Part 1 in the series, “Speechwriting with Pizzazz”
Right before I went on stage to deliver the keynote address at the 2013 Writing for the Soul conference in Colorado Springs, Jerry B. Jenkins stepped to the lectern to introduce me. Jerry smiled, then said, “I’m pleased to welcome my long-time friend, Doc Hensley, to the platform. If you’ve never heard this man speak before, let me give you a word of caution: fasten your seatbelts!” He then stepped back and waved me forward.
That humorous introduction pleased me, for it implied that whenever I give a speech, my listeners can be assured I’ll be fast-paced, content-heavy, and entertaining. Too often, many orators today are one of these three, but not all of the three.
Denzel Washington, quoted in Success magazine (“Ties That Bind” by Mike Zimmerman, Oct. 8, 2012), said, “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.” What he meant was, he couldn’t be a great performer unless he first had a good script to work from. That’s true. Stand-up comics can be entertaining for an hour, but no one leaves their shows pondering heavy philosophical thoughts or meditating on ways to improve themselves or the world. A good speech must have a message that will impact listeners.
Crafting an impacting speech is a process.
Next week, “3 Steps to Creating a Dynamic Speech”
Dennis E. Hensley, PhD, is director of the professional writing department at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and an annual judge for the Evangelical Press Association Awards and the Christy Fiction Awards. His five dozen books include:
- Jesus in All Four Season: Having Christ as Your Life Coach
- Jesus in the 9 to 5: Facing the Challenges of Today’s Business World
- How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It
- Man to Man: Becoming the Believer God Called You to Be
- More Than Meets the Eye: Finding an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life
- Alpha Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours
- Surprises and Miracles of the Season: Devotions for Christmas and New Year’s
- The Power of Positive Productivity
© 2015 by Dennis E. Hensley. All rights reserved.