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The social speech starts long before you take the stage

Engage your audience before your speech

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A lot of speeches begin with someone introducing you to the audience - reciting your background and qualifications, and then encouraging them to greet you warmly as you head to the microphone.

And once the applause dies down, you're looking at a sea of people who are probably as unfamiliar to you as you are to them. Your first few lines not only have to launch your speech, but establish a rapport and some degree of trust with your audience.

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The social speech: How your friends and followers can help you write your next presentation

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Speechwriting is a notoriously solitary profession. You might have a few conversations with a client, their staff or — if you're writing for yourself — a mirror. But a lot of your work is going to be just you, a keyboard and the unforgiving blank screen.

At least, that used to be the case. But when you're crafting a social speech, speechwriting can be a team activity. And even though you still have to do the actual writing, you can draw on the ideas, experience and ingenuity of a large networked audience.

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