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Chapter 15 Reading Notes April 25, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — sarahgricius @ 7:34 AM

Speakers and audiences are a fundamental part of human communication around the world. Indeed, speechwriting and presentations are important tools in public relations to reach key publics on an interpersonal level. It’s easy to understand the demand for or good speechwriting. More than ever, we recognize the importance of giving large organizations a human face, desirably a face that is trustworthy, competent, friendly, and coherent. During the career as a public relations practitioner, you will be asked to write speeches for executives, prepare visual aids, conduct speaker training, get executives on the agenda of important conference, organize speaker bureaus, and publicize speeches.

1. Reading the audience and the speaker. If you are given a speechwriting assignment, the first step is to find out everything. To find out any answer to a question, you should talk with the organizers of the event or meeting. Don’t accept vague answers, keep asking, follow-up questions until you have a complete picture. You also need to learn everything you can about the speaker. Listen to the speaker talk, and see how his or her mind works, what word phrases are favored, and what kinds of opinions are expressed. In addition to listening , it is a good idea to go over material that the client has written or, if written by others, that the client admires in terms of style and method of presentation.

2. Laying the groundwork. A writer should have lengthy conversations with the speaker before beginning to write a rough draft of the talk. In a conversational setting, you and the speaker should discuss the speech in terms of objective, approach, strategy, points to emphasize, scope, and facts or anecdotes the speaker would like to include. Indeed, before you start writing a speech, you should have a thorough understand of three aspects of the speech – the objective, the key message, and the strategy approach.

3. Writing the speech. This is a multiple process involving a finely honed outline and several drafts. There needs to be an opening that is part of the speech that must get the audiences attention, establish empathy, and point toward the conclusion. The body of the speech presents the evidence that leads to the conclusion. The outline should list all the key points. The conclusion summarizes the evidence, pointing out what it means to the audience. Finally, the outline should be submitted to the speaker, and once it has been approved, you can go on to the next step.

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