How to Write a Speech – Coming up with a Title

Introducing “Title Tuesdays” (Ask a Speechwriter)


speechwriter public speakingThat darn title!

I don’t know how many people come to me with a great idea for a speech, some message that is burning inside of them yearning to come out…

and then get stuck trying to come up with a title for their speech.

Titles are important. Let’s say you are giving a breakout session at a conference. Attendees are going to look at the speakers program and decide what session to go to based on your title and promotional blurb (especially if you are a relative unknown or newcomer).

Event and speaker co-ordinators will choose speakers partially as result of your title and promotional blurb as well (they have a vested interest in a lot of people showing up and loving your speech too, and want it to go well almost as much as you do).

Is your title going to attract their interest? Entice them to come out? Fill the room?  Or does it sound like everyone else, the ‘same old, same old’ type speech? Or worse, is the title unclear, vague or ‘jargony’?  (big turnoffs).

The goal of creating a great title is not to be clever or unique, focus on being clear and attracting attention.

Essentially, you want the title to ‘sell the click’ and/or ‘fill the room’  –  in other words to be on-point and compelling enough that they will click through to your registration page if they see the title on an web-based ad or in an email or a social media posting, and if it’s at a live conference, they will be eager to show up instead of seeing a competing speaker (or having an extended lunch or sleeping in …).

What makes a Great Title?

  1. √ A great title states a very practical, measurable benefit or result.

  2. √ It has one clear concept, just one.

  3. √ It is free of jargon or intellectual wording. (Be careful here! What may be obvious to you, may not be to your audience. Use common, easily understood words).

  4. √ It targets a specific audience (i.e.  it actually names the audience right in the title).

  5. √ It answers the question of why. Why should someone invest their time by attending your speech or even by reading your marketing piece, or watching your video, etc..? Why should they bother? What is the end result?

  6. √ It addresses a specific problem using concrete language

Always remember that anyone reading your marketing pieces is going to be thinking ‘what’s in it for me”.   So, tell them what they will get out of it, how they will benefit from coming to your speech or presentation right in the title:  “Discover the 3 Secrets of …” , “Learn How to …”  etc.

The key is to grab attention, so be bold. State a Major Benefit or Bold Promise.  If your program is about wealth building, say “Millionaire in a Year” or if you are about anti-aging, say “Live an Extra 20 years”, or  ‘Make $8,000 – $10,000 Per Month Working From Home in Your Underwear”.  Don’t be afraid to have fun and be bold.  

Use psychological trigger words in your title like “tested” or “surefire, unlimited, explosive, little-known”.   (Just google “psychological trigger words” or “trigger words” and you’ll find great lists of them).

The title must trigger an emotional reaction,  a yearning to learn more and have what you promise, or just arouse a sense of curiosity – a feeling that you know something they don’t.

Introducing “Title Tuesdays” (Ask a Speechwriter)

Every Tues at 10am PST (1pm EST),  I will be hosting a “Title Tuesday’ event on our Facebook group.  To participate, just join the group and post your draft or suggested titles you’re working on for your speech, and we’ll see if we can tweak them.  It is a LIVE FB event and part of my “Ask a Speechwriter” series.

(“Title Tuesdays” online Q&A series starts JULY 24th, 2018)

I really love playing with speech titles (yes, I’m a nerd that way), so plan on having some fun in addition to getting free help with your speech title from a professional speech writer.

(but join the group and post your titles soon, I review them on a first-come, first served basis).  

Or, if you  want to cut right to the chase and get your title, and your speech done,  then let’s talk. Sign up for my “Discover Your Story/Get Your Speech Done” consultation session TODAY!

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