Five steps to speechwriting success

Whether you're writing a speech for yourself of your CEO, finding the right words is just the start

It can strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned communications professional. You’ve been asked to write a speech. The first reaction is usually flattery that someone thinks so highly of your writing skills. Then there’s panic. Then mind-numbing, blank-page introspection. How do I start? Should I try for humour? Does my speaker need to sound like President Obama? Or should he just try to be himself? Is it too late to find another job? Why me?

Fletcher Dean

Fletcher Dean is director of leadership communications at Dow Chemical. He is an award-winning speechwriter, author and teacher. He won the Cicero Speechwriting Awards Grand Prize for the best speech of the year in 2008 as well as three additional golden Cicero Awards. He is an adjunct faculty member at Western Connecticut State University, and is the author of 10 Steps to Writing a Vital Speech. He blogs at