Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
How to Write and Give a Speech

How to Write and Give a Speech

A Practical Guide for Anyone Who Has to Make Every Word Count

Joan Detz

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

With more than 65,000 copies sold in two editions and recommended by Forbes and U.S. News & World Report, this newly updated how to guide offers sound advice on every aspect of researching, writing, and delivering an effective speech. Filled with anecdotes, tips, examples, and practical advice, this accessible guide makes one of the most daunting tasks manageable-and even fun.

Speaking coach Joan Detz covers everything from the basics to the finer points of writing and delivering a speech with persuasion, style, and humor.

Topics include:

- Assessing your audience
- Researching your subject-and deciding what to leave out
- Keeping it simple
- Using imagery, quotations, repetition, and humor
- Special-occasion speeches
- Speaking to international audiences
- Using Power Point and other visual aids
- And many more

Updated to include new examples and the latest technology, as well as a section on social media, this is a must-have for anyone who writes and delivers speeches, whether novices or experienced veterans at the podium.



A talk is a voyage. It must be charted. The speaker who starts nowhere, usually gets there.—DALE CARNEGIE
It usually starts out simple: You get a phone...


Praise for How to Write and Give a Speech

“A how-to classic.” —The Washington Post

“Joan Detz has gone a long way toward taking the mystery out of writing and giving an effective speech. For this I will find it hard to forgive her.” —Governor Mario M. Cuomo

“This book is a practical text for helping anyone develop the ability to speak and become more effective.” —Terrence J. McCann, executive director, Toastmasters International

“There should be a law against boring and poorly delivered speeches. When there is, Joan Detz will be required reading.” —Brian S. Akre, director of executive communications, Renault-Nissan BV

“If you want to boost your career, do two things: buy Joan Detz's book; then start giving great speeches.” —Jane Maas, author of Mad Women and advertising executive

“It's a rare distinction for any book to remain in print continuously for three decades. This 30th anniversary edition, updated for the digital age, attests to Joan Detz's international reputation as a corporate communicator par excellence. Her guidance goes far beyond speechwriting. The practical wisdom in these pages will help you communicate your best in every business situation.” —Marian Calabro, author of The Clorox Company—100 Years, 1000 Reasons and President,

“Global executives need to give presentations. This book tells how to make those presentations effective.” —Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, vice chairman, Telia-Sonera AB and SRV Group; former CEO, Nokia Corp

“… a timeless reference manual.” —Carri Chandler, External Affairs, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

“Joan Detz, with her vast experience and expertise, is certain to provide any communicator with great practical guidance and, more importantly, an added sense of purpose in what they do for living.” —Vuk Vujnovic, Secretary General at SEECOM (South East Europe Public Sector Communication Association)

“… a broad range of new examples that illustrate the art and craft of speechwriting.” —Rhea Wessel, journalist and speechwriter

“[Detz's] book is excellent.” —Chris McGee, corporate speechwriter and former military public affairs specialist

“Joan's experience and expertise regarding speechwriting and presentation skills have proven to be invaluable.” —Vern Schellenger, SVP of HR, American Bankers Association

“You don't know what you don't know about speechwriting until you've attended one of Joan Detz's trainings or read her books. Joan's advice is brilliant, insightful, and smack-yourself-in-the-forehead "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" smart! Professional communicators around the globe turn to Joan for expert tips on producing and delivering speeches that make a difference. She has been a staple of training for the members of the National Association of Government Communicators for many years, and for good reason. Her workshops are among the most popular at our annual training events. This book is the next best thing to Joan herself, full of wonderful advice on knowing your audience, writing the speech, preparing the room, and fantastic tips for delivering the speech. I am delighted about this new anniversary edition, because my dog-eared old copy is pretty worn.” —John Verrico, President-Elect, National Association of Government Communicators

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Joan Detz

JOAN DETZ is also the author of Can You Say a Few Words? and It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It. She coaches executives, offers media training, and conducts presentation skills workshops for major organizations around the world. A popular presenter at professional conferences, she also teaches seminars in public speaking and speechwriting. She lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Joan Detz

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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