Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Speech! Speech? Speech :(

My friend Robert is volunteer who speaks about life with HIV and the importance of supporting organizations that provide HIV education and prevention.
When Robert had his first speech for a few years ago, he was nervous about what to say and I helped him write a speech about his life. Later he needed another speech about his life but he didn't want it to be the exact same speech since some of the same people would be there. And then he needed a speech about why he felt raising money for HIV/AIDS organizations was important, and another about why people should get tested. I wrote them all with his input about what he wanted the speech to say.
I won't even give details about the one time he ended up coming with something on his own at the last minute. He meant well.
Anyway, the point is that I write his speeches. It's my way of helping him share his story and helping others. The speeches are pretty basic and I never really mentioned having to write them because usually he only needs to give a brief statement so it's not a huge deal. It usually takes a half an hour to get everything worked out for him and it's only about three to four times a year if that.

Saturday is World AIDS Day and Robert is on the planning committee for our local organization. Today was their final meeting before the big day. They finalized plans and Robert will be speaking so he asked me to help him with another speech. A speech about being a leader in the community for the fight against HIV and AIDS. It has to be ten minutes long.
I have no idea what someone says to keep a crowd interested for ten minutes. I'm a little concerned. So Robert and I are going to have to work this out over the next few days.
Even though we've done these before I feel like this one has the most specific subject he's needed to cover, the hardest subject to come up with ideas for and it's the longest.
Before the speeches were just his story about how he got it or about how he lives with it. I really just sort of put it in order and added some snazzy vocabulary.
This time we're going to have to be creative and think about how people lead others in their community and what they can do to help with HIV/AIDS. I have no idea how someone steps up as a leader in a community. I've got nothing. I need to think this through. So that's my new writing project for the next few days. Wish me luck.

In the mean time stop by here to check out local events for World AIDS Day.


Anonymous said...

Just start out by capturing the audience's attention (shock, humor, etc.). Next, you do a brief explanation of what the speech will be about. Personal stories are engaging, as are surprising (but true) facts and statistics. You can never go wrong with humor. Good luck and it's great that you're helping your friend this way!

-Melissa Donovan

jenni said...

I would talk about how leaders aren't leaders if no one is following. We can lead by example, but we can't force others to follow us. (That's why vegans and environmentalists are so cool.) Once you've made that link, you can start talking about how Robert leads his life - voila, back into life story territory. A leader who volunteers for the organization is demonstrating how others should act accordingly, etc. He donates his time and money and this is an act of leadership that, again others should follow. Get your friends checked on world AIDS day, etc. I say you basically use everything you've already had in the speeches and slot in a few links to the idea of leading. Plus you need some hot quotes about leadership. I'm always partial to Gandhi's "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

D.B. Echo said...

When I'm doing a speech, I usually rough out an outline, block out the times, and...well, I usually fake it from there. You may want to get a bit more specific in the outline, but I prefer just having key words (in 48-point type) on a piece of paper and weaving the speech on the spot to fit the mood and tone of the audience. Also, it's easier than reading every lasy word on a piece of paper. This may not work in all cases.

Ashley said...

Thanks for all the very helpful info. I've got a good idea about how to get it written and what to write now.