Turn Your Speech into a Book

by | Jul 10, 2014

Vanessa CollinsAs a speaker, you motivate and encourage with your words.  You inspire people to make life-changing decisions and take bold action steps in order to accomplish their goals and live their dreams. But when the speech is over, only the memory of the spoken words are left.  Unfortunately, as the days and weeks go by, those memories fade. However, if your audience was able to experience your words again, in greater detail, it would be a huge benefit for them and would increase the chances of their success immensely.

There are tremendous benefits for you, as a speaker, to have your work published as well. It is no secret that having a book increases your credibility with your audience as well as your bottom line.  Many authors make substantially more with their book sales than they do with the speaker’s honorarium.  It is a sad but true fact; as a speaker, you are leaving money on the table when you do not have books and other products to sell. 

Writing is book is not hard at all but it does require work.  But guess what?  If you have written a speech, you have a lot of the hard work already done.  You already decided a topic and thoroughly researched it before you wrote your speech.  You probably cut some valuable information out of the speech in order to make it shorter so that you could meet your time constraints.  It’s time to gather all of that material up and start writing your book.

Start with the outline

If you typically outline your speeches before you write them, this is the place to start.  If you do not outline your speech prior to writing it, you can go back and outline it.  Outlining your speech will help you organize the thoughts that you have and help your decide how to expand.  In a typical 20-30 minute speech, you may have 3 – 5 subtopics that you cover.  You will probably want to expand this to 10-12 for your book.  Each of the subtopics can be a chapter in your book.

Expand Your Outline

Look at your current outline to see how you can expand it.  This is where you can recover the information you previously discarded when you were editing your speech for time.  If your speech talked about 5 tips for doing something, see if you can come up with 5 additional tips for a total of 10 tips.

Expand Your Writing

Now it’s time to write the chapters for the subtopics in your outline.  If you talked about the subtopic in your speech, start there and expand on what you said.  Otherwise, begin writing on the new subtopic.  You can also expand your writing by including some of the following elements:

  • Etymology / Word Use
  • Historical Context
  • Geographical Context
  • Personal Stories
  • Other’s stories
  • Current /Recent Past Events
  • Expert Opinions
  • Opposing Views

Understand That “Rough is Rough”

It is called a “rough draft” for a reason.  It is rough and that is fine.  As you are writing your rough draft, resist the urge to stop and edit.  This will hamper your creative flow.  Just let the writing happen.  You will have plenty of time to edit and rewrite later.

Moving Forward with the Manuscript

Once you have completed the rough draft, let it alone for a few days before starting the editing process.  As you start the editing process, remember your commitment to making this happen.  Do not decide to trash it just because it doesn’t sound right.  If it doesn’t sound right, fix it.  Once you have spruced the rough draft up some, it is time to seek the help of a professional editor.  They will help you transform your rough manuscript into a masterpiece.