How to Overcome Writer’s Block?

Member news | October 12, 2021

Have you ever experienced the famous writer’s block before a speech?

Although you were thinking about your speech for days, when it is finally time to write it down, you are unable to put words on paper.

If you are a high-level manager, probably someone else will prepare a text for you. But even in this case, you would love to add a personal touch to your speech.

The reason why it’s so hard to get started and find inspiration varies from person to person. If you are a perfectionist, afraid of others judging you or criticizing your work, or suffering from excessive self-criticism, you may continue for hours to stare at an empty document on your computer. 

Before beginning to write anything, you can start by asking yourself some crucial questions:

  • What do I want my speech to achieve? Am I going to motivate, inform, persuade, or entertain my audience?
  • What are my key topic areas?
  • Did I decide on the length and the order of my speech?
  • What would make the audience engage in my speech?
  • Where can I get the information I need and bring new things to my speech?
  • Did I choose three key points for my presentation?

Once you have a list of topics or speech ideas, you can take a look at them and decide which one grabs your imagination. Then you can write all the words and phrases that come to mind around this topic. The next step is about finding the three or four main points that best support your ideas. Now you can think of some anecdotes, facts, and quotes that will illustrate your speech, and start writing your introduction, your main text, and your conclusion.

The first 60 seconds of any speech is crucial.

What makes a good opener?

You can start with a question. The danger here is to turn yourself into a schoolteacher. You must ask a rhetorical question or have the answer and pronounce it quickly.

You can also share some interesting facts, something people will be unlikely to know.

The best way to engage your audience is to speak about your personal experience. A short anecdote shared with enthusiasm can always be a good idea.

Now it is time to write your conclusion and to decide what you want the audience to go away with. 

Once your speech is ready, be sure that you have a good construction with a clear path to follow for your audience.

Keep it simple, colorful, and authentic, and they will remember you.

Muriel Omur Ilbas is a former TV producer and anchorwoman, a communication expert with 20 years of management consulting, 16 years of training services, and 11 years of executive coaching experience.

She has worked with more than 150 global companies including Pepsi, British American Tobacco, Coca Cola, L’Oréal, Limagrain, Lesaffre, Total, Peugeot, Groupama, Louis Vuitton, Basf, Roche, Glaxo, and Novartis.

Her company, LSWUS Consulting, LLC, based in the U.S., provides a broad variety of online and in-person services in consulting, coaching, training, mentoring, and crisis management for expat managers and international students living in the US.

She provides intercultural coaching and public speaking services under her brand: Your Coach in America.