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Chapter 16. Body Building > Tailored to Fit - Pg. 128

Body Building 128 Write On Let's take a closer look at the steps you should follow as you write your speech: · Preparing.In this stage, formulate your topic, analyze your audience, define your purpose (to inform, persuade, or entertain), and think of ideas. · Getting it all together.Here's where you physically gather all the material that you need. Do your research by hitting the books, the CD-ROMs, or the Internet. Talk to your sources. Select a method of organization and prepare your outline. · Writing.Hammer out a formal first draft of your speech. · Evaluating.Read your speech and think about what you wrote. Measure it against your audi- ence and purpose. Is your speech informative? Convincing? Entertaining? · Getting Comments.It's showtime. Recruit a willing participant or two, and have them read your speech. Don't be shy about asking for help; no doubt you'll soon be in a position to offer con- structive criticism about the draft of a speech to the friend who read yours. · Revising.Make the changes you need based on your evaluation or those suggested by your readers. Here's where you'll add, subtract, rearrange, revise, and reshape the speech to suit your needs. · Editing.Check the speech to make sure that you used standard written English. Fix all spelling and writing errors. This is important even if no one else is going to read your speech. Why? Because it will help you make sure that you read and pronounce each word correctly. · Proofreading.Check the final copy to make sure that there are no typos. Tailored to Fit Speech of the Devil Don't skip the editing and proofreading stages, no matter how pressed you are for time. Speeches are often reprinted in conference proceedings, posted on the Internet, and used in committees and companies. Who wants a sloppy speech circulated for others to read? Most likely, you won't be able to say everything you want to say because it just won't all fit in one speech. "But my topic is so important," you protest. "How can I not say it all?" No doubt, your topic is important and you probably are very knowledgeable about it. After all, you've done a great deal of serious research about your topic, so you most likely know your stuff. But recognize right from the start that you can't fit everything you want to say into the body of your speech: You have neither the time nor the room. And if you try, you'll end up getting very little of anything across to your listeners. Instead of cramming your speech with everything you know about the topic, zero in on the audience, purpose, material, and key point (yes, that's singular) you want to make. If you focus on one central idea, your audience will be much more likely to get your point. No matter what your topic, you must limit, focus, and organize your material. Fortunately, there are many different ways to do this. Select the method that best suits your topic, purpose, audience, and personal speaking style. These guidelines will help: