writers look at speeches just like, how songwriters look at music. You just can’t write all the words you want for the sake of it.

How can we make a speech engaging just like our favourite music?

Steps to include sound writing in your speech writing format

1) Emotions

Visualise what you want your audience to feel at end of your speech or at a particular section. Do you want them to be happy, do you want them to be sad, shocked etc.

2) Fine-tune script

Fine-tune the script according to the emotions that you want your audience to feel.

Pick and replace few words to give emotional appeal. 

Note: Don’t use words that you are not comfortable with.

If you want them to feel pleasant use words that sound pleasant

Mesmerizing, babbled, lushes. 

Example: 

  • He was loud.
  • He had a thundering voice. 
  • He looked at me with anger.
  • He looked at me with bloodshot eyes.
  • She laughed
  • She cackled with laughter

3) Pacing and Pauses

The drumbeats sets your heartbeats.
If you are telling a story and if there is a situation where there is anxiety, happiness, suspense etc.

Make sure the sentences are shorter. Once the sentences are shorter, you can speed up your delivery. As you increase or lower the pace the audience gets hooked and they will be wondering “Wait! This particular segment was different”


Example:

  • ‘Wodwik’ Olivia Schofield, Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking

Observe the changes in 

1:34 seconds – Everybody loves bears Didn’t you? (PAUSE)
But Damaged bears? Damaged (PAUSE ) like me.   (Pace of this sentence decreases)

  • It’s NOT about the Knockdown’ Ian Humphrey,

1:35 seconds –  “Who we are “  

4) Punch lines or important sentence

This is my personal favourite. Tweak few lines of your script so that it rhymes. It creates an ever-lasting impact.

I had delivered a speech 2 years ago in my toastmaster’s club and some of them still remember the speech because of its particular line.

Fear is like Beer, you won’t like it the first time, nor the second time, but, you will outgrow it the third time” – Roel Dsouza

Examples:

  • If you snooze you never know what you lose.
  • I sat on a rock with a shock.
  • This pain I cannot explain.
  •  Your mouth can spit venom or it can mend a broken soul. Ladies and gentlemen let that be our goal. – Mohammed Qahtani , International speech contest champion.

Imagine using this technique while delivering a speech. Won’t this script help you to deliver an everlasting speech?

Leave your opinion below in the comment section.

Note: 

  1. Sound writing technique should be added at the last revision of your transcript. 
  2. Don’t overuse it. It will ruin your speech.

Step by Step guide to public speaking


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