Do I need to write out my speech?
This is usually followed by a set of reasons why they don't want to write it down - lack of time, a belief they are better on the fly, a concern they won't be able to memorize it, even a doubt that they are good enough writers to write a speech!
My answer is always YES! Write your speech! One big reason to write it is so you can EDIT it - which I wrote about in 2009.
One aspect of editing I didn't mention in that post is Creativity. When we write our speeches, our minds work as real-time editors, telling us even as we type that we can say something better. Our minds also have a capacity to creatively brainstorm as we write, and read what we write. To suggest better stories, better phrasings, allowing us to effectively write two or three versions of our speech as we go along, as opposed to ending up with just ONE version of the speech when we choose to wing it.
Writing the speech gives us a chance to apply mental sandpaper to our ideas - cutting unnecessary words, crafting our ideas into phrases that stick, and reducing stories from rambling diatribes to quick recollections built from dialogue instead of narrative.
Now, I have suggested an alternative to writing in the past, I admit. Wing the speech, record it, and transcribe it. Even that, ladies and gentlemen, is just another way to trick you into writing it, or at least reading what your transcriber put down to get your mind working as a creative editor.
you can cut between 25 to 50 percent of the words from any speech you don't write down once you get it on paper through transcription. That's 25 to 50 percent opportunity for you to increase your impact on your next audience, and 25 to 50 percent of oratory FAT that is wasting your last audience's time.
Don't cheat them, or yourself. YES! Write your speech. That doesn't mean memorize it, or read it (click here for my thoughts on using notes) - but buckle and and write it.
It's a basic step on your road to Speak & Deliver.