Class Notes :: Steve MacDonald :: Speechwriting
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Class Notes :: Steve MacDonald :: Speechwriting

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Class notes for a third-year course in Public Relations for university students. Prepared for a graduate-level course in Public Relations Education. Not an official document of Mount Saint Vincent......

Class notes for a third-year course in Public Relations for university students. Prepared for a graduate-level course in Public Relations Education. Not an official document of Mount Saint Vincent University.

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  • 1. Speechwriting March 17, 2011 PBRL 3012 - Persuasive PR Writing Mount Saint Vincent University
  • 2. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6NS9unm-OQ Before we get started - watch the first two minutes or so.
  • 3. Writing the spoken word. - The oldest form of rhetoric - Done well: Ignite passion, move nations - Done poorly: Bore to tears, damage brands
  • 4. Know your audience - What will matter to them? - What is likely to connect with them? - What state of mind are they in?
  • 5. Know your speaker - What do they want to say? - How do they speak? - What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • 6. Logos and pathos, I say.
  • 7. Logos - appeal to fact - Rational, factual, direct appeals - Useful in crises or acute need for action - Youtube: Obama’s response to BP spill
  • 8. Pathos - appeal to emotion - Emotive, passionate, inspired - Useful in motivation, leadership, inspiration - Youtube: Obama’s acceptance speech
  • 9. Before you write - Talk to your speaker - Review previous speeches - Understand their personal diction - Understand the physical setup of the venue
  • 10. George Bush at Ground Zero As you watch, think about venue and audience George Bush addresses recovery workers, Sept. 14, 2001.
  • 11. As you write - Use conversational language - Include expressions and turns of phrase you might not use in printed material - Embrace the first person (especially in emotional appeals)
  • 12. As you write - Think about the beginning, middle, end - People especially remember your introduction and conclusion. - Write for the sound byte: Be quotable
  • 13. After you write - Edit, edit, edit -Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse - Share, share, share.
  • 14. Delivery matters - Great speeches are sometimes spontaneous - Remember that you are writing for human exchange - Counsel your speaker to be human, to be “real” - not simply to read remarks.
  • 15. Delivery matters How would you counsel Stephen Harper following this speech? Student faints during Harper speech
  • 16. Delivery matters - Look up often, make eye contact - Smile (when appropriate) and otherwise convey the emotion yourself - Use gestures and body language - Never, ever “just read”
  • 17. Concluding thoughts - Choose a rhetorical approach (or combo) - Know your audience and your speaker - Know the venue - Edit, rehearse, and share