Public radio’s Writer’s Almanac described Winston Churchill’s speechwriting process this week, on the anniversary of his famous Battle of Britain speech to the House of Commons in 1940.
He brainstormed, researched, planned out the speech in his head, then dictated it aloud to his secretary. From there, he revised it several times and typed it up in what he called “psalm form.” His speeches looked like blank verse poetry on the page, so that the rhythm and pauses were laid out just how he wanted them. Before Churchill delivered a speech, he would practice over and over, sometimes in the bathtub.
And that, you can tell your clients, is how you get confidently delivered lines like, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”