I’m usually asked how one gets started when it comes to writing a an article or a speech.  There are many ways to get started, however one way I use called the “Focus Method.”  This method will guide you through generating ideas for your article or speech, and will likely provide ideas for future ones as well.

F – Find Your Topics

You will be most comfortable speaking or writing when you concentrate on things that you know and enjoy.  Therefore, the first thing you should do is write down your hobbies and interests.  Then ask yourself what you know about them and write down anything that comes to mind.  Do not judge what you write down.  You will do that later.  Note: This would be a great opportunity to start or update your story file!

O – Order Your Topics

After you have completed your brainstorming, prioritize each item that you wrote down.  Place the topics that you know the most about or the ones you are most comfortable with higher on the list.  This will allow you to begin writing on “easy” topics while researching the “hard” ones.

C – Consider Your Resources

Select a topic from your list that you would like to write about.  Brainstorm talking points that may be of interest.  After the topic brainstorm, you should start to formulate a hypothesis statement, or at least have an idea as to what message you want to give to your readers or listeners.  Prioritize the topics, putting the ones that you think fit your goal the best at the top of the list. Select the top three. Then, write down the resources you have available for the topics.  Do not forget reputable websites, contacts you may have who are experts in the topic you are writing about, and your story file (personal experiences make great stories).

U – Use Your Resources

Begin researching your talking points using the resource items you noted.  You may find that one of your topics does not “fit right” so do not be afraid to select another prospect from the list and repeat the resource consideration phase process on that topic.  Do not be afraid to reach out to your contacts to get stories or memorable quotes that fit your message.

S – Start Writing

Now that your research is complete, you can begin writing your article, paper, or speech.  Be sure that you keep your hypothesis statement or the goal of your message in mind along with any time, space, or word constraints.

There are many other ways to get started, but hopefully this spurs some ideas.  Good luck!

Check out the resources below to learn more about writing great speeches.

The Path to Powerful Presentations In Other Words, How I went From Chump to Champ Darren LaCroix World Champion of Public Speaking

Speaker’s EDGE: Secrets and Strategies for Connecting with Any Audience

Laugh & Get Rich: How to Profit from Humor in Any Business