If you have given a speech in the past, be it in a community or in a class, you can get more mileage from your efforts by turning your speech into an article.
If you have given a speech in the past, be it in a community or in a class, you can get more mileage from your efforts by turning your speech into an article. If you were pleased about how the audience has reacted to your speech, just wait until you see them published online for millions of readers to see.
Writing, just like public speaking, is a skill you can learn. Some learn by taking classes, some learn just by doing, in a constant regular practice. If you have terrific information crying to be published, here are some short-cuts that might at least get you to through a first draft.
You can learn by reading others’ works. I’m not suggesting that you steal ideas, but you can learn by studying and applying the techniques used by many writers. Later, you can confidently develop your own writing style.
To learn how the pros pull it all together, begin a collection of articles that are most similar to your topic or area of interest. Study them paragraph by paragraph, and then ask yourself the following questions:
1. How did the writers arouse your interest to read the article and continue reading further?
When you find yourself absorbed in a magazine article, try to analyze the technique that the writer used to keep you interested. What is the author’s “lead?” (Lead is the term used to describe the introductory statements of an article).
2. How and when did the author state the thesis?
In an informative article, the thesis, or the main thought, of the article normally appears in the opening paragraphs. In other types of articles, it appears in the middle, such as the fourth or fifth paragraphs.
3. How did the author structure the body of the article?
The rest of the informative article is usually spent introducing different aspects of the subject, all of which support the thesis. Sometimes those are presented in a list separated by numbers or subheads. Other times the author uses narrative with transitions between the paragraphs so that the different thoughts flow together.
4. How does the author conclude the article?
Just as in a speech, finding a good ending to an article is just as challenging as finding a good beginning. Some writers give a summary of the information (although this can cause your article to fizzle out), others find a good quote. The only thing to do is write then rewrite, again and again, until the right ending – one that flows with the preceding paragraph—pops smoothly in place.
Finally, proofread it. Either do it electronically or ask somebody reliable to do it for you. Sometimes there are errors that we ourselves cannot see.
Continue to seek information about article writing, and have no fear of rewrites. The rewrites are often better that your first draft.
But by all means, make use of all that information you’ve accumulated researching your speeches. Don’t lose a good opportunity to see your words immortalized!