Speechless in Bangkok

A good speech can change the world. A bad speech just takes up everybody's time.

My name is Jakkrit Srivali. For the past decade and a half, I've been writing and editing speeches for the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I'm still learning.

Writing speeches is not only about mastery of language. It also draws upon a multitude of other skills. Come discuss them with me, and let's improve our speechwriting together.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The deadliness of deadlines

When you're given an assignment, try to work backwards from the date of delivery. For example, if the person is due to give the speech on July 1, make sure that he/she gets the final draft about a week before that date. This way, he/she would be able to review it, make any corrections, or send it back to you to do a complete rewrite (just kidding, if it's that bad, he/she is more likely to assign it to someone more trusted). I've seen cases where the draft was received the day before the date of delivery. Not good. Better to set your own deadline, with some flexibility built in. For example, 3 days to do the research, 2 days to come up with ideas, 3 days to do the actual writing. And let's not forget to pick the brains of others who may have ideas you can use in the speech.


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