Write first drafts with ease

Write first drafts with ease

By Betty Hintch, editor of American Speaker 

Don’t agonize over writing your speech. Prevent writer’s block and procrastination with these steps:

  • Commit to a deadline. Motivate yourself to complete your first draft by setting a deadline and sticking to it. Expect to write your rough copy in a few hours. Tip: Create an outline before you start writing.   
  • Choose a medium. It’s easier to edit your draft if you type it into a word processing program. However, if you compose better material by hand writing the text, start a new page for each main idea or section. That way, you can switch the order or add new material without having to rewrite the document.
  • Allow for imperfections. If full sentences aren’t flowing smoothly, jot down your ideas in bullet format. Don’t take time to find precise words. Record ideas that come to mind, knowing you’ll be able to edit the text later.
  • Write out of order. When a section is difficult to compose, move on to the next one. You can go back to challenging sections after you’ve completed the easy ones. Tip: Write the introduction last. That way, you won’t waste time tweaking ideas that never make it into your presentation.
  • Note slide placement. Highlight areas that will be the subject of a slide. When it’s time to create your PowerPoint presentation, you’ll have a rough outline to work from.

Your first draft should never be your final draft, so don’t worry about perfection. Just start writing.

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