The Need for Revision
It is human nature to want to get a difficult job done as quickly as possible. But every successful writer knows that one of the differences between a professional and an amateur is the amount of revision.
Even after a pro has gone over the first draft of an article carefully and believes it is ready to submit to the editor, she will sleep on it another day or two, if there is time. Inevitably, in the light of another day, there is a new perspective and fresh information to make it even better.
Sometimes, a writer will go through this process several times until she cannot think of another significant improvement. The same approach applies to the ideal way to write a speech. The longer you have to finish it, the more opportunity you have to do more research and refine it (not to mention to practice more).
For a persuasive speech, you want to step back and reexamine whether you present the arguments in a logical order. Following a structure — like simple-to-complex or chronological — does not guarantee that each point starts solidly on the prior argument. Often, speakers make overly optimistic assumptions about what the audience will buy into before considering the next idea. Show the first draft to someone who disagrees with its point of view, to see whether they can poke holes in its logic.
Do not get hung up on rigidly following “proper grammar,” just speak in a normal conversational way. Ignore the rule, for example, that forbids ending a sentence with a preposition and would have you say “this is the subject about which we are going to talk,” instead of “this is the subject we are going to talk about.”
If you have a personal attorney or a friend who is a lawyer, she would be useful to use as a sounding board. Law students are taught critical thinking, which allows them to analyze a proposition and then construct arguments pro and con.
Also, look at how you refer to people in the speech from the standpoint of gender usage. Do not try to be neutral by always using the sexless “one could do that.” Unless you are speaking of an actual individual, alternate “he” and “she” so that you do not consistently leave one part of the audience out of your references and you retain the sense of a real person.
When it comes to terms that have been traditionally sexist, use what will seem most natural for today: businesswoman instead of businessperson or police officer instead of policewoman. In some cases, either the old or the new will be acceptable: chairwoman or chairperson or even just chair.