How to Write a Speech

efore you are able to write a great speech, it is necessary to first learn a little bit about the different types of speeches and how one is made up. Not surprisingly, there are various types of speeches, and each will contain specific characteristics depending on their nature.

Tips for Beginners – How to write a speech

Similar to essays, every speech has three primary sections: The beginning (the introduction), the middle (the body) and the end (the conclusion.) Contrary to essays, speeches are designed to be heard rather than read. The best speeches are written in a manner that not only engages with the audience, but also holds their attention from start to finish. This, of course, necessitates that your speech must have ‘flair’ or ‘pizzazz’ something that draws the listener in.

The various types of speeches are:

  • Informative
  • Instructional
  • Persuasive
  • Entertaining
  • Special Occasion
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Some Ideas How to start a speech

How you start your speech will depend largely on the reason you are delivering the speech. For example, the most powerful speeches that also happen to be informative in nature, often contain an introductory statement that not only introduces the topic being discussed but also piques the interest of the audience. It must be followed up by a strong transition into the main body of the speech.

Think of the attention grabbing portion of the introduction as the ‘hook’, it must be something that not only compels the audience to remain open-minded, but also encourages them to want to listen to everything you have to say.  How long is your introduction or speech supposed to be? That will depend specifically on the amount of time that you’ve been allotted to deliver your speech and whether or not there is a question and answer forum afterwards.

Speech Format – Is There Any?

As mentioned earlier, speech writing follow the same basic format as a traditional essay. There must be an introduction, a body and a conclusion. We discussed the introduction earlier.

There is no ‘set in stone’ rule when it comes to how the body of a speech must be organized. However there are a few speech tips to keep in mind.

  • Keep in chronological – this provides a more accurate order for the timeline of events
  • Present one key piece of information at a time
  • Follow a cause and effect pattern
  • Offer a full overview of the design or physical arrangement

Most speeches will have the body divided into three topic sections.

Lastly you would move on to the conclusion. More on that below.

A Short Guide How to write a speech outline

Writing an outline is one of the most crucial success factors for writing the best speeches, and often one of the most overlooked items.

Having an outline will not only save you time in the long run, it will help you to keep your thoughts organized and ensure that you are following proper structure and formatting.

Here is an example of how to make a speech outline you might use for reference purposes

  1. Prepare
    1. Determine your topic
    2. Get to know your audience
    3. Determine the purpose of the speech
    4. Decide how you will organize the speech
  2. The Intro
    1. Jot down an attention grabbing intro statement
    2. Redefine your thesis statement (summarize what the speech is about)
    3. State something that establishes credibility
  3. The Middle
    1. Transition from the intro to the body
    2. Offer your main idea and supporting information
    3. Provide examples and as much detail as needed
  4. The End
    1. Offer a summary of the body and the main points
    2. Jot down a strong call to action or closing statement

Ways How to end a speech

Ending your speech properly requires that you not only restate your main points, but also leave the audience with something to think about. Some people choose to do this by prompting listeners to consider a statement or by reciting a quote. Ideally, you are looking for something that neatly wraps up the entire speech, but also offers a bit of a twist or call to action.

Regardless of the nature of your speech, there are certain things that you will want to consider including. They are:

  • Witty or relevant quotes
  • Funny stories or anecdotes that have a purpose
  • Strong transitions that are meaningful and make sense
  • A solid ending

The most important thing to consider when writing a speech comes from knowing who you are writing it for. You need to be able to convey passion and eagerness, but you also want your audience to share in your eagerness with their own enthusiasm. This means you need to be able to write attention-grabbing statements that pique their interest and not just your own.

Some of Speech Examples You May Find Useful

When preparing to write (or deliver) a speech, there is merit in reading or listening to famous speeches to pick up on little things like transitions, body language, openers and how strong conclusions are delivered.

Here are a few world-famous great speeches that you can refer to:

  1. I have a dream by Martin Luther King
  2. The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln
  3. The Infamy Speech by Franklin Roosevelt
  4. Barak Obama’s Election Speech
  5. Checkers Speech by Richard Nixon
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