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How to write a speech that your audience remembers

Confident-woman-giving-a-conference-with-a-digital-presentation-how-to-give-a-speech

Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.

Man-holding-microphone-at-panel-while-talking--how-to-give-a-speech

How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.

People-clapping-after-coworker-gave-a-speech-how-to-give-a-speech

How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.

Woman-at-home-doing-research-in-her-laptop-how-to-give-a-speech

Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.

Man-holding-microphone-while-speaking-in-public-how-to-give-a-speech

5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Boost your speech skills

Enhance your public speaking with personalized coaching tailored to your needs

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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Become a Writer Today

How To Write A Speech That Inspires You Audience: 13 Steps

Learn how to write a speech that will effectively reach your audience.

A good speech is a powerful tool. Effective speeches make people powerful, whether in the hands of a world leader trying to get people to believe their ideology or in the mouth of a teacher trying to inspire students. A well-written speech can lift the hearts of a nation in times of war, inspire people to action when complacency is commonplace, honor someone who has died, and even change a nation’s mind on a particular topic, which, in turn, can change history.

Excellent speech writing is a skill that you must learn. While public speaking may come naturally to some people, the sentence structure and nuances of a powerful speech are something you must learn if you are going to gain the audience’s attention.

So how can you learn how to write a speech? The writing process is a little different than the process you’d use to write a paper or essay, so here is a guide that can help.

Materials Needed

Step 1: define your purpose, step 2: determine your audience, step 3: start your research, step 4: choose the right length, step 5: create an outline, step 6: craft the introduction, step 7: write the body, step 8: use transitions, step 9: conclude your speech, step 10: add some spice, step 11. implement spoken language, step 12: edit your speech, step 13: read it out.

  • Research materials
  • Audience demographic information

Before you can write a speech, you must know the purpose of your speech. You can deliver many types of speeches, and the purpose will determine which one you are giving. While there may be more than these, here are some common types of speeches:

  • Informative speech: An informative speech strives to educate the audience on a topic or message. This is the type of speech a teacher gives when delivering a lecture. “ First World Problems ” by Sarah Kwon is an excellent example of an informative speech.
  • Entertaining speech: This speech strives to amuse the audience. These are typically short speeches with funny, personal stories woven in. A wedding guest giving a speech at a wedding may be an example of this type of speech.
  • Demonstrative speech: This speech demonstrates how to do something to the audience. A company showing how to use a product is delivering this type of speech.
  • Persuasive speech: This speech aims to persuade the audience of your particular opinion. Political speeches are commonly persuasive. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “ I Have a Dream ” speech is an example of a persuasive speech, as it called the government to make changes that protected civil and economic rights.
  • Oratorical speech: An oratory is a formal speech at an event like a funeral or graduation. The goal is to express an opinion and inspire the audience, but not necessarily to persuade.
  • Motivational speech: These speeches inspire people to take action, such as to improve themselves or to feel better and happier. For example, a coach may deliver this kind of speech to his players during halftime to inspire them to win the game. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address is an excellent example of a motivational speech.
  • Eulogy: A Eulogy is a funeral speech. This speech is given to the mourners at someone’s funeral and talks about the excellent character rates of the person who died. “ Eulogy for Rosa Parks ” is a famous example of this type of speech given by Oprah Winfrey in 2015.
  • Explanatory speech: This final speech type describes a situation or item. These speeches often have step-by-step instructions on how to do a particular thing.

Your audience members are an essential part of the speech writing process. Consider taking notes about your audience before you start writing your speech. You can even make a fake audience member you are writing toward as you prepare your speech. Even though they do not directly impact what you talk about, they should impact how you talk about it. Therefore, you must write your speech to reach that particular audience.

For example, if you are writing a speech for an audience that does not agree with you, you will need to bring more facts and figures to persuade them of your opinion. On the other hand, if you are writing a speech for an audience already on your side, you must encourage them to hold the line. To get to know your audience, consider factors like:

  • Income level
  • Pain points
  • Questions they might ask

Before you outline or write your speech, you must know some facts about the big idea or speech topic. So perform some research, and take notes. See if you can find any new or surprising information in your research. If it was new and surprising, it also might be to your audience members. You can use this research to make the essential points of your piece.

Finally, know the required length of your speech. Speeches usually have time limits, not word count limits. You will need to know the desired length before you can start writing the speech, or you will end up with a speech that is too long or too short. The length of your speech will vary depending on where you are giving it and who your audience is.

Generally, a 20-minute speech is standard when delivering a speech to adults in a professional or academic setting. However, if you are a student who is preparing a speech for a classroom, you may be limited to three to five minutes. Sometimes speakers will get booked to take on a 60-minute session, but if you talk for 60 minutes, you will lose the attention of some of your audience members.

Remember, some of the most famous speeches in history are very short. President Abraham Lincoln’s “ Gettysburg Address ” was less than 300 words long and took less than two minutes to deliver. President Franklin Roosevelt’s “ Day of Infamy ” speech lasted less than 10 minutes. However, knowing your speech’s length can be challenging after you prepare it. Generally, a double-spaced page of writing will take about 90 seconds to speak. Thus, a 20-minute speech will take about 13 typed, double-spaced pages if you type out your entire speech.

Consider using a words-to-minutes calculator to determine how long your speech likely is. Remember that the average English speaker speaks 140 words a minute. You may get up to 170 words a minute if you speak fast. If your speech is slow, it may be as little as 110 words a minute.

How to write a speech: Create an outline

Now you are ready to start writing. Before you write a speech, you must create an outline. Some public speakers will speak from an outline alone, while others will write their speech word-for-word. Both strategies can lead to a successful speech, but both also start with an outline. Your speech’s outline will follow this template:

  • Introduction: Introduces your main idea and hooks the reader’s attention.
  • Body: Covers two to three main points with transitions.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the speech’s points and drive home your main message.

As you fill in these areas, answer these questions: Who? What? Why? and How? This will ensure you cover all the essential elements your listeners need to hear to understand your topic. Next, make your outline as detailed as you can. Organize your research into points and subpoints. The more detail on your outline, the easier it will be to write the speech and deliver it confidently.

As you prepare your speech, your introduction is where you should spend the most time and think. You only have moments to capture your audience’s attention or see them zone out in front of you. However, if you do it right, you will cause them to turn to you for more information on the topic. In other words, the introduction to a speech may be the most memorable part, so it deserves your attention. Therefore, you must have three main parts:

  • Hook: The hook is a rhetorical question, funny story, personal anecdote, or shocking statistic that grabs the listener’s attention and shows them why your speech is worth listening to.
  • Thesis: This is your main idea or clear point.
  • Road map: You will want to preview your speech outline in the introduction.

Here is an example of a good introduction for a persuasive speech from Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk about children and food:

“Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead from the food that they eat.”

This shocking statistic gets the audience’s attention immediately. In his speech, Oliver details why America’s food choices are so poor, how it affects them, and how we can teach children to do better.

Here is an example of an informative speech about pollution and what can be done about it. This introduction follows the template perfectly.

“I want you to close your eyes for a minute and picture a beautiful oceanfront. The sound of the waves crashing on the sand while seagulls fly overhead. Do you have it? Now I am going to say one word that will destroy that image: Pollution. What changed in your mental picture? Do you now see sea turtles with bottles on their head or piles of debris washing on shore? Marine pollution is a massive problem because plastic does not decompose. Not only does it use up many resources to create, but it rarely gets disposed of properly. We must protect our natural areas, like that beautiful beach. Today I am going to show you how destructive the effects of plastic can be, how it is managing our natural resources, and what steps we can take to improve the situation.”

Now you are ready to write the body of your speech. Draw from your research and flesh out the points stated in your introduction. As you create your body, use short sentences. People can’t listen as long as they can read, so short and sweet sentences are most effective. Continuing the theme of the marine pollution speech, consider this body paragraph.

“You might be thinking plastic isn’t a big deal. Let’s think for a minute that you’re at the beach drinking bottled water. According to “The Problem with Plastic,” an article by Hannah Elisbury, one out of every six plastic water bottles ends up in recycling. The rest become landfill fodder. Worse, many get dropped in nature. Perhaps you are packing up at the end of your beach trip and forget to grab your bottle. Maybe your kid is buried in the sand. Now it’s adding pollutants to the water. That water becomes part of the drinking water supply. It also becomes part of the fish you eat at your favorite seafood restaurant. Just one bottle has big consequences.”

As you write the body, don’t stress making every word perfect. You will revise it later. The main goal is to get your ideas on paper or screen. This body paragraph is effective for two reasons. First, the audience members likely use water bottles, which resonates with them. Second, she uses a resource and names it, which gives your work authority.

It would be best to use transitions to move from each speech section. This keeps the audience engaged and interested. In addition, the transitions should naturally merge into the next section of the speech without abruptness. To transition between points or ideas, use transition words. Some examples include:

  • Coupled with
  • Following this
  • Additionally
  • Comparatively
  • Correspondingly
  • Identically
  • In contrast
  • For example

You can also use sequence words, like first, second, third, etc., to give the idea of transition from one thought to the next. Make sure your speech has several transition words to drive it through to completion and to keep the audience engaged.

In his speech “ Their Finest Hour ,” Winston Churchill uses transitions well. Here is an excerpt from his conclusion:

“ But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Therefore, let us brace ourselves to our duties and bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

Notice that he uses “therefore,” “so,” and “but.” Each of these transition words effectively moves the speech along.

Your conclusion needs to restate your thesis but differently. It should personalize the speech to the audience, restate your main points and state any key takeaways. Finally, it should leave the audience with a thought to ponder.

Here are some practical ways to end a speech:

  • Use a story
  • Read a poem
  • State an inspirational quote
  • Summarize the main points
  • Deliver a call to action

Here are some examples of fantastic conclusions:

  • Here is an excellent example of a concluding statement for an inspirational graduation speech: “As you graduate, you will face great challenges, but you will also have great opportunities. By embracing all that you have learned here, you will meet them head-on. The best is yet to come!”
  • A CEO that is trying to inspire his workforce might conclude a speech like this: “While the past year had challenges and difficulties, I saw you work through them and come out ahead. As we move into the next year, I am confident we will continue to excel. Let’s join hands, and together this can be the best year in company history!”
  • In “T he Speech to Go to the Moon, ” President Kennedy concluded this way: “ Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there. Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.” Many speechwriters say something like “in conclusion” or “that’s all I have for you today.” This is not necessary. Saying “in conclusion” could cause your audience to stop listening as they anticipate the end of the speech, and stating that you have said all you need to say is just unnecessary.

Now that you have the basic structure, you’re ready to add some spice to your speech. Remember, you aren’t reading a research essay. Instead, you are making an exciting and engaging spoken presentation. Here are some ideas:

  • Consider giving your speech some rhythm. For example, change the wording, so it has a pace and cadence.
  • Work to remove a passive voice from your sentences where possible. Active speaking is more powerful than passive.
  • Use rhetorical questions throughout because they make the listener stop and think for a moment about what you are saying.
  • Weave some quotes into your speech. Pulling famous words from other people will make your speech more interesting.
  • Where possible, use personal stories. This helps your audience engage with you as the speaker while keeping the speech interesting.

You may not use all of these ideas in your speech, but find some that will work for the type of speech you plan to give. They will make it more exciting and help keep listeners engaged in what you are saying.

Writing a speech is not like writing a paper. While you want to sound educated with proper grammar , you need to write in the way you speak. For many people, this is much different from the way they write. Not only will you use short sentences, but you will also use:

  • Familiar vocabulary: This is not the time to start adding scientific terminology to the mix or jargon for your industry that the audience won’t understand. Use familiar vocabulary.
  • Transitions: Already discussed, but spoken language uses many transition words. Your speech should, too.
  • Personal pronouns: “You” and “I” are acceptable in a speech but not in academic writing.
  • Colloquialisms: Colloquialisms are perfectly acceptable in a speech, provided the audience would readily understand them.
  • Contractions: We use contractions when we speak, so we also use them in speeches, while some writing platforms and assignments do not allow them.
  • Repetition: Repeating words and phrases makes them memorable. This helps emphasize the main ideas and works well in speeches.

Now you are ready to edit your speech. Remember, spoken language is acceptable, but grammar errors may not be ideal. As you edit, pay attention to the length of sentences. Shorten any long ones. Also, watch for those transition words. Add them in if you need to. Remember, a well-written speech takes time. Put in the effort to revise and improve it, and you will be rewarded with an effective speech that is easy to deliver. If you still need help, our guide to grammar and syntax explains more.

Now that you have written your speech, you are ready to read it. Read it out loud at your average speaking speed, and time yourself. This will tell you if you are within your allotted time limit. However, reading it has another benefit. When you read the piece, you can determine if it flows smoothly. You may catch grammar issues or poor transitions that you can change. Look for places where the speech may be hard to speak and adjust those sentences to make them more accessible.

After you update the speech, practice it again. Reading it, revising it, rereading it, and repeating it will help you create a speech that flows well. This process will also help you become familiar with the speech so you can deliver it confidently when your speaking engagement comes.

Looking for inspiration? Read our round-up of argumentative essays !

how to write a speech speech

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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TCK Publishing

How to Write a Speech: 6 Tips for a Powerful Address

by Yen Cabag | 4 comments

how to write a speech header image

Abraham Lincoln achieved so much as a leader of the United States, but what remains eternal in the public’s imagination are his famous words from his Gettysburg Address. 

That’s just one example of the power of speech, and how it can be used as an effective tool for presenting ideas and influencing others.

Politicians use speeches to share their visions and goals; students practice delivering school lessons with them; businessmen give them to build up pep among their employees and associates; thought leaders use speeches in avenues like TedTalks and TedX to share their knowledge and insights. 

While there are many speech writing services available on the Internet, it only takes a bit of time for you to learn to write your own speech and develop this priceless life skill! 

What Makes a Great Speech?

So what makes a great speech?

Here are some of the common elements of great speeches from history: 

  • Clarity : Obviously, your speech is worthless if it can’t be clearly comprehended by your audience. The words should be easily understandable in order to be effective. 
  • Relevance : The message should match the season and needs of the audience, and the speaker should be confident in the need for that particular message. 
  • Brief, but complete : The best speeches don’t have to be long-winded; in fact, it takes more skill to include the same amount of information in a shorter length. 
  • Unbiased and unemotional : Although speeches may stir up the listeners’ emotions, the speaker needs to remain unbiased and not driven by emotion in order for the speech to have long-lasting effects. 
  • Audience involvement : Some of the best speeches include audience participation so that they can express their agreement with the content of the speech. 

How Do You Write a Good Speech? 

Before you can deliver a powerful message that stays with your listeners for a long time, you must write a well-structured speech that is clear, definite, brief, and complete.

Here are the steps you can follow if you’ve booked a speaking engagement or need to deliver an important presentation:

1. Decide on your main points.

A good rule of thumb is to have 3–5 main points; anything beyond that will be difficult for your listeners to remember. 

Try to give your audience at least one key line or idea that they will surely remember. Sometimes you can do this intentionally; other times, you may not know what specific line your audience will hang onto. 

One way to do this is to state your main points in memorable ways. The following are ways that you can do this: 

  • Use alliteration . For example, “Engage, Explore, Enjoy;” “Create, Connect, Collaborate, Commission.”  
  • Use contrast to highlight an important idea. For example, one line that everyone remembers about John F. Kennedy is from a speech he gave in 1961: “ Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country .” 
  • Make a short, memorable “quotable quote” for important points. Then, put ample emphasis around it by indicating space for you to pause or repeat the line. For example, in a conference on pioneering at Penang House of Prayer, one of the lines that the speaker Aaron Walsh shared was: “ Leadership is building the beautiful alternative .” 

2. Outline your speech.

A good outline will help make sure you hit the most important points you want to make and don’t go off on rabbit trails. Here are a few examples of a speech outline: 

Speech Outline Example 1: Basic Structure

Introduction : In the introduction, you can share a story relating to your topic, and then move on to give an overview of the main points you will be discussing. 

Body : This is where you go into detail for each of your main ideas. 

Conclusion : You wrap up your speech by summarizing the main points you have just finished elaborating. Then, you can close with a call-to-action or an answer to “What’s next?” 

Speech Outline Example 2: Problem-Solution Structure 

First Part: Describes the problem and why it is so bad

Second Part: Describes a possible solution or set of solutions 

Third Part: Summarizes how the solutions will solve the problem 

3. Write in the same tone as you speak. 

One of the most important public speaking tips is to remember that you are writing something that you will be speaking out loud for people to hear.

Chances are, your speaking tone is less formal and more conversational than when you write an essay. Take this into consideration when you write your speech. Some tips include: 

  • Keep your sentences short. Imagine reading out loud an insanely long sentence of more than 30 words. You will either run out of breath, or lose your audience in the process. 
  • Be confident with contractions. Formal writing tends to shy away from contractions: “I’m” needs to become “I am.” But because this is an verbally-delivered piece, contractions make you sound more relatable, and it takes less time to deliver. This leaves you more room for great content.
  • Remember that speaking isn’t tied to grammar as much as writing. When writing a speech, you don’t need to stick to strict grammar rules about writing in full sentences. People always say things like, “See?” “Gotcha,” and “Hope you like it.” 

4. Give concrete examples. 

Concrete examples, such as real stories and anecdotes, will resonate with your audience. Sharing personal stories not only makes your point more real to your audience, but it also makes you more relatable, and therefore trustworthy.

When you are thinking about which examples to include, consider using a mix of different types of stories: perhaps a funny anecdote or two, combined with a more thought-provoking personal tale can make a solid combination. 

5. Prepare a strong opening. 

The first few minutes of any speech are when the audience is most receptive. Make sure you grab their attention—and keep it!

How do you begin a speech? 

Some of the most powerful ways to begin a speech are: 

  • Quotes:. The quote you choose will help set the tone for the rest of your speech. 
  • Jokes: A joke or an anecdote is a great way to break the ice when speaking in public, especially if you don’t personally know your audience. 
  • “What If” question s: Challenging your audience to think from the get-go is a great way to grab their attention. 
  • “Imagine…” : Similar to asking a “what if” question, getting your audience to imagine a vision of a good future, for example, will stir up their emotions and keep them interested in what you have to share. 
  • Statistics : Official statistics are a great way to present a problem, giving you a good foundation for a solution you might offer. 

6. Practice out loud and cut unnecessary words.

After you write your speech, take time to practice reading it out loud.

You should do this for 2 main reasons:

  • You’ll want to check how long it takes you to deliver your speech, so you can plan accordingly.
  • You’ll want to practice using a natural, yet confident, speaking voice.

This is also the time to filter out unnecessary words. The best speechwriters believe that short and brief deliveries pack a better punch than long-winded speeches with many unnecessary rabbit trails. 

You might also wish to recite your speech in front of a few friends or colleagues, or record yourself using a webcam of software like Zoom, so you can review your presentation and find areas for improvement.

Examples of Famous Speeches

Below are several examples of famous speeches from history.

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech

In his inaugural speech, President John F. Kennedy delivers one of his most famous lines—”Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

MLK Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

Above is an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered in August of 1963.

How to Write a Speech 

By following the 6 steps above, you’ll be well on your way to writing solid speeches that will stay with your listeners for years to come.

You can also study up on rhetorical skills that will make your speeches and your writing more effective, which will help you to connect with your audience on an even deeper level.

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like:

  • Public Speaking Tips: 10 Ways to Overcome Your Anxiety and Present with Confidence
  • Step-by-Step Guide to Booking Speaking Engagements
  • The Most Common Figures of Speech: Definitions, Examples, and How to Use Each
  • Tone: How to Give Your Writing Attitude (Plus 101 Words to Describe an Author’s Tone)

Yen Cabag

Yen Cabag is the Blog Writer of TCK Publishing. She is also a homeschooling mom, family coach, and speaker for the Charlotte Mason method, an educational philosophy that places great emphasis on classic literature and the masterpieces in art and music. She has also written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her passion is to see the next generation of children become lovers of reading and learning in the midst of short attention spans.

Nwafor Samuel Onyebuchi.

I find this explanation so helpful, enlightening and educative. Thanks so much for the good work beloved. I so much cheer your nice effor, in presenting this insightful piece to us. It’s quite worthy to me, dear.

Kaelyn Barron

We’re so glad you enjoyed the post! :)

Toby Ryan

Thank you for explaining how your speech should contain 5 main points or less in order to keep it memorable. Ever since my brother decided that he wanted to open a business that sells office supplies, he has been trying to write a speech to welcome the new employees that he plans on hiring next month. Maybe he should consider finding a professional that can help put his speech together.

Hi Toby, Yes that sounds like a good idea for your brother’s new employees! He could hire a professional, but even something really simple could probably be just as effective, especially if he follows these tips :)

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How to Write a Speech: Top Tips

Ashleigh Ferguson headshot

Ashleigh Ferguson

how to write a speech

Table of Contents

9 engaging speech writing tips, what are the different speech types , how to find help writing a speech.

A great speech is impactful and engaging. It should eloquently and clearly express your ideas.

Whatever the topic, a good speech should showcase your authority on a topic and demonstrate excellent communication and leadership skills.

Many people don't know how to write a speech, so the process seems daunting. But there are a few best practices and tips that can make the writing process easier.

In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices to help you write an effective speech that engages and captures your audience.

Public speaking can be nerve-racking. However, having a well-written speech can decrease some of that anxiety.

Even if you’ve never written a speech before, there are still best practices you can follow. 

An engaging speech should be clear, to the point, and follow a logical order. But how do you ensure your speech follows these criteria? Follow these nine engaging speech writing tips.

speech writing tips

Know Your Audience

Analyze your target audience to improve the effectiveness of your speech because different audiences will have different expectations. 

Consider your audience’s age, level of understanding, attitudes, and what they expect to take away from your speech, then tailor your message accordingly. 

For example, if your audience members are teenagers, it’s unlikely that references to the ’70s will be effective.

Start With a Clear Purpose

Decide on the main point of your speech, and make sure all your content supports that point. Choose a topic that fits the following criteria:

A topic that is relevant to your audience

A topic you’re excited about

A topic you have reasonable knowledge about

Organize Your Ideas 

Use a speech outline to organize your thoughts and ideas logically. 

Identify the introduction, body, and conclusion of your speech to help you stay focused and make your speech easier to follow.

Use Strong, Clear Language

Choose your words carefully, and use simple language that is easy to understand. Avoid jargon or technical terms that your audience may not be familiar with. 

Again, your word choice will depend on your audience. For example, you’ll want to steer clear of slang when speaking to an older, conservative crowd.

Use Transitions

Speech transitions are words and phrases that allow you to move smoothly from one point to another. Use transitional words and phrases like “besides” to help your audience follow your thought process and understand how your points are connected.

Add Variety to Speech

A speech that is monotonous or lacks variety may cause your audience to lose interest. 

Including a variety of elements in your speech, such as anecdotes, examples, and visual aids, can help keep your audience engaged and interested. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice your speech out loud to ensure it flows well and you’re comfortable with the material. Read your speech in front of the mirror or before someone you trust to give you critical feedback. Note the points for improvement, and incorporate them into how you deliver your speech.

End With a Strong Conclusion

How would you like to leave your audience members: inspired, informed, or mesmerized? Aim to end your speech on a high note. Summarize your main points, and leave your audience with a memorable takeaway.

Edit and Revise

Proofread and revise your speech to ensure it’s well written and error free. Use a grammar checker, such as ProWritingAid, to correct any grammar issues. You’ll also get suggestions on how to improve your sentence structures and transitions.

How to Write a Good Speech Introduction

speech introduction tips

The introduction can make or break your speech. It’s where you grab your audience’s attention to keep them engaged and state the purpose of your speech. 

An introduction also gives you the opportunity to establish your credibility. You should aim to give your audience a reason to listen to the rest of the speech rather than tuning out.

Here are some tips on how to create a positive first impression.

Start With a Hook

Begin your introduction with a hook that will grab your audience’s attention and make them want to listen. There are several options for a hook:

A statistic

A personal anecdote

Reference to a current or historical event

When thinking of an attention grabber, consider how appropriate and relevant it is to your audience and the purpose of the speech. For example, if you’re giving a speech to an older audience, you can make a historical reference that they can easily relate to.

speech hook ideas

Provide Context

Provide context by giving your audience some background information about the topic of your speech. This will help them understand the importance of what you are talking about and why they should care.

State Your Thesis

Clearly and concisely state the main point or purpose of your speech. Your thesis should be easy to follow and clearly outline the main argument and your stance. This will give your audience a clear understanding of what they can expect to learn from your presentation.

Preview Your Main Points

Give your audience a sense of the structure of your speech by briefly outlining the key points or arguments you will be making. They’ll know what to expect, and your speech will be easier to follow. 

Keep It Short

Your introduction should be concise and to the point, so don’t spend too much time on it. It’s important to keep your speech brief, and avoid including unnecessary or unrelated information. 

The goal is to engage and interest your audience, not bore them, so aim for a few well-chosen words rather than a lengthy introduction. Aim for your introduction to be about 10-15% of the total length of your speech.

4 types of speeches

A speech is just like any other piece of writing. You’ll need to identify your purpose, audience, and intention and then write accordingly. There are many types of speeches, and each type has its own expectations.

Let’s look at some of the most popular speeches and how to write them.

How to Write a Short Speech

Short speeches may be the most tedious to write because of how condensed and concise the information has to be. However, if you ever have to give a farewell, birthday tribute, or just a quick welcome, there are still some tips available to make your speech great.

Start by identifying your topic, title, and the purpose of your speech, which will set the foundation of your outline. Then, determine the main points of your speech; keep it short with two to three points. Remember, a short speech is typically less than ten minutes long, so keep your points concise and to the point.

Since you have limited time to make the most impact, incorporate powerful words or other engaging elements. For example, you could throw out a thought-provoking question or anecdote, which will grab your audience’s attention and keep them engaged.

Finally, once you’ve written your speech, review it for brevity and clarity. 

how to write a speech speech

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

How to Write a Presentation Speech

A presentation speech is used to inform, persuade, explain, or demonstrate a particular topic.

Presentation speeches are well structured and follow a logical flow. They have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Use transition words and phrases to help your speech flow smoothly and prevent it from appearing disjointed.

You can use ProWritingAid to organize your speech and make it even clearer. ProWritingAid’s transition report will show you whether you’re using transitions effectively in your speech.

How to Write a Debate Speech

A debate is a formal argument on a particular topic. Debate speeches are persuasive since the aim is to convince the audience to agree with a stance.

Like most other speeches, a debate speech also follows the introduction, body, conclusion outline. This format helps the audience follow the speaker’s point in a linear and logical way.

When writing your introduction, clarify your stance so it’s clear to the audience. Anyone reading or listening to your speech shouldn’t have any doubt about your position on the topic. Take some time to prepare a solid opener, which can be an interesting fact, a personal story, or even a powerful quote.

The introduction also gives you the opportunity to explain terms your audience will need to understand throughout the speech. You should also provide an overview of your main points, but don’t spend long divulging too much.

Each body paragraph should cover a main point, whether that’s a key idea or a main claim, and each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence. The topic sentence is an initial sentence that summarizes the idea being presented. 

Your conclusion should be a simple and clear reiteration of the points you made in the thesis statement and body paragraphs. Add an attention-grabbing element to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Remember to use strong and emotive language throughout your speech, which makes it more likely for your audience to feel emotionally connected to your stance.

Always use transition words and phrases to maintain a logical flow between your arguments. Finally, edit and proofread your work for any potential grammar, punctuation, or spelling mistakes.

How to Write an Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is a brief speech that’s used to pitch a product, service, expertise, or credentials.

You have 30–60 seconds to persuade someone to act how you’d like: the same time as a quick elevator ride.

An effective elevator speech should contain an introduction, a clear value proposition, and a strong conclusion. 

elevator speech definition

Your introduction should be polite and clear. Briefly explain who you are, what you do, and what you are offering. For example, if you’re pitching your expertise, condense your background into two sentences. Include things that will make your audience remember you.

End your speech with what you want to achieve. What are you trying to accomplish with this speech? Perhaps it’s a job opportunity, a follow-up meeting, or an internship.

Once you’ve written your speech, be sure to revise it for brevity. Then practice and record yourself to ensure you don’t go over the time limit.

Writing a good speech takes time, but these tips are a good start to improving your speech-writing process. If you encounter writer’s block, look up popular speeches for inspiration. Ask someone you trust to give you feedback once you’ve written your speech.

Finally, while ProWritingAid can’t write your speech for you, it can help you write in a cohesive and logical manner. It highlights any grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues. It also shows you suggestions on how to improve your sentence structure, transition, pacing, and readability, so your next speech can be impactful and memorable.

Ashleigh Ferguson is a Copywriter on the ProWritingAid Team. With an affinity for learning new things, you can always count on her to know some random fact. She’s a self-proclaimed ‘Fix-it Felix’ and a newly minted ‘candle lady’.

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How to Write a Speech to Engage your Audience

February 19, 2021 - Dom Barnard

In order to write a speech, you need to think about your audience, the required length, and the purpose or topic. This is true whether you are writing a wedding speech, conference presentation, investor pitch, or any other type of speech.

Being a great speech writer can help you get a promotion, motivate people, sell a business idea, persuade others and much more – it’s an essential skill in the modern world. In this article, we cover key tips for writing a speech.

Initial planning – Why? Who? What?

You should invest time strategically considering the speech. This will help you decide on the key message and content about your topic. Here are some points to consider.

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • When I achieve this, what will that do for me?
  • Why am I speaking?
  • What is the purpose of this speech?
  • Who are the audience and who do they represent?
  • Who do I represent?
  • What do I know about them? (culture, language, level of expertise)
  • How much influence do they have?
  • What is the main message and key points?
  • What specific action is implied?
  • What level of information should I include?
  • What is important to them?

Popular speech structure

You need to catch the audience attention early, very early (see section below). Deliver a memorable beginning, a clear middle and structured ending.

Popular speech structure:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

Secondary Point (Optional: supports main)

Tertiary Point (Optional: supports secondary and main)

Attention span of your audience

Research shows that attention span is greatest at the beginning of a speech, reduces considerably during the middle of your speech and picks up again towards the end when your audience know you about to finish.

Don’t try to put too many ideas into your speech. Research shows that people remember very little from speeches, so just give them one or two ideas to hang onto.

Attention span graph of audience in a conference or speech

These two articles explain audience attention span in more detail, and how to write a speech to extend it:

  • How many minutes is the audience’s attention span?
  • What to do when you’re losing your audience

Speech introduction

Make sure your opening few seconds are memorable as this is when your audience will make up their minds about you. Use a bold sentence to grab their attention, works best with numbers reinforcing your point.

An example sentence might be – “After this speech, I’m confident 50% of you will go out and buy a VR headset.” Follow these tips on how to write a speech intro:

Remember the INTRO model

This is more focused on presentations but sections can be applied broadly to other general speeches.

1. Interest

You: Introduce yourself confidently and clearly Audience: Why should I listen to you?

You: Remind the audience the reasons for this speech Audience: What’s in it for me?

You: State length of speech at beginning, “Over the next 15 minutes” Audience: How long until I can get a coffee?

4. Routemap

You: State the main points, “Today I’m going to cover 4 main points” Audience: Which sections of the speech are important to me?

5. Objectives

You: Clearly state the objective, “By the end of this speech, I would like to…” Audience: So that’s what you want from me today…

Example: Great speech opening

This speech opening is by Jamie Oliver, giving a TED talk on teaching every child about food.

Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat. My name’s Jamie Oliver. I’m 34 years old. I’m from Essex in England and for the last seven years I’ve worked fairly tirelessly to save lives in my own way. I’m not a doctor; I’m a chef, I don’t have expensive equipment or medicine. I use information, education. I profoundly believe that the power of food has a primal place in our homes that binds us to the best bits of life. We have an awful, awful reality right now. America, you’re at the top of your game. This is one of the most unhealthy countries in the world.

Jamie Oliver TED talk

How not to open your speech

Avoid the following opening comments:

  • “ Apologies, I’m a little nervous about speaking ” – no need to make the audience aware of this, it will make them focus on how nervous you are instead of what you are saying
  • “ I’ve got the graveyard shift ” – you are telling people not to expect much
  • “ I’m what stands between you and lunch ” – even if people weren’t thinking it, after this comment, all they are thinking of is when will you finish so they can eat
  • “ We are running late, so I’ll do my best to explain… ” – instead of this, state how long your speech will take so that people know when they will be leaving

Middle of the speech

The body of your speech is where the majority of the information is. The audience has been introduced to the subject and reasons for the speech. Now you need to present your arguments and examples, data, illustrations backing up your key message.

How to write a speech body can be difficult, the best way to build this section is to write down three points you are trying to convey in your speech, your main, secondary and tertiary points. Then write down three descriptions clarifying each of these points. The descriptions should be simple, memorable and meaningful.

The middle of your speech is where the audience start losing attention. Keep this in mind and ensure your message is clear. Use images, jokes and rhetoric questions to keep the audience engaged.

Don’t overwhelm your audience with many points. It is much more valuable to make a small number of points well, than to have too many points which aren’t made satisfactorily.

Obama speech

Obama and his speeches

Obama’s speeches are well prepared with a focus on powerful words “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things“. His speeches use simple language and quotes from famous speeches his listeners can relate to.

For additional trademark Obama techniques, check out  How Barack Obama prepares his speeches.

How to end a speech

Similar to the opening, your closing statements should be impactful, re-stating the key message of your speech. We advise learning your ending few lines word for word. The ending is an opportunity to:

  • Leave the audience with a lasting impression of your speech
  • Summarise the main points
  • Provide further ideas and discussion points for the audience to take away with them
  • Thank the audience for taking the time to listen

Methods to end your speech

Quotation Close  – use a famous quote to get the audience’s attention and create a link to your speech.

Bookend Close  – refer back to an opening statement and repeat it or add a few extra words to elaborate on it.

Open Question  – ask the audience a provocative question or a call to action to perform some task on the back of your speech.

For additional tips on how to write a speech, in particular how to close your speech, read:

  • 5 great ways to end a speech
  • 10 ways to end your speech with a bang
  • Presentations: language expert – signposting

Ideas for ending a speech

  • Key message
  • Refer to opening impact statement
  • Objectives met
  • Call to action
  • End on an Up

Step-by-step process for writing a speech

Here’s how to write your speech from concept to completion.

  • Outline your speech’s structure. What are the main ideas for each section?
  • Write out the main ideas in your outline. Don’t worry about making it perfect – just write as much of it down as you can
  • Edit and polish what you’ve written until you have a good first draft of your speech
  • Now you need to practice and  memorize your speech . The more you practice, the more you’ll figure out which sections need changing. You’ll also get an idea of length and if you need to extend / shorten it.
  • Update your speech, practice some more, and revise your speech until it has a great flow and you feel comfortable with it.

Classic speech transcripts

One of the best ways for learning how to write a speech is reading other well written ones. Here are a list of famous speeches to read and learn from:

  • Bill Gates TED Talk Transcript from 2015: Warns of Pandemics, Epidemics
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Commencement Speech at Harvard 2014
  • Ronald Reagan Memorial Day Speech Transcript 1984
  • I Have Been to the Mountaintop Speech Transcript – Martin Luther King Jr.

how to write a speech speech

How to write a speech

  • James Haynes
  • October 6, 2022

Table of Contents

Introduction.

So you want to learn how to write a speech. Maybe it’s for a speech for work, or maybe it’s for a school project. You know that professional speakers don’t just make stuff up. They don’t write a few thoughts on a notecard and then shoot from the hip for an entire presentation. They take the time to write and carefully craft their material. And you’re ready to do that! You have an idea of what you want to speak about, but how do you actually create your talk? How do you give a speech? And what makes a talk “good”?

In this post, you can read answers to all of those questions. You’ll learn tips to go through the process to create a great speech from idea to completion. And you’ll learn how to write and give an inspiring speech. Ready to learn more? Read on!

Before you start to write your speech

A speech is simply a talk meant to get your audience to learn, understand or do something. 

The best speakers on the planet only have one or two talks they do and those talks are insanely good. Start by developing just one, really amazing talk that resonates deeply with your intended audience. The best marketing for your speaking business is a great talk, so it is worth it to put in the hours for this part. Yes, even if your first speaking gig is a free talk at a community center.

Keep in mind: Your audience is always going to be asking two questions: “so what?” and “now what?” So what means, what does this have to do with me? Now what is what you want the audience to do as a result of your talk. Give them action steps to implement what you taught them. If they hear you speak but literally don’t do anything differently, what’s the point?

Giving a speech is almost like mapping for a road trip. If you are going to go on a road trip, it’s easier to have a paper map or Google Maps to tell you where you’re going. But if you just get in the car and you start driving, and people are in the car asking you where we’re going, you’re in trouble! But by organizing and structuring your talk, you can lead the audience to your conclusions. And you can effectively answer those two questions: “so what?” and “now what?”

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Want to learn how to write a speech? Read on for 3 steps to make it unforgettable:

1. Begin with the end in mind and tell a story

Have you ever been left at the end of a speech wondering, “What was the point of this talk?” Don’t do that to your audience. When creating your talk, determine the destination that you want to take them to. Once you pick a point, then you can work backwards and reverse engineer how to get your audience to that place.

The best way to do the point of your talk is to find where your audience’s needs converge with your passions. Think about what problems you like to solve and what topics you want to talk about and look out into the world. Who is asking for solutions to those problems? Become the expert on that audience and commit yourself to meeting their needs. (for more on finding your big idea, check out this episode of The Speaker Lab podcast)

Okay, so now you have your topic, the idea you want to communicate. Now what? One of the best ways to create a memorable, relatable talk is by integrating first-person stories . You don’t have to have lost a limb or scaled Mount Everest. Keep an eye out in your everyday life for little moments that can contribute to your message. Write them down and integrate them into your talk. As you get more speaking gigs, you will very quickly learn which stories are a hit and which are total flops…which is all part of the process!

Humans relate to stories. We connect to stories. Funny stories. Sad stories. Inspirational stories. We love stories. So tell them. Lots of them. Stories will keep your audience engaged and are also easier for you to memorize. Telling stories that you lived and experienced generally makes the story better for you and the audience. For the audience, they can often times find themselves in your story. For you as the speaker, it’s much easier (and more powerful) to tell a story that you lived versus one you read in a book.

2. Write out your speech from beginning to end

As Grant Baldwin discusses in this video on preparing your talk , you want to write out your talk to have a basic structure: beginning, middle, and end.

In the beginning, you’re going to want to introduce the problem that your talk is going to solve and ultimately start to capture the audience’s attention. One thing that’s important to remember is there’s a difference between an audience that wants to be there and an audience that has to be there. When you get on stage, you want to be able to answer for the audience: Who are you? Why should I pay attention? Why does this matter? What am I supposed to do with this information? Can I trust you? You want to give the audience a reason to engage with you and where you’re going with the speech.

The next part of the process is the main body. This is where you will provide the solution to the problem or elaborate on the idea you’ve presented, and then share the action items that transform the audience. These action items should be specific, tangible, actionable, and realistic. You want to give something that the audience can leave with knowing exactly what to do now. So you want to make it specific, tangible, actionable, and realistic – not something that’s just vague or squishy, but something that they can actually understand.

The last part of the process is the closing. The purpose of the closing is to transition the audience to your main call to action. Remember, your audience is always asking themselves two questions: “So what?” and “Now what?” And this is where your closing comes in. Your closing is so important because the audience will remember what they learned and heard from you in the final minutes of your talk.

3. Structure your speech

Types of structures for writing your speech.

Another step Baldwin recommended on our podcast on creating your talk is to break your talk into sections beyond the beginning, middle, and end.  As you internalize your talk’s message, you can break the talk into sections that you either deliver in order or out of order.

But regardless of how you break it up, you should determine what the point of each section is. It may be to tell a story to illustrate some key thoughts. Practicing that section could include practicing telling the story aloud, delivering the punchline, and transitioning out of that story into the next point that you’re trying to make. This will make it easier to memorize your speech.

Each section should stack on to what you’ve already learned. So once you learn paragraph one, then you can practice paragraph two. Then you can go back and practice one and two together – again, everyone has their own technique, but oftentimes out loud is best! (Another tactic here is to record yourself and listen back to help you to not only learn the material, but to also help decide if the material works.)

Sequential structures

One method Grant Baldwin discusses in our podcast on how to write your speech is to use different types of structures. For example, a sequential structure for memorizing your talk can take the main themes you want to speak about and put them in a sequential form, so that it’s easier to remember the order. Grant gives the example of a talk he gave for college audiences called “Life is a Highway,” where he talked about an imaginary road trip. 

As Baldwin said, the way the talk was structured was to talk in the beginning about the past, and where the audience has been, then talk about the future, where they’re going, and to end by talking about where they are, right now. “It needs to almost happen in this certain sequence,” Baldwin said, “which also makes it easier for you to memorize because they need to go in this specific order.”

When you use this structure, you can deliver your speech in any order, Unlike a singer, whose audience may know all the lyrics to the song she sings, if a speaker goes out of order, it may be impossible for the audience to notice – after all, they don’t have a script!

Modular structures

Another type of structure you can use to write your speech is a modular structure. This allows you to go in order, but it also allows you to jump around. This could be especially helpful if you’ve got a couple of main thoughts or ideas and they don’t necessarily have to go in a certain order. You can kind of mix and match them around, similar to how a band at a concert can switch songs around in their setlist.

Baldwin gives the example of topics he covered in a book talk for high school students, answering questions such as, should I go to college? how do I pay for college? What classes do I take? What do I major in? Job interviews, resumes, internships, credit cards, budgets, taxes, etc.

Similar to the sequential structure, it may be helpful for you to think of the content as telling a story, so that you don’t leave anything out. If you have five key themes, for example, that you’d like to cover, they could be five elements of a story you would like to tell. Remember: stories will keep your audience engaged and also make it easier for you to write your speech.

By following these steps, you can set yourself up for success. Many external variables help make a speech go well. Beyond working these steps before giving a speech, you should try to put as many of those variables in your favor as possible. Don’t stay up late the night before at a reception. Don’t eat a massive pasta bowl before you go on stage. Try to avoid speaking during a slot when most of the audience will be distracted. If all the variables are stacked against you but you crush your talk, it can still come across as “meh” to the audience.

Keep in mind: Speaking is like playing jazz – you don’t have to give a talk the same way every time. You can improvise and mix it up sometimes, and you don’t need to plan out every hand gesture or movement or exact line you’ll use. Some of that is fine, but also be present enough with the audience that you can play jazz when the moment calls for it.

If you have a dream to inspire others with your message, you’ve probably considered taking your passion to the stage. Becoming a speaker might sound like a charmed life in many ways. And while it does take hard work, it totally is. 

Free Download: 6 Proven Steps to Book More Paid Speaking Gigs in 2024​

Download our 18-page guide and start booking more paid speaking gigs today!

In the meantime, here are a few rapid fire FAQs about speeches. Happy speaking!

How much money can you make as a professional speaker?

The runway to a successful business is often slow. But many professional speakers make 6+ figures a year within a couple years of starting their speaking business!

What degree you need to become a professional speaker?

It does not matter! You can have no degree or a PhD in whatever field you like and still be a great speaker.

Can anyone become a professional speaker?

Absolutely.

How long does it take to become a professional speaker?

This may vary quite a bit, primarily based on your state in life.

  • Last Updated: February 29, 2024

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How to Write a Speech: My Simple 6-Step Formula

how to write a speech speech

Ed Darling 9 min read

What you’ll learn:

  • Why great speechwriting requires a structure.
  • My exact 6-step speech structure you can steal.
  • How to start and end your speech strong.

man learning how to write a speech

How to write a speech, the easiest way possible.

How? By following a simple frame-work that’s powerful and versatile.

Whether you have a work presentation, keynote talk, or best man’s speech – by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to write a speech, and in what order.

I’m Ed, a public speaking coach and co-founder of Project Charisma . I help professionals, leaders and business owners to speak in public, and this is the #1 speech framework that I share with all of my clients.

I ’ll walk you through the process of how to write a speech step-by-step , explaining each section as we go. I’ll also give you some examples of how this would look in different types of speech.

The first step is something 99% of people miss.

PS. Check out our specific speech guides on:

Delivering a Business Pitch

Giving a Best Man Speech

Step 1. Find your speech's "Golden Thread"

The first lesson in how to write a speech is setting a clear objective from the get-go — so that what you write doesn’t end up being vague or convoluted.

Afterall, If you don’t know exactly what your speech is about, neither will your audience.

To avoid this, we’re going to begin by defining our “Golden Thread”. 

This is the key idea, insight or message that you want to get across. Like a thread, it will run throughout your speech, linking each section together in a way that’s clear and coherent.

To help you figure out your Golden Thread, try answering these two questions:

  • If you had to summarise your speech into a single sentence, what would that be?
  • If your audience could leave remembering only one thing, what would that be?

Golden Thread examples: A work presentation: “Customer referrals can be our our super-power”

A motivational speech: “Don’t let circumstances define you”

For a wedding/event speech: “Enjoy the journey together”

Speech Writing Tip:

Your Golden Thread isn’t something you share with the audience. You don’t start your speech by saying it out loud. Rather, it’s something we define in the preparation phase to clarify your own thoughts and ensure everything that comes next makes sense. 

That said, your Golden Thread may double-up as the perfect speech title, or memorable catch-phrase. In which case it’s fine to use it within your speech as a way to drive-home the overall message. 

Think of MLKs famous “I have a dream” speech . The Golden Thread would be his dream of a future with equality — a core idea which ran throughout the speech. But the exact phrase “I have a dream” was also spoken and repeated for effect.

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Step 2. Start with your Hook

Now we get into the nitty-gritty of how to write a speech.

The Hook is the first thing you will actually say to the audience – usually within the first 10-30 seconds of your speech.

Most people start a speech by introducing themselves and their topic:

“Hello everyone, I’m John from accounting, today I’ll be talking about our quarterly figures” . 

It’s predictable, it’s unimaginative, it’s starting with a yawn instead of a bang.

Instead, we’re going to open the speech with a hook that gets people sitting up and listening.

A hook can be anything that captures attention, including a:

  • Relevant quote
  • Interesting statistic
  • Intriguing question
  • Funny anecdote
  • Powerful statement

Watch how Apollo Robbins opens his TED talk with a question-hook to engage the audience.

Whichever type of hook you use, it needs to be short, punchy and ideally something that builds intrigue in your audience’s mind. Depending on the type of speech, your hook might be humorous, dramatic, serious or thoughtful. 

For an in-depth guide on how to write a speech with a great hook, I highly recommend our article on 9 Killer Speech Openers.

H ook examples:

A work presentation: “What if I told you we could increase revenue by 35%, without any additional ad-spend?”

A motivational speech: “At the age of 30, my life was turned upside down – I was jobless, directionless, and depressed”

For a wedding/event speech: “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell! – so said Joan Crawford” 

Speech Hook Tip:

Don’t rush into things. Hooks work infinitely better when you pause just before speaking, and again just after.

Step 3. The Speech Introduction

We’ve captured attention and have the whole room interested. The next step is to formally introduce ourselves, our speech, and what the audience can expect to hear. 

Depending on the situation, you can use your introduction as an opportunity to build credibility with your audience. If they don’t know you, it’s worth explaining who you are, and why you’re qualified to be speaking on this topic.

The more credibility you build early on, the more engagement you’ll have throughout the speech. So consider mentioning expertise, credentials and relevant background.

In other situations where people already know you, there may be less need for this credibility-building. In which case, keep it short and sweet.

Intro examples:

A work presentation: “Good morning everyone, I’m Jenny from the Marketing department. For the past few months I’ve been tracking our referrals with a keen-eye. Today, I want to show you the numbers, and explain my plan double our referrals in the next 6 months”

A motivational speech: “Ladies and gentlemen, at the age of 40 I’m a speaker, an author and a teacher – but my life could have turned out very differently. Today, I want to share with you my story of overcoming adversity.”

For a wedding/event speech: “Good afternoon everyone, I’m Luke the Best Man. I can’t promise anything quite as poetic as that quote, but I’d like to say a few words for the Bride and Groom”.

Speech Intro Tip:

 In certain situations, your introduction can also be a time to give thanks – to the event organisers, hosts, audience, etc. But always keep this brief, and keep focused on your message.

Step 4. The Speech Body

The body of the speech is where you share your main stories, ideas or points. The risk for many speakers here is that they start meandering. 

One point leads to another, which segues into a story, then a tangents off to something else, and before we know it, everyone’s confused – definitely not how to write a speech.

Remember, clarity is key.

For this reason, wherever possible you should aim to split the body of your speech into three distinct sections. 

Why three? Because humans tend to process information more effectively when it comes in triads . Making it easier for you to remember, and easier for your audience to follow.

The most obvious example of this is the classic beginning, middle and end structure in storytelling .

You can also use past, present and future as a way to take people on a journey from “where  we used to be, what happens now, and what the vision is going forwards”.

Or even more simple, break things up into:

  • Three stories
  • Three challenges
  • Three case-studies
  • Three future goals

Of course, It’s not always possible to structure speeches into three sections. Sometimes there’s just more information that you need to cover – such as with a technical presentation or sales pitch.

In this case, I recommend thinking in terms of chapters, and aiming for a maximum of 5-7. Ensure that each “chapter” or section is clearly introduced and explained, before moving on to the next. The more content you cover, the greater the need for clarity.

Body examples:

A work presentation: “We’ve discovered that referrals happen when we get three things right: building the relationship, delighting the customer, and making the ask – let’s look at each of these stages.

A motivational speech: “I don’t believe our past has to dictate our future, but in order to tell my story, let me take you back to the very beginning.” For a wedding/event speech: “Of all the most embarrassing, undignified, and downright outrageous stories I could think of involving the Groom, I’ve whittled it down to three, which I think sum up why this marriage is destined for a long and happy future. It starts back in high-school…”

Speech Body Tip:

I mention “chapters” because when reading a book, there’s a moment to reflect after each chapter as we turn the page. In the same way, when speaking, make sure to give your audience a moment to process what you’ve just said at the end of each section, before moving on to your next point. 

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Step 5. the conclusion.

Now it’s time to bring everything together, guiding your audience to the key conclusions you want them to take away.

Depending on your speech, this could be an idea, an insight, a moral, or a message. But whatever it is, now is your time to say it in a clear and compelling way.

Watch David Eagleman use a thought-provoking metaphor and rhetorical question to wrap up his TED talk on senses.

This final conclusion should always link back to your Golden Thread, making sense of everything that’s come before it.

Answer the following questions as prompts (you could even say one of these out-loud to lead into your conclusion)

  • What is the message I want to leave you with?
  • What have we learned from all this?
  • What is the key take-away?

Conclusion examples:

A work presentation: “So what have we learned? When we get each of these steps right, our customers are eager to give us referrals, and those referrals usually result in more happy clients.”

A motivational speech: “My journey has had many ups and downs, but if there’s one lesson I’ve learned – it’s that our circumstances don’t dictate our direction, that we can come back from failure, and find a way to win” For a wedding/event speech: “So what can I say about the Bride and Groom? They’re clearly made for each other and if history is anything to go by, their future will be full of many more stories and adventures.”

Speech Conclusion Tip:

Never use your conclusion to apologise for yourself, explain a whole new idea, or be overly thankful to everyone for watching. Keep it professional, and keep it focused on hammering-home the main idea of the speech.

6. The Call To Action, or Call To Thought

You’ve concluded your message and summarised your main points. At this point, most people think the speech is done.

Not so fast — there’s one final key step we need to take, the Call to Action .

If you’ve followed the steps so far on how to write a speech, your audience should have been listening, learning, and hopefully now feel inspired by your words. 

We’ve built up the potential for some kind of action , and now all that’s left is to direct that energy into a clear “next step” they can take.

Imagine your audience are thinking “what should I do with this information”?

Your CTA is the direct answer to that question.

It should be clear, simple and ideally – something they can act on quickly. For instance, you may request the audience to download an app you’ve discussed, connect with you online, sign up for a service, or come and speak with you afterwards.

Not every speech suits a CTA however, which is where the CTT comes in. 

This is a great variation I picked up from Justin Welsh which stands for “ Call to Thought ”. It’s a more nuanced action – typically asking people to reflect on an idea, consider a specific issue, or think differently about something. 

C TA/CTT examples:

A work presentation (CTA): “As an immediate next step to get us started, I’d like everyone to reach out to your current clients this week, and ask them to refer one new customer. We’ll be tracking the results, and rewarding the winning referral rain-maker!”

A motivational speech (CTC): “So ask yourself, where are you allowing circumstances to hold you back, and how could your life change if you took a new direction?”

For a wedding/event speech (CTA): “With that said, I’d like to raise a toast to the Bride and Groom. Now enjoy the day, and get yourself a drink at the bar!”

Speech CTA/CTT Tip:

Once you’ve stated your CTA/CTT, the only thing left to do is thank people and finish. Don’t be tempted to back-track and start repeating any of your points. It’s time to get off stage!

How to write a speech using this framework.

Without a framework to guide you, it’s easy to get lost in analysis-paralysis, or worse, create a speech which gets everyone ELSE lost. 

Now that you’re armed with this foolproof formula and know exactly how to write a speech, you can approach the situation with confidence . 

  • Define your speeches Golden Thread.
  • Hook your audience in the first 10-30 seconds.
  • Introduce yourself while building credibility.
  • Divide your body into three clear sections.
  • Conclude your main points and drive-home the message.
  • Leave them with an inspiring CTA/CTT.

Even as an inexperienced speaker, by following this formula you’ll come across with the clarity and credibility of a professional.

R emember, public speaking is simply a skillset that requires practice . The more you use this speech framework, watch other speakers in action, and gain practical experience, the more your communication skills will naturally develop. 

I hope learning how to write a speech using this frame-work makes the process of writing your next speech a breeze.

Need any further help with how to write a speech? Feel free to reach out.

Head Coach and co-founder at Project Charisma.

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.

What’s different about a speech?

Writing for public speaking isn’t so different from other types of writing. You want to engage your audience’s attention, convey your ideas in a logical manner and use reliable evidence to support your point. But the conditions for public speaking favor some writing qualities over others. When you write a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to comprehend the information as you read it, so your speech must be well-organized and easily understood. In addition, the content of the speech and your delivery must fit the audience.

What’s your purpose?

People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a different perspective; protest speeches in the Pit recommend actions the audience can take.

As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want the audience to learn or do?
  • If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
  • If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
  • How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?

Audience analysis

If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are (or who you’re pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you can make your speech interesting and useful.

As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:

  • What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
  • Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new ideas?
  • Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
  • What level of detail will be effective for them?
  • What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
  • What might offend or alienate them?

For more help, see our handout on audience .

Creating an effective introduction

Get their attention, otherwise known as “the hook”.

Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic. Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience’s attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the audience, or enlisting audience participation.

Establish context and/or motive

Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this audience. You may also want to connect the material to related or larger issues as well, especially those that may be important to your audience.

Get to the point

Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don’t spend as much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

For more help, see our handout on introductions .

Making your speech easy to understand

Repeat crucial points and buzzwords.

Especially in longer speeches, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the main points you’ve made. For example, you could link an earlier main point or key term as you transition into or wrap up a new point. You could also address the relationship between earlier points and new points through discussion within a body paragraph. Using buzzwords or key terms throughout your paper is also a good idea. If your thesis says you’re going to expose unethical behavior of medical insurance companies, make sure the use of “ethics” recurs instead of switching to “immoral” or simply “wrong.” Repetition of key terms makes it easier for your audience to take in and connect information.

Incorporate previews and summaries into the speech

For example:

“I’m here today to talk to you about three issues that threaten our educational system: First, … Second, … Third,”

“I’ve talked to you today about such and such.”

These kinds of verbal cues permit the people in the audience to put together the pieces of your speech without thinking too hard, so they can spend more time paying attention to its content.

Use especially strong transitions

This will help your listeners see how new information relates to what they’ve heard so far. If you set up a counterargument in one paragraph so you can demolish it in the next, begin the demolition by saying something like,

“But this argument makes no sense when you consider that . . . .”

If you’re providing additional information to support your main point, you could say,

“Another fact that supports my main point is . . . .”

Helping your audience listen

Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures.

Don’t get too complicated when you’re asking an audience to remember everything you say. Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

Too complicated:

The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGillicuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well.

Easier to understand:

Orville Z. McGillicuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.

Limit pronoun use

Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what “it,” “they,” or “this” refers to. Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.

Pronoun problem:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.

Why the last sentence is unclear: “This” what? The government’s failure? Reality TV? Human nature?

More specific:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot continue.

Keeping audience interest

Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos.

When arguing a point, using ethos, pathos, and logos can help convince your audience to believe you and make your argument stronger. Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

Use statistics and quotations sparingly

Include only the most striking factual material to support your perspective, things that would likely stick in the listeners’ minds long after you’ve finished speaking. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

Watch your tone

Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don’t be condescending either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, or brandishing a potentially offensive prop (say, autopsy photos) will only make the audience tune you out.

Creating an effective conclusion

Restate your main points, but don’t repeat them.

“I asked earlier why we should care about the rain forest. Now I hope it’s clear that . . .” “Remember how Mrs. Smith couldn’t afford her prescriptions? Under our plan, . . .”

Call to action

Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic. For example, although your audience may not be able to affect foreign policy directly, they can vote or work for candidates whose foreign policy views they support. Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives not only creates a connection with your audience, but also reiterates the importance of your topic to them in particular or “the bigger picture.”

Practicing for effective presentation

Once you’ve completed a draft, read your speech to a friend or in front of a mirror. When you’ve finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • Which pieces of information are clearest?
  • Where did I connect with the audience?
  • Where might listeners lose the thread of my argument or description?
  • Where might listeners become bored?
  • Where did I have trouble speaking clearly and/or emphatically?
  • Did I stay within my time limit?

Other resources

  • Toastmasters International is a nonprofit group that provides communication and leadership training.
  • Allyn & Bacon Publishing’s Essence of Public Speaking Series is an extensive treatment of speech writing and delivery, including books on using humor, motivating your audience, word choice and presentation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Boone, Louis E., David L. Kurtz, and Judy R. Block. 1997. Contemporary Business Communication . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ehrlich, Henry. 1994. Writing Effective Speeches . New York: Marlowe.

Lamb, Sandra E. 1998. How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write . Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Public Affairs Council

Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

Whether you are a communications pro or a human resources executive, the time will come when you will need to write a speech for yourself or someone else.  when that time comes, your career may depend on your success..

J. Lyman MacInnis, a corporate coach,  Toronto Star  columnist, accounting executive and author of  “ The Elements of Great Public Speaking ,”  has seen careers stalled – even damaged – by a failure to communicate messages effectively before groups of people. On the flip side, solid speechwriting skills can help launch and sustain a successful career.  What you need are forethought and methodical preparation.

Know Your Audience

Learn as much as possible about the audience and the event.  This will help you target the insights, experience or knowledge you have that this group wants or needs:

  • Why has the audience been brought together?
  • What do the members of the audience have in common?
  • How big an audience will it be?
  • What do they know, and what do they need to know?
  • Do they expect discussion about a specific subject and, if so, what?
  • What is the audience’s attitude and knowledge about the subject of your talk?
  • What is their attitude toward you as the speaker?
  • Why are they interested in your topic?

Choose Your Core Message

If the core message is on target, you can do other things wrong. But if the message is wrong, it doesn’t matter what you put around it.  To write the most effective speech, you should have significant knowledge about your topic, sincerely care about it and be eager to talk about it.  Focus on a message that is relevant to the target audience, and remember: an audience wants opinion. If you offer too little substance, your audience will label you a lightweight.  If you offer too many ideas, you make it difficult for them to know what’s important to you.

Research and Organize

Research until you drop.  This is where you pick up the information, connect the ideas and arrive at the insights that make your talk fresh.  You’ll have an easier time if you gather far more information than you need.  Arrange your research and notes into general categories and leave space between them. Then go back and rearrange. Fit related pieces together like a puzzle.

Develop Structure to Deliver Your Message

First, consider whether your goal is to inform, persuade, motivate or entertain.  Then outline your speech and fill in the details:

  • Introduction – The early minutes of a talk are important to establish your credibility and likeability.  Personal anecdotes often work well to get things started.  This is also where you’ll outline your main points.
  • Body – Get to the issues you’re there to address, limiting them to five points at most.  Then bolster those few points with illustrations, evidence and anecdotes.  Be passionate: your conviction can be as persuasive as the appeal of your ideas.
  • Conclusion – Wrap up with feeling as well as fact. End with something upbeat that will inspire your listeners.

You want to leave the audience exhilarated, not drained. In our fast-paced age, 20-25 minutes is about as long as anyone will listen attentively to a speech. As you write and edit your speech, the general rule is to allow about 90 seconds for every double-spaced page of copy.

Spice it Up

Once you have the basic structure of your speech, it’s time to add variety and interest.  Giving an audience exactly what it expects is like passing out sleeping pills. Remember that a speech is more like conversation than formal writing.  Its phrasing is loose – but without the extremes of slang, the incomplete thoughts, the interruptions that flavor everyday speech.

  • Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing.
  • Vary the sentence structure. Use short sentences. Use occasional long ones to keep the audience alert. Fragments are fine if used sparingly and for emphasis.
  • Use the active voice and avoid passive sentences. Active forms of speech make your sentences more powerful.
  • Repeat key words and points. Besides helping your audience remember something, repetition builds greater awareness of central points or the main theme.
  • Ask rhetorical questions in a way that attracts your listeners’ attention.
  • Personal experiences and anecdotes help bolster your points and help you connect with the audience.
  • Use quotes. Good quotes work on several levels, forcing the audience to think. Make sure quotes are clearly attributed and said by someone your audience will probably recognize.

Be sure to use all of these devices sparingly in your speeches. If overused, the speech becomes exaggerated. Used with care, they will work well to move the speech along and help you deliver your message in an interesting, compelling way.

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How to write a speech introduction

12 of the best attention getters to start a speech

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 01-12-2023

The audience settles in their seats. The lights dim. You walk out to the center of the stage. You pause, take a deep breath, open your mouth and begin.

What you say over the next 30 seconds to introduce your speech or presentation is crucial.

That's how much time you have to make a positive impression on your audience. In it they will decide whether or not you have anything relevant or useful to say. Those first impressions count!

So how do you write an effective speech introduction to grab and hold their attention?

Begin by finding out how to choose the right opener.

What's on this page:

  • how to choose the right opener for your speech

12 of the very best ways to start a speech

3. What if?

5. Key fact

7. Rhetorical

9. Headlines

10. History

11. Challenge

Retro Label: 12 ways to hook an audience.

How to choose the right opener for your speech

The better way to make your choice of opener is after you have carefully considered who you are talking to and why you're talking to them.

One size does not fit all. Different audiences will respond differently. If you are giving the same speech multiple times think about what you may need to change to fit. 

To work well your opening needs to be aligned with:

  • the type of speech you're giving
  • your main purpose for giving it
  • your target audience and,  
  • their interests or needs

Both the hook * to catch their attention and your topic must be relevant to them. Unless they're a captive audience, they've come freely to listen to you and they're expecting something of value from you.

How are you going to let them know they're in the right place? Why should they listen? What are they going to get or gain through listening?

Out of all the different ways to open, what attention getter is absolutely the best way?

The only way I know to work out what is best is to go through each of them, and as you do, consider your audience. Make a short list of those you think might work then try them out before making your final choice.

* hook – an opening statement that immediately captures the audience's attention just like a well baited hook on a fishing line catches a fish.

Return to Top

1. Use imagination to create mind pictures

Ask the audience to use their imagination. Get them to build evocative compelling images in their minds. Make them large. Add vibrant color, sound and movement.

For example:

“Let's take a break. Make yourself comfortable. Now close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath, and you're there, in the place where you feel the most at ease, the place where all the tensions, all the demands of your normal everyday life disappear. Look around you. See it. Feel it. It's so good, it's perfect."

“Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and a moment to picture in your mind the people dearest to you, the people you feel you could not live without. Now when did you talk to them, or spend real time with them last?"

2. Use an item to build a connection 

Choose an image or an object related to your speech, for instance a pair of shoes, to trigger interest and build a connection.

For example, if I were giving a speech on the lives of upper-middle class 19th century women I could open by holding up a pair of ornately decorated kid leather pumps.

“What's the name of the young woman who wore these? Listen. Can you hear the rustle of her silk skirts? And hear her heart beat bom-biddy-bom as the beau of the ball stepped her way? Would he, or wouldn't he ask her to dance?”

3. Ask a 'What if...?' rhetorical question

'What if...?' invites an audience to consider the possibilities of something becoming real. They can be positive somethings or negative, trivial or something that would have a significant impact if it came to pass.

The power of a 'what if...?' rhetorical question as an opener lies in the potency of the images and feelings it triggers. A well-chosen 'what if...?' will immediately have an audience wanting to hear the rest of your speech.

  • "What if we don't find a way to successfully manage climate change?"
  • "What if we really did solve the affordable housing crisis?"
  • "What if questions of race and color ceased to matter?"
  • "What if medicines were freely available to everybody who needed them?"
  • "What if the person sitting next to you turned, looked into your eyes and said they loved you? Truly. Madly. Deeply."

4. Try a quotation from someone who's impacted your life in some way

To be effective a quotation doesn't have to be the clever quip or snippet of enduring wisdom: a famous quote from a well known person. It's origin could be personal, something someone important in your life said that's remained with you.

For example, my Mother answered all initial wails of outrage, pain or hurt from any of her five children with a command. "Breathe!" That was repeated, interwoven with encouraging asides, until whoever it was, was able to talk clearly and be understood.  "It's OK.", she'd say. "Breathe. Come on. You can do it. Breathe. That's it. Keep going. Good."

Or I could use this line from one of my high school reports which read, "...with further maturity she should do well." (Thank you Mr Phillips. Your prediction was right on target.) 

Or this from our son aged four as he watched me getting ready for another day of teaching: "When I grow up I'm going to wear pretty dresses and go to school just like you."

5. Use an interesting key fact

Choose an interesting key fact as an attention getting device: one of the most rarely known, or a shocking statistic from the body of your speech to open with.

For example: "Take a guess at what the most powerful and frequently used word is in the English language? 

It's not one of those usually thought of candidates.  Love? No. Money? Nope. Neither is it  any member of your family... Mum, Dad, brother, sister, son, or daughter.

It's a three letter word, so common it's overlooked and taken for granted. 'The'. It's the humble 'the'."

(For more see this BBC article:  Is this the most powerful word in the English language?

Or: "Between 2020/21 and 2021/2022, Americans consumed about 11 million metric tons of sugar, up from about 10 million metric tons in 2009/2010. Can you even begin to imagine the size of that sweet white mountain?"

(For more see: US sugar consumption statistics )

6. Share personal stories

Share a personal story related to your specific topic as the beginning of a speech. Done well, it lets the audience know you understand their situation and helps establish your credibility: your right to talk on the subject.

As an example here's the opening of a speech I gave about the impact of suicide on families and friends:

“One fine Spring day I biked home from school and found a policemen guarding our backdoor. Through it came sounds I'll never forget: my quiet Mother screaming. He said, "You can't go in."

I kicked him in the shins and did. It was the 15th of September, three days before my thirteenth birthday and my father was dead. Killed by his own hand. Suicide.”

(If you want to find out more about the speech and read it, it's here: After they're gone . It's an example persuasive speech using the five steps of Monroe's Motivated Sequence.)

7. Rhetorical questions

These are questions that although they are asked, they're never really intended to be answered by anyone other than the person asking them. * Their principal function is to act as a segue, or lead in, to what the person intends to say next. For instance, the first main point of your introduction.

Examples: "What if I were to say to you that there was no such thing as public speaking fear?"

"What do you think the main benefits of being able to speak up in public are?"

* Although there's bound to be someone in your audience who will. Be ready for them, and move on.

8. An empathetic question, aligning yourself with the audience and eliciting a response

These questions bring speaker and audience together, establishing a common ground, a mutual understanding, which is an effective way to ease into a speech. If your question 'works' you'll see heads nodding in agreement.

  • "Have you ever experienced the butterflies in your stomach turning into a herd of rampaging elephants, just before you step up to give your presentation?"
  • "Have you ever wanted a good day to never end?"
  • "How often have you 'lost' your car in the supermarket car park?"
  • "How often have you ever wanted to shout, NO? You want me to prepare a new presentation by tomorrow? NO. You want me to stay late, again? NO."

9. It's in the news

Take headlines from what's trending in media you know the audience will be familiar with and see.

Using those that relate to your speech topic as the opening of your speech is a good way to grab the attention of the audience. It shows how relevant and up-to-the-minute the topic is.

For example: "'Death toll soars to 76 in Florida after Hurricane Ian demolished entire communities.' 'Noru became a super typhoon in 6 hours. Scientists say powerful storms are becoming harder to forecast.' 'Hurricane Orlene strengthens into Category 4 storm as it heads toward western Mexico.'

Three front page headlines from CNN just today. Climate change. Let's do what we can."

10. This day in history

If you're giving a speech to celebrate a special birthday or an anniversary, consider using several carefully selected events that occurred on the same day as a speech opening. They could be either funny or serious, depending on the specific purpose of your speech. They're a great way to place the person in a much wider context and often with exalted company.

For example: "What do the 1863 National Thanksgiving Day proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, National Boyfriend Day, and Gwen Stefani have in common with Joe? Yes, the 3rd of October! It's a great date made better by being Joe's birthday. And we say Gwen is truly privileged to have the same one as him."

11. Issue a challenge

Let the audience know first thing, at the beginning of the speech, what action you expect they'll be able to take by the time your presentation is complete. Then when you come to the final points, repeat the call to action, or challenge, as part of your closing statement.

For example: "I've a challenge for you. That's to sign up for our public speaking course. Right now you may not see yourself doing that. Public speaking? Me? I'd rather have a root canal done, without painkillers. However, by the end of the presentation...well, let's see. There's a first time for everything!"

Use a startling statement, a fact, or a series of facts, to jolt the audience into paying attention.

"Covid. We've had 1.06 million of us die in the US, so far. Today there are nearly 60,00 new cases. More mothers, fathers, friends, colleagues, children – people. People ill. People who might die. So why have we stopped wearing masks?"

For more: Google: Covid stats US

Other speech writing resources

  • how to end a speech effectively : explanations with examples showing how to close a speech with impact
  • how to write a speech : a detailed guide with examples covering audience analysis, planning, writing oral language, transitions, how to use an outline... 

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Speech And Debate

Speech Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

How to Write a Speech - Outline With Example

By: Cordon J.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Sep 8, 2020

How to Write a Speech

Giving a speech for a class, event or work can be nerve-wracking. However, writing an effective speech can boost your confidence level.

A speech is an effective medium to communicate your message and speech writing is a skill that has its advantages even if you are a student or a professional.

With careful planning and paying attention to small details, you can write a speech that will inform, persuade, entertain or motivate the people you are writing for.

If this is your first speech. Take all the time you need.

Like other skills, you can learn speech writing too.

Give yourself enough time to write and practice it several times for the best possible results.

How to Write a Speech

On this Page

You have a message that you want people to hear or you are preparing a speech for a particular situation such as a commemorative speech.

No matter what the case, it is important to ensure that the speech is well structured or else you will fail to deliver your effective message. And you don’t want that, do you?

You can also explore our complete guide to  write a commemorative speech . Make sure to give the article a thorough read.

How to Create a Speech Outline?

Want to write a speech your audience will remember? A speech outline is a thing you should start with.

‘How to write a speech outline?’

A speech outline is very important in helping you sound more authoritative and in control. As you write your speech outline you will have to focus on how you will introduce yourself, your topic, and the points that you will be going to cover.

A speech outline will save a lot of your time and will help you organize your thoughts. It will make sure the speech is following a proper structure and format.

Before you start writing your own speech you need to know:

  • WHO you are writing the speech for
  • WHAT the speech will be going to cover
  • HOW long it needs to be e.g if it is a 5-minute speech (then how many words in a 5-minute speech)

These speech tips will help you get on the right track from the start. Here is an example of how you can craft a speech outline.

Preparation

  • Choose your topic and the main points that your speech will cover. Know your audience and get to know what they are looking for. Pay attention to their needs
  • Define the purpose of the speech and properly organize it

Introduction

  • A strong statement to grab the reader’s attention
  • Refine the thesis statement
  • State something that establishes credibility
  • Provide your main idea and include some supporting statements.
  • Examples and further details (if needed)
  • Summarize the main points of the speech
  • Closing statement
  • Call to action

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How to Write an Effective Speech?

‘How to write a graduation speech?’

‘How to write a speech for school?’

‘How to write a speech about yourself?’

Get your answers in the below sections.

Just like essays, the speech also follows three sections: Introduction, the main body, and conclusion.

However, unlike essays, a speech must be written to be heard as opposed to just being read. It is important to write a speech in a way that can grab the reader’s attention and helps in painting a mental image.

It is the opening statement of a speech. It is important to know how to start a speech that can grab the attention of the audience.

‘How to write a speech introduction?’

It should include a hook-grabber statement about your topic. It should end with a strong transition from a big idea of the introduction to the main body of the essay. Some great ways to begin your speech are, to begin with, a rhetorical question, a quote, or another strong statement.

Make sure the introduction is not more than one paragraph. This will ensure you do not spend much time on the background before getting to the main idea of the topic.

The introduction is a great chance to make sure your opening is memorable as this is the point when your audience will make up their mind about you.

The Main body

The majority of the speech should be spent presenting your thesis statement and supporting ideas in an organized way.

Avoid rambling as it will immediately lose your audience’s attention. No need to share everything, instead pick some points and stick to them throughout your speech.

Organize your points in a logical manner so they support and build on each other. Add as many points as needed to support the overall message of your speech.

State each point clearly and provide all the required information, facts, statistics, and evidence, to clarify each of your points.

It is a good idea to include your personal experiences to make your speech more interesting and memorable.

Another important thing to be kept in mind is the use of transition. The purpose of adding transition words is to improve the overall flow of the information and help the reader to understand the speech structure. Words like next, then, after, before, at that moment, etc. are the most commonly used transition words to make the whole writing less choppy and more interesting.

The conclusion should restate and summarize all the main points of the speech. Because the audience will most likely remember what they have heard last. Beautifully wrap up the whole speech and give something for the audience to think about.

For an extra element, close your speech by restating the introduction statement so it feels like a complete package.

A good approach to conclude your speech is to introduce a call to action. Encourage your audience to participate in the solution to the problem that you are discussing. Give your audience some direction on how they can participate.

Practice and more practice is key to a great speech so it is important that you read your speech and listen to yourself. When writing, take care of the required length also.

Speech Topics - Engaging Topics to Choose From

You feel relief when your teacher says you are free to choose your speech topic. Feel free to write about anything you want. The problem is students still feel stuck in choosing an effective speech topic. If you are one of them, here is a list of the best speech ideas to help you get through the process.

  • What role do cats play in human’s lives
  • How to improve communication disorders
  • World’s fastest-growing country
  • Today’s world pollution rate
  • How to improve interpersonal skills
  • Are paper books better than e-books
  • Should the death penalty be abolished
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote
  • Should voting be made compulsory
  • Is it better to live together before marriage

These are some of the interesting topics that you can consider. However, if you are still not sure about the topic of your speech, you can explore our article on  informative speech topics  and pick any of your choices.

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Speech Example

Stressing over on how to write a good speech? Speech examples are sure to be your best friend for effective speech writing and its effortless delivery.

Here is a sample speech example to help you get through your own speech writing process. Explore this example and get the answer on how to give a good speech.

Get Professional Help for Your Speech

If you are good at public speaking but lack writing skills or you do not have enough time to follow the mentioned points and write a speech, don't worry.

You can always contact us at 5StarEssays.com.

We have a highly qualified and amazing team of expert writers who can help you if you want to buy speeches online with high-quality content.

Contact our " write my essay " service with your requirements. Our essay writer will provide you with quality material that your audience will remember for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best introduction for a speech.

The best way to open a speech’s introduction is, to begin with, a story. Tell an inspiring story to your audience and connect it with your personal narrative.

What is the first step of speech writing?

The first step of writing a speech is to choose a topic. Choosing a good topic is important to have an engaging and great speech.

What are the five steps in speech writing?

Here are the five steps involved in writing a speech.

  • Choose a topic.
  • Investigate your audience.
  • Built an outline.
  • Rehearse the speech.
  • Revise and finalize.

What are the types of speech delivery?

Here are the types of speech delivery.

  • Extemporaneous

What are the two P’s required for good speech delivery?

The two P’s required for proper speech delivery are Preparation and Practice.

Cordon J.

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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How to write a speech: 20 good and effective tips

How to write a speech: 20 good and effective tips

  • Filed under: Featured articles , Presentation anxiety , Public speaking articles , Public speaking tips and tricks , Speaking tips , Speech delivery , Speech preparation

Just about a moment ago, you found out that you need to make a speech at an important event in a few weeks, but you don’t have a clue what to do. The only clear question in your head is, „How to write a speech that the listeners will be interested in? What should I do?”

So, how to wrtite a speech? How to write a speech depends on many factors. For example, type of event (official or unofficial), listeners (acquaintances or strangers), time (short or long speech), etc.

In today’s blog post, I’ll highlight the most important elements to consider when writing a speech. If you mark these easy-to-follow tips, then speech writing should not terrify you anymore. On the contrary, you’ll be able to prepare something that your listeners will remember as a positive example.

Table of Contents

How to write a speech if I don’t know anything about making a presentation?

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”  – Dale Carnegie

Each great journey starts with the first step, so let’s first take a look at some of the things you can do to prepare for a speech.

1. Pick a topic you know

The best topic is always the one you are ready to passionately talk about for hours . However, it’s not always the topic your listeners like. Therefore, you should be able to find a balance between what’s exciting for both you and your listeners.

Sometimes, you have to talk about something that is as interesting as watching turtles run. Here, think about how you can add colour to the topic with exciting stories or examples.

For example: my high school history teacher was the one who would bring such brilliant examples and turn a history lesson in such an exciting class that I wanted to learn more in my free time. At university, our history lecturer was extremely boring as we could have read his PowerPoint slides at home.

Read more about how to gather information on your listeners’ background through audience analysis here.

2. Define a clear objective of your speech

Any person is as lazy as they’re allowed to be and, unfortunately, it also applies to speech preparation. Some overestimate their improvisation skills instead of thoroughly preparing their presentation plan.

Be sure to make it clear to yourself what you want to achieve with your speech . Try to avoid the two goals of the regular speaker, „I have to do it somehow“ and „As soon as possible“. This approach doesn’t offer anything to the listeners.

Make a decision whether you want to persuade the listeners or share information with them. Then, take a A4 paper and put down the clear purpose of your presentation . This will help you write a speech that better supports a particular thought.

You should be able to define your objective with one sentence that passes on the most important thing you want to achieve with your presentation. If you can’t sum up the objective with one sentence, your speech must be too long. Normally, I get the objective on paper thinking, „What do I want my listeners to do or think differently after my presentation?“

To learn more about how to prepare for a presentation properly, read these posts:

  • 33 tips to improve your presentation skills
  • 12 effective impromptu speech tips you should use

3. Put down the sub-topics you’re planning to talk about

There’s one common joke, how does one eat an elephant? The answer? Piece by piece. That’s exactly how you should think about your topic. Namely, researchers believe that people are able to focus on a maximum of one main and three secondary questions . There you have your main topic, so make sure to add two-three sub-topics.

Put down the sub-topics in as much detail as possible. I usually write them in short words or phrases, sometimes, in short sentences. This way, I’m going through the main idea of one or another sub-topic I want to convey.

Recommended books

How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World's Most Inspiring Presentations

Jeremy Donovan

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences

Nancy Duarte

Confessions of a Public Speaker

Scott Berkun

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds

Carmine Gallo

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Atul Gawande

The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast!

Josh Kaufman

4. How to write a speech on a topic I know nothing about?

It may happen that you have to make a presentation on a topic you don’t know or know superficially. In this case, use the time you have wisely to prepare properly and explore the topic as much as possible.

If the topic is too complicated for you and you feel like not getting it at all, check out how to write a speech that makes this topic more suitable for you.

For example, if I had to give a 20-minute speech on maths, I’d be in trouble big time as I don’t really know much about it. Thus, I’d adjust the topic and focus on the aspect of maths I know very well. So, I’d tell a couple of stories about how I didn’t much like maths at school and that there’s one thing I’m really good at. I can calculate percentages by cross-multiplying. Then, I’d talk about how it really helped me and how the listeners could use it to their advantage.

How to write a speech that sparks interest?

I think around eight presentations in ten starts with the boring „Hello, my name is…“ and „I’m so lucky to be here“. Yes, this message is also important, but from the point of view of your presentation, an effective introduction must do a bit more.

5. Grabbing attention

Before the start of a presentation, the listeners usually do their own stuff: talk to each other, browse their computer or mobile, walk around, talk on the phone, etc. If you start your speech with the usual „Well, let’s start. I’m …“, people from the third row may not even notice you.

Therefore, attracting attention is important , so think carefully about how to do it. In short, I’ll say that, basically, you can do anything you want to draw attention. As long as it meets the two requirements below, everything is fine. These requirements are:

  • The activity is related to the topic
  • The activity is appropriate for the particular audience

If your plan doesn’t meet at least one of the two requirements, you have to come up with something different.

6. Your introduction should spark interest

How to write a speech that sparks interest?

I believe the main purpose of an introduction is to awaken interest . If your introduction leaves the listeners thinking, „Meh? I wonder what that’s about!“, you’ve slipped. But if you’re able to spark interest right from the start, it will be much easier to keep the audience hooked later.

Broadly speaking, the purpose of the introduction can be divided into three objectives:

  • Grabbing attention
  • Sparking interest
  • Sharing background information and clarifying the „rules“

The regular speaker never follows these three objectives as they have other objectives. These are:

  • „I must do it somehow .“ Note that the emphasis here is on the word „somehow“.
  • „I must finish it as soon as possible.“ For the listener, this means a 30-minute speech made in 15 minutes.

These two anti-objectives have nothing to do with the interests, needs, and expectations of listeners. And so it happens that in addition to the introduction of such speaker, the whole presentation is quite boring. Your task is to be a better speaker.

Here are some thoughts on how to write a speech with an introduction that sparks interest: How to make a presentation? 10 short (but thorough) steps

Tell a personal story related to the topic

As I always say, „Make a point, tell a story“. Listeners love personal stories, and if you’re a good storyteller, it’s even more fun to listen to. If you can make a joke about yourself (say, how you screwed up in a similar situation), even better.

What is the purpose of your presentation?

Have a clear understanding of your message and why you have set this or that objective. A clear description of the purpose of your presentation gives a nice answer to the question („How can I benefit from this?“) going round and round in the listener’s mind (slightly swirling).

How is your presentation structured?

Here, you can highlight the main topics you’ll be talking about. Don’t forget to mention why you chose particular topics as you’ll emphasise in the beginning why they are important.

Why are you making a presentation on the topic? If you need it, introduce yourself, but do it briefly in a few sentences. Don’t start telling your biography, but explain briefly why you are the best person to talk about this topic.

How to write a speech that has strong content?

„Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people“ – Eleanor Roosevelt

The purpose of developing your topic is not to talk broadly about nothing for a long time, but to present your key points, explain, and, if necessary, justify them.

7. Choose an appropriate speech style

When it comes to how to write a speech that has a strong content, it’s worth thinking about which style to choose or which method you could use to structure it. Here are some key methods used to structure a speech.

Chronological order

Speeches made in chronological order are narrative, historical, autobiographical, or developmental. All elements of the narrative come in some sort of chronological order, e.g., „Born in 1977, graduated from high school in 1995. Then went to Stanford University…“

Deductive method

The deductive method is most commonly used. This means that, first of all, you tell the audience what the purpose of your speech is and you prove and justify it during your presentation. The reason why the deductive method is most commonly used is that the audience will know right from the start what is expected of them, which will make it easier for them to follow you.

Inductive method

It would be wise to use the inductive method if you know that the audience is obviously against you. If you start with telling them what the purpose of your speech is (e.g., „buy my product’), it’s likely that no-one will listen to you.

As much as you want them to just listen to your arguments, start with good explanations and arguments, and then say what you want to do next. This way, you’ll be able to convey your reasoning calmly.

Problem method

The problem method begins with a description of a problem or an analysis. To ensure it’s not just pure criticism and so that it’s easier for you to persuade people, make sure to provide possible solutions.

Comparative method

The comparative method compares similar or different things, e.g., US and Canadian hockey teams, US and UK tax systems, etc.

Narrative method

The narrative method is very good for speeches that consist of events and their vivid descriptions. Here, try to avoid dry storytelling and avoid clichés: „On my way here, a funny thing happened to me…“ and the like.

Remember that you can’t write a speech that works well in every situation. Therefore, you always have to consider which method would be best for a particular audience.

8. Don’t forget proper transitions

A clearly structured speech and proper transitions from one part to another help listeners perceive the structure and, therefore, better understand the content of the speech. Your presentation should feel like hovering down a good road. This means that the listener knows during your entire presentation, where you are moving, where you are at the moment, etc.

Some thoughts on how to write a speech that is easy to follow:

  • Move from easy things to more complicated ones and always make a connection between new information and the information mentioned previously.
  • If it is a product presentation, where the listeners can touch or do something themselves, it would be wise to use the explain-show-let do method . For example, if you distribute the products at the beginning of your presentation, the listeners may get distracted, testing the products. So, first, you explain and show, and only then let the audience have the products.
  • Try transitioning from one part of your speech to the next smoothly, form a large and well-functioning whole.
  • Different parts of your speech can be emphasised by pausing , numbering sub-topics („first“, „second“), using visual tools, etc. For the most important parts of your speech to be better remembered, make sure to repeat them.

If you want to know how to write a speech that is persuasive and well argumented read a blog post here:

  • 11 tips how to write a great persuasive speech

How to write a speech: 20 good and effective tips

How to write a speech that is exciting to follow?

At this point, it’s worth recalling the so-called “phone game” often played in childhood. Someone whispers something to the first player in line who would then pass it on to the next player, etc., until the end of the line. As a rule, the information that reaches the end of the line is significantly different from the original…

Have you ever thought that if, for example, the first in line could take notes and would be shown pictures or things to illustrate the original sentence, would the end result be better? Now, we’ll have a look at how to write a speech that is well-illustrated.

9. Use all the senses of your listeners

Using different tools helps listeners better focus on what you’re talking about. If you’re planning to use tools, try using a lot of them, and remember to use all the senses of your listeners when making a presentation (pictures, stories, examples, questions to the audience, engaging the audience, etc.). This way, your message will hit home more effectively.

Instead of a regular text slide, show a slide containing only one image and tell a relevant story related to this image and your topic. Deliver it in a cool, humorous way, making a joke about yourself, if possible.

10. Engage the audience to think and contribute

Engage the audience by encouraging them to express their thoughts , asking them questions and doing everything to encourage them to ask questions. The cooler environment you manage to create, the more the audience will listen to you.

If the format of you presentation allows it, do some group work and practical exercises. Don’t be afraid to do something unusual – it will be remembered.

11. Personal stories are better than vague examples

All of us have have great stories to tell that can be used when making a speech. If it’s a relevant and humorous story that happened to you, it’ll work well. Especially if it’s a story where you show, based on your own experience, how you failed at something and learned from your mistakes . Many people don’t like to be joked at – you’ll be making a joke about yourself in front of the audience, and believe me, it’s worth it.

Telling a story, try to make it more personal for the listeners. For example, instead of saying „I went to a city…“ say „Two weeks ago, I went to London and…“

Also, name places, people, objects, etc., that people know. The more true details (but don’t overdo it), the more powerful the story is. If the listeners can relate to your story, the message will hit home sooner.

12. Use your body language, facial expressions, and emotions effectively

Use your body language and facial expressions when telling stories. Give your story a different emotion , don’t speak monotonously. Show related humorous video clips. In other words, use all the senses of your listeners.

If you manage to make a colourful presentation like that, even a boring and uninteresting topic will absolutely wow the listeners. But if you perform as described in the first paragraph, be sure that even the world’s most interesting subject will appear so boring that the listeners will be wishing you death in a few minutes.

13. Use visual tools only if it adds something to the message

When writing your speech, think about whether and what kind of tool you need for your presentation. Do you plan to show slides?

You need to ask yourself an important question, „Will the visual material add anything to my presentation?“ Don’t do it if the answer is negative, it always has to have some sort of purpose.

Ask yourself how you will present the visual material . Timing is always important – remember not to do it too early or give it out to the listeners. I mentioned it in one of the chapters above.

Read more rom this blog post: 7 good public speaking tips you should use

How to write a speech that will be remembered?

„No matter what goes wrong, there is somebody who knew it would.“ – Evans and Bjorn’s Law

The structure of a presentation is similar to writing an essay: it must have an introduction, the body, and a summary. Many speakers manage the first two parts, but forget about summary, which unfortunately, ruins the overall impression.

Have you ever attended a presentation that starts out fine, works great, but ends so suddenly that you’re confused? Typically, it ends with a single phrase, „That’s all! Are there any questions?“ Do you think it’s the right way to end a presentation? Let’s talk about how to write a speech that the listeners will remember.

14. Avoid the abrupt summary

For example, I like to compare a proper presentation with a flight, in which introduction can be compared to take-off; topic development, to flying over the ocean; and summary, to touchdown. If all this is done smoothly, the travellers applaud sincerely.

Based on this example, think about what type of summary is „That’s all“? It’s like the pilot thinking, „Enough is enough“, abandoning the wheel, and telling the passengers, „That’s it!“

Not very funny, right? Because passengers (read: listeners), are panicking, „But what about the summary?“ When talking about presentations, some call this approach to making a summary „like a bolt out of the blue“. It was all going so well, what happened?

15. Bring out the main thing to keep in mind after your presentation

The story above is meant to show you that the purpose of a summary is not to say „That’s all!“, but to briefly summarise the main points of your speech. You should clearly state what’s most important and what you want the listeners to remember.

For example, if you’ve been making a presentation for an hour or two, full of complicated information, many listeners may not understand what’s important and what’s not. You, however, point out the most important parts of your presentation in the summary, so that everyone understands it.

A summary is like putting the last nail in the wall of a house before you move in. You know everything is ready, suitable for living. And when you finish your presentation with the last relevant bit, story, or a brilliant thought, it’s the „last nail in the wall“, leaving the listeners thinking, „Wow, this was fierce!“

How to write a speech that works out great when making it?

As mentioned above, people tend to get comfortable and lazy. This is also the main reason why most speakers prepare themselves for the presentation thinking, „I just made the slides ready and will now be waiting for the presentation“. Not the world’s best preparation method. Now it’s time to talk about how to write a speech that works out great already when making a presentation.

16. Practise your speech before making the actual presentation

Once you complete the first draft of your speech, you need to practise it in a loud voice already at home . This will help you get rid of the sentences that are too long and spot complex words that can break your tongue.

Even if you’re at home at your computer, practise when standing . This is how you get used to a situation where you can’t hide your trembling body parts from the listeners. In addition, you’ll be able to practise your hand moves . And most importantly – when standing, you appear more of an influencer than when sitting at the table.

17. Practise with the camera

How to practice elevator pitches

The fastest – and surest – way to improve your body language is to record your presentation and watch it on a big screen later. Today, nothing could be easier thanks to smartphones, so I strongly recommend to record your presentation already at home. The camera reveals movements that we make uncontrollably.

Read more about how to be comfortable in front of a video camera here.

18. Don’t exceed the time scheduled for your presentation

One of the biggest sins is exceeding your scheduled time – the listeners become lazy, the general schedule shifts, etc. If something was left unsaid developing the topic, don’t add any new information in the concluding phase, as it only creates confusion. Keep that in mind and consider my recommendation next time.

Thus, if your presentation is limited time-wise or it’s a short speech, when practising at home, use a stopwatch and see how long it takes for one or another topic to go through. Also, check the total time of your presentation. If you tend to exceed the time, make sure to work on it.

19. Repeat as many times as it takes to make you grow tired

The more you practise, the more flawless your speech will be and the more confident you will become. It’s really helpful if you need to introduce changes to your presentation (for example, you need to leave something out). Knowing the content of your presentation throughout makes it easier.

Practise as many times as it takes to grow tired of your own presentation. Why is that good? Because it acts as a counterbalance to stress – so you can talk calmly and confidently. No, not expressing boredom, but in a confident way of a well-prepared person.

How to write a speech that takes into account the unexpected?

The military leaders know that even the best battle plan will expose a flaw after the first gunfire. Thus, it’s hardly possible to prepare yourself for all the unexpected things, but just like the military, think about what you can do if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned.

20. Answers to the question „What do I do if..?”

When writing your speech, it’s wise to ask yourself what to do if (…). Replace the dots with all the possible issues and then think of the possible solutions.

The main questions you might want to ask are:

  • What do I do if I’m running out of time?
  • What do I do if I have much time left?
  • What do I do if the equipment doesn’t work?
  • What do I do if the room isn’t suitable?
  • What do I do if I get stuck?
  • What do I do about the questions I can’t answer?

Bonus tip: After the presentation, adjust the schedule

When you’re done with your presentation, don’t bask in your success. Get back to your original schedule and write down how the presentation went and what should be changed . You will also see how your original schedule worked out in practice. Say, if chapter 1 took 25 minutes instead of the scheduled 15 minutes, adjust your schedule immediately.

Do you know why it’s good for you? Next time you need to make a presentation on a similar (or even the same) topic, you’ll have a ready-to-use schedule – all you need to do is adjust it to your audience.

Summary: How to write a speech the listeners can benefit from?

As you can see, writing a speech depends on many factors, but none of them should make you desperate. The more you prepare, the better the end result will be. Using the tips above, you’ll be able to write a great speech that your listeners will remember.

Related questions

What is elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a well-thought, meaningful, and repeatedly practisced brief (about 30-60 seconds long) overview of who you are, what you offer, and how your partner can benefit from it ( full article here ).

What is persuasive speech? The main objective of a persuasive speech is to make your listeners do what you want them to do. For example, „buy my product“, „vote for me“, „believe what I’m talking about“, and so on. ( full article here )

What is an impromptu speech? An impromptu speech is a speech which given without any thorough preparation. It is five- to eight-minute speech with a characteristically short preparation time of couple of minutes. ( full article here )

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I have been teaching public speaking at Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences

Here, I am sharing the wisdom of how to cope in different public speaking situations.

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Hi! My name is Janek Tuttar, and I am the founder and author of SpeakAndConquer.com.

I have been teaching and blogging about public speaking since spring 2007. Here, I am sharing the wisdom of how to cope in different public speaking situations.

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How to Write a Persuasive Speech

Last Updated: December 10, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,527,659 times.

A persuasive speech is a speech intended to convince the audience to do something. Whether you want to get people to vote, stop littering, or change their minds about an important issue, persuasive speeches are an effective way to sway an audience. There are many elements that go into a successful persuasive speech. But, with some preparation and practice, you can deliver a powerful speech.

Preparing to Write

Step 1 Learn about your topic.

  • Especially if your topic is a controversial one, it's a good idea to know the arguments on all sides of the issue. [1] X Research source Whatever argument you are making, you'll be more persuasive if you can address the views of the opposing side.
  • Spend some time reading books or articles about your topic. You can go to the library and ask a librarian for help finding books, or just go online and find some articles. Make sure to use reliable sources, like major news organizations, or academic books or articles.
  • Opinion-oriented sources, like editorials, talk radio, or partisan cable news, can be valuable for finding out what other people think about your topic. But, don't rely on them as your only source of information. They can be very biased. If you use them at all, make sure to read a variety of viewpoints on the matter, not just one side.

Step 2 Know your goal.

  • For example, if your topic is recycling, it's important to know a lot about recycling. But, your speech will need to reflect exactly what you hope the audience will do. Are you trying to get people to vote in favor of a citywide recycling program? Or are you trying to convince them to sort out their glass and cans and put them in a separate bin? These will be different speeches, so having the goal spelled out early will help you craft your message.

Step 3 Understand your audience.

  • An audience that knows little about your topic will need more background information and simpler language. An audience made up of experts on the topic would likely find such a simple speech boring.
  • Likewise, an audience that already supports your view on a topic will be easier to persuade to take some action. You won't need to convince them you are right, but only that they need to do something. By contrast, an audience that does not agree with you will need persuasion to even consider your point of view.
  • For example, imagine you want to convince your audience to support a city-wide recycling program. If they already think recycling is important, you only need to convince them of the value of this specific program. But, if they don't care about recycling or oppose it, you will need to first convince them that recycling is worthwhile.

Step 4 Choose the right persuasive approach.

  • Ethos. These are appeals to the audience's ethics or morals. For example: "Recycling is the right thing to do. Wasting our limited resources steals from future generations, which is immoral."
  • Pathos. These are appeals to the audience's emotions. For example: "Think of the animals that lose their homes every day because of trees being chopped down. If we recycled more, we could save these beautiful forests."
  • Logos. These are appeals to the audiences logic or intellect. For example: "We know that there is a limited supply of natural resources. We can make this supply last longer by recycling."
  • You can rely on any one or some combination.

Step 5 Outline your main points.

  • The number of points you can make to support your position will be determined by how much time you have to speak.
  • As a rule of thumb, three to four supporting points is usually a good number. [2] X Research source
  • For example, in the speech about recycling, your three main points might be: 1. Recycling saves resources, 2. Recycling reduces the amount of garbage, and 3. Recycling is cost-effective.

Writing your Speech

Step 1 Write a strong opening.

  • An attention grabber. This could be a statement (or sometimes a visual) that gets your audience's attention. It can be a good idea to be a little startling or dramatic at the opening of your speech. For example, you might start with information (or pictures) showing how a nearby landfill is nearly full to capacity.
  • A link to the audience. This is a means of showing that you have something in common with the audience. Show that you have a similar background or share an emotional connection of some kind. This will really depend on knowing your audience. For example, if you are a parent, speaking to other parents, you might emphasize the concern for your own children's future. If you share a common interest or ideological position with your audience, you can emphasize that.
  • Your credentials. This is a means of showing that you are knowledgeable or an authority on the topic of the speech. Highlight the research you've done on your topic. If you have any personal or professional experience with the topic, be sure to emphasize that, too. In the recycling example, you might say "I've invested many hours studying the recycling issue and the types of programs available in other cities."
  • Your goal. Explain to the audience what you hope the speech will accomplish. For example: "I hope by the end of my talk that you will agree that we need a city wide recycling program."
  • A road map. Finally, tell the audience what the main points of the speech will be. For example, "I believe we must start a recycling program for these three reasons...."

Step 2 Offer persuasive evidence.

  • Arrange these points logically. Don't jump from one point to the next, and then back again. Instead, complete an argument, then move on to another that flows logically from it. [4] X Research source
  • Use credible sources from your research to back the points you are making. Even if your point is more emotional (pathos), introducing some factual information will make your argument stronger. For example "Each year, 40,000 acres of beautiful forests are destroyed to make paper, according to a study from the American Recycling Institute."
  • Use real life examples that the audience can relate to. Even an argument based on facts and logic (logos) should relate to the audience's lives and interests. For example: "In these hard economic times, I know many of you are afraid that a recycling program will mean a costly increase in taxes. But, the city of Springfield started a program like this one three years ago. So far they've seen an increase in revenue as a result of the program. Many residents have seen a decrease in their taxes as a result."

Step 3 Address the counter-argument.

  • Make sure that you describe opposing views fairly and objectively. Consider whether someone who actually holds that view would approve of the way you are describing their position. If you aren't sure, find someone who thinks that way and ask!
  • For example, you would not want to say: "opponents of recycling just don't care if we waste our precious resources, or our money." That's not a fair description of their opinion.
  • Instead, you might say: "opponents of recycling are concerned that the cost might be much higher than just using new materials," and then go on to offer an argument about why recycling might be the more cost-effective option.

Step 4 Conclude with a call to action.

  • Don't just restate, verbatim, what you've already said. Instead, use this as an opportunity to reinforce the way your main points support your call to action. For example: "To sum up, I've shown you (points a, b, and c). These three undeniable facts point to a city-wide recycling program as the most sensible and ethical step we can take in helping create a more sustainable future. Please, join me in voting 'yes' on this program in November."

Delivering your Speech

Step 1 Practice your speech.

  • Try practicing in front of a mirror, so that you can see how you are delivering the speech. This can help you notice your facial expressions and body language. These can help or hinder your ability to get your message across.
  • For example, you might notice you are slouching, or that that you fidget with your collar. These actions suggest to an audience that you aren't confident.
  • Better still, record yourself with a video camera and watch the tape afterwards. This can help you see (and hear) where your delivery needs improvement. [5] X Research source It has the benefit of providing audio, and also won't distract you as much as a mirror when you're speaking.
  • Once you've practiced on your own a few times, try giving the speech to a small group of friends or family members. Ask for their feedback on your message and delivery.

Step 2 Dress appropriately.

  • Generally speaking, this will mean dressing professionally. But, the degree of formality will vary. A speech to a film club to convince them to show your film won't require the same degree of formality as speaking to the executives of a movie distribution company. For the executives, you would want to wear a suit. For the film club, that might be overdoing it.

Step 3 Relax.

  • Be friendly and make eye contact with the audience.
  • Move around, where appropriate, but don't fidget or pick at your clothes or hair.
  • Don't read the speech. It's okay to use a few notes to keep yourself on track, but your speech should be mostly memorized.
  • Roll with the punches. If you make a mistake, don't let it derail your whole speech. This might be an opportunity to use a little humor. Then, move on.

Step 4 Involve your audience.

  • For example, if you want them to contact the mayor, demanding a recycling program, don't just ask them to do it. Give them stamped, addressed envelopes to send a letter, or cards with the mayor's phone number and email address. If you do this, many more people are likely to follow through.

Patrick Muñoz

Patrick Muñoz

Speak from your heart and connect with your audience. Look them in the eyes and really talk to them. Make sure you're comfortable delivering your speech and that you use a warm, confident tone.

Sample Template

how to write a speech speech

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Look around at the audience, making eye contact, especially during pauses in your speech. If you're feeling nervous about this, pick out a single person in the audience and pretend you are speaking only to them. After a little while, pick someone else, and repeat. [6] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Speak forward, projecting your voice toward the audience with confidence. Do not speak down toward the floor. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Try to cite sources for statistics and use credible, non-biased sources. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • If you have a nervous laugh, be careful to control it during your speech. Otherwise, your audience will likely think what you have to say isn't important.

how to write a speech speech

  • Avoid being confrontational, when possible. Don't be sarcastic or mocking when discussing viewpoints other than your own. This can be alienating to your audience, even those who may agree with you. Thanks Helpful 55 Not Helpful 17
  • Don't be pompous or arrogant during your speech. Be humble, and be open to questions, suggestions, and feedback. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1

You Might Also Like

Write an Informative Speech

  • ↑ http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/steps-for-writing-a-persuasive-speech.html
  • ↑ http://www.best-speech-topics.com/writing-a-persuasive-speech.html
  • ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Tips-for-Writing-a-Persuasive-Speech.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/structuring-speech
  • ↑ https://www.leonardoenglish.com/blog/recording-yourself-in-english
  • ↑ https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/eyecontact/

About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a persuasive speech, start with a strong opening that will make your reader want to pay attention, including an attention grabber, your credentials, the essay's goal, and a road map for the essay. Next, offer persuasive evidence or reasons why the reader should support your viewpoint. Arrange these points logically, use credible sources, and employ some real life examples. Additionally, address counter-arguments to show that you’re looking at the topic from all sides. Finally, conclude by clearly letting the audience know how to put your ideas into action. To learn how to involve your audience when you deliver your speech, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • Speech Topics For Kids
  • How To Write A Speech

How to Write a Speech: A Guide to Enhance Your Writing Skills

Speech is a medium to convey a message to the world. It is a way of expressing your views on a topic or a way to showcase your strong opposition to a particular idea. To deliver an effective speech, you need a strong and commanding voice, but more important than that is what you say. Spending time in preparing a speech is as vital as presenting it well to your audience.

Read the article to learn what all you need to include in a speech and how to structure it.

Table of Contents

  • Self-Introduction

The Opening Statement

Structuring the speech, choice of words, authenticity, writing in 1st person, tips to write a speech, frequently asked questions on speech, how to write a speech.

Writing a speech on any particular topic requires a lot of research. It also has to be structured well in order to properly get the message across to the target audience. If you have ever listened to famous orators, you would have noticed the kind of details they include when speaking about a particular topic, how they present it and how their speeches motivate and instill courage in people to work towards an individual or shared goal. Learning how to write such effective speeches can be done with a little guidance. So, here are a few points you can keep in mind when writing a speech on your own. Go through each of them carefully and follow them meticulously.

Self Introduction

When you are writing or delivering a speech, the very first thing you need to do is introduce yourself. When you are delivering a speech for a particular occasion, there might be a master of ceremony who might introduce you and invite you to share your thoughts. Whatever be the case, always remember to say one or two sentences about who you are and what you intend to do.

Introductions can change according to the nature of your target audience. It can be either formal or informal based on the audience you are addressing. Here are a few examples.

Addressing Friends/Classmates/Peers

  • Hello everyone! I am ________. I am here to share my views on _________.
  • Good morning friends. I, _________, am here to talk to you about _________.

Addressing Teachers/Higher Authorities

  • Good morning/afternoon/evening. Before I start, I would like to thank _______ for giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts about ________ here today.
  • A good day to all. I, __________, on behalf of _________, am standing here today to voice out my thoughts on _________.

It is said that the first seven seconds is all that a human brain requires to decide whether or not to focus on something. So, it is evident that a catchy opening statement is the factor that will impact your audience. Writing a speech does require a lot of research, and structuring it in an interesting, informative and coherent manner is something that should be done with utmost care.

When given a topic to speak on, the first thing you can do is brainstorm ideas and pen down all that comes to your mind. This will help you understand what aspect of the topic you want to focus on. With that in mind, you can start drafting your speech.

An opening statement can be anything that is relevant to the topic. Use words smartly to create an impression and grab the attention of your audience. A few ideas on framing opening statements are given below. Take a look.

  • Asking an Engaging Question

Starting your speech by asking the audience a question can get their attention. It creates an interest and curiosity in the audience and makes them think about the question. This way, you would have already got their minds ready to listen and think.

  • Fact or a Surprising Statement

Surprising the audience with an interesting fact or a statement can draw the attention of the audience. It can even be a joke; just make sure it is relevant. A good laugh would wake up their minds and they would want to listen to what you are going to say next.

  • Adding a Quote

After you have found your topic to work on, look for a quote that best suits your topic. The quote can be one said by some famous personality or even from stories, movies or series. As long as it suits your topic and is appropriate to the target audience, use them confidently.  Again, finding a quote that is well-known or has scope for deep thought will be your success factor.

To structure your speech easily, it is advisable to break it into three parts or three sections – an introduction, body and conclusion.

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic and your views on the topic briefly.
  • Body: Give a detailed explanation of your topic. Your focus should be to inform and educate your audience on the said topic.
  • Conclusion:  Voice out your thoughts/suggestions. Your intention here should be to make them think/act.

While delivering or writing a speech, it is essential to keep an eye on the language you are using. Choose the right kind of words. The person has the liberty to express their views in support or against the topic; just be sure to provide enough evidence to prove the discussed points. See to it that you use short and precise sentences. Your choice of words and what you emphasise on will decide the effect of the speech on the audience.

When writing a speech, make sure to,

  • Avoid long, confusing sentences.
  • Check the spelling, sentence structure and grammar.
  • Not use contradictory words or statements that might cause any sort of issues.

Anything authentic will appeal to the audience, so including anecdotes, personal experiences and thoughts will help you build a good rapport with your audience. The only thing you need to take care is to not let yourself be carried away in the moment. Speak only what is necessary.

Using the 1st person point of view in a speech is believed to be more effective than a third person point of view. Just be careful not to make it too subjective and sway away from the topic.

  • Understand the purpose of your speech: Before writing the speech, you must understand the topic and the purpose behind it. Reason out and evaluate if the speech has to be inspiring, entertaining or purely informative.
  • Identify your audience: When writing or delivering a speech, your audience play the major role. Unless you know who your target audience is, you will not be able to draft a good and appropriate speech.
  • Decide the length of the speech: Whatever be the topic, make sure you keep it short and to the point. Making a speech longer than it needs to be will only make it monotonous and boring.
  • Revising and practicing the speech: After writing, it is essential to revise and recheck as there might be minor errors which you might have missed. Edit and revise until you are sure you have it right. Practise as much as required so you do not stammer in front of your audience.
  • Mention your takeaways at the end of the speech: Takeaways are the points which have been majorly emphasised on and can bring a change. Be sure to always have a thought or idea that your audience can reflect upon at the end of your speech.

How to write a speech?

Writing a speech is basically about collecting, summarising and structuring your points on a given topic. Do a proper research, prepare multiple drafts, edit and revise until you are sure of the content.

Why is it important to introduce ourselves?

It is essential to introduce yourself while writing a speech, so that your audience or the readers know who the speaker is and understand where you come from. This will, in turn, help them connect with you and your thoughts.

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How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

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The purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you.

You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your argument as a solution to a problem. Your first job as a speaker is to convince your audience that a particular problem is important to them, and then you must convince them that you have the solution to make things better.

Note: You don't have to address a real problem. Any need can work as the problem. For example, you could consider the lack of a pet, the need to wash one's hands, or the need to pick a particular sport to play as the "problem."

As an example, let's imagine that you have chosen "Getting Up Early" as your persuasion topic. Your goal will be to persuade classmates to get themselves out of bed an hour earlier every morning. In this instance, the problem could be summed up as "morning chaos."

A standard speech format has an introduction with a great hook statement, three main points, and a summary. Your persuasive speech will be a tailored version of this format.

Before you write the text of your speech, you should sketch an outline that includes your hook statement and three main points.

Writing the Text

The introduction of your speech must be compelling because your audience will make up their minds within a few minutes whether or not they are interested in your topic.

Before you write the full body you should come up with a greeting. Your greeting can be as simple as "Good morning everyone. My name is Frank."

After your greeting, you will offer a hook to capture attention. A hook sentence for the "morning chaos" speech could be a question:

  • How many times have you been late for school?
  • Does your day begin with shouts and arguments?
  • Have you ever missed the bus?

Or your hook could be a statistic or surprising statement:

  • More than 50 percent of high school students skip breakfast because they just don't have time to eat.
  • Tardy kids drop out of school more often than punctual kids.

Once you have the attention of your audience, follow through to define the topic/problem and introduce your solution. Here's an example of what you might have so far:

Good afternoon, class. Some of you know me, but some of you may not. My name is Frank Godfrey, and I have a question for you. Does your day begin with shouts and arguments? Do you go to school in a bad mood because you've been yelled at, or because you argued with your parent? The chaos you experience in the morning can bring you down and affect your performance at school.

Add the solution:

You can improve your mood and your school performance by adding more time to your morning schedule. You can accomplish this by setting your alarm clock to go off one hour earlier.

Your next task will be to write the body, which will contain the three main points you've come up with to argue your position. Each point will be followed by supporting evidence or anecdotes, and each body paragraph will need to end with a transition statement that leads to the next segment. Here is a sample of three main statements:

  • Bad moods caused by morning chaos will affect your workday performance.
  • If you skip breakfast to buy time, you're making a harmful health decision.
  • (Ending on a cheerful note) You'll enjoy a boost to your self-esteem when you reduce the morning chaos.

After you write three body paragraphs with strong transition statements that make your speech flow, you are ready to work on your summary.

Your summary will re-emphasize your argument and restate your points in slightly different language. This can be a little tricky. You don't want to sound repetitive but will need to repeat what you have said. Find a way to reword the same main points.

Finally, you must make sure to write a clear final sentence or passage to keep yourself from stammering at the end or fading off in an awkward moment. A few examples of graceful exits:

  • We all like to sleep. It's hard to get up some mornings, but rest assured that the reward is well worth the effort.
  • If you follow these guidelines and make the effort to get up a little bit earlier every day, you'll reap rewards in your home life and on your report card.

Tips for Writing Your Speech

  • Don't be confrontational in your argument. You don't need to put down the other side; just convince your audience that your position is correct by using positive assertions.
  • Use simple statistics. Don't overwhelm your audience with confusing numbers.
  • Don't complicate your speech by going outside the standard "three points" format. While it might seem simplistic, it is a tried and true method for presenting to an audience who is listening as opposed to reading.
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • 5 Tips on How to Write a Speech Essay
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • Writing an Opinion Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • Ethos, Logos, Pathos for Persuasion
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • Audience Analysis in Speech and Composition
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • 100 Persuasive Essay Topics
  • How to Write a Graduation Speech as Valedictorian

Frantically Speaking

15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How to Create Your Own)

Hrideep barot.

  • Public Speaking , Speech Writing

powerful speech opening

Powerful speech opening lines set the tone and mood of your speech. It’s what grips the audience to want to know more about the rest of your talk.

The first few seconds are critical. It’s when you have maximum attention of the audience. And you must capitalize on that!

Instead of starting off with something plain and obvious such as a ‘Thank you’ or ‘Good Morning’, there’s so much more you can do for a powerful speech opening (here’s a great article we wrote a while ago on how you should NOT start your speech ).

To help you with this, I’ve compiled some of my favourite openings from various speakers. These speakers have gone on to deliver TED talks , win international Toastmaster competitions or are just noteworthy people who have mastered the art of communication.

After each speaker’s opening line, I have added how you can include their style of opening into your own speech. Understanding how these great speakers do it will certainly give you an idea to create your own speech opening line which will grip the audience from the outset!

Alright! Let’s dive into the 15 powerful speech openings…

Note: Want to take your communications skills to the next level? Book a complimentary consultation with one of our expert communication coaches. We’ll look under the hood of your hurdles and pick two to three growth opportunities so you can speak with impact!

1. Ric Elias

Opening: “Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. It sounds scary. Well I had a unique seat that day. I was sitting in 1D.”

How to use the power of imagination to open your speech?

Putting your audience in a state of imagination can work extremely well to captivate them for the remainder of your talk.

It really helps to bring your audience in a certain mood that preps them for what’s about to come next. Speakers have used this with high effectiveness by transporting their audience into an imaginary land to help prove their point.

When Ric Elias opened his speech, the detail he used (3000 ft, sound of the engine going clack-clack-clack) made me feel that I too was in the plane. He was trying to make the audience experience what he was feeling – and, at least in my opinion, he did.

When using the imagination opening for speeches, the key is – detail. While we want the audience to wander into imagination, we want them to wander off to the image that we want to create for them. So, detail out your scenario if you’re going to use this technique.

Make your audience feel like they too are in the same circumstance as you were when you were in that particular situation.

2. Barack Obama

Opening: “You can’t say it, but you know it’s true.”

3. Seth MacFarlane

Opening: “There’s nowhere I would rather be on a day like this than around all this electoral equipment.” (It was raining)

How to use humour to open your speech?

When you use humour in a manner that suits your personality, it can set you up for a great speech. Why? Because getting a laugh in the first 30 seconds or so is a great way to quickly get the audience to like you.

And when they like you, they are much more likely to listen to and believe in your ideas.

Obama effortlessly uses his opening line to entice laughter among the audience. He brilliantly used the setting (the context of Trump becoming President) and said a line that completely matched his style of speaking.

Saying a joke without really saying a joke and getting people to laugh requires you to be completely comfortable in your own skin. And that’s not easy for many people (me being one of them).

If the joke doesn’t land as expected, it could lead to a rocky start.

Keep in mind the following when attempting to deliver a funny introduction:

  • Know your audience: Make sure your audience gets the context of the joke (if it’s an inside joke among the members you’re speaking to, that’s even better!). You can read this article we wrote where we give you tips on how you can actually get to know your audience better to ensure maximum impact with your speech openings
  • The joke should suit your natural personality. Don’t make it look forced or it won’t elicit the desired response
  • Test the opening out on a few people who match your real audience. Analyze their response and tweak the joke accordingly if necessary
  • Starting your speech with humour means your setting the tone of your speech. It would make sense to have a few more jokes sprinkled around the rest of the speech as well as the audience might be expecting the same from you

4. Mohammed Qahtani

Opening: Puts a cigarette on his lips, lights a lighter, stops just before lighting the cigarette. Looks at audience, “What?”

5. Darren Tay

Opening: Puts a white pair of briefs over his pants.

How to use props to begin your speech?

The reason props work so well in a talk is because in most cases the audience is not expecting anything more than just talking. So when a speaker pulls out an object that is unusual, everyone’s attention goes right to it.

It makes you wonder why that prop is being used in this particular speech.

The key word here is unusual . To grip the audience’s attention at the beginning of the speech, the prop being used should be something that the audience would never expect. Otherwise, it just becomes something that is common. And common = boring!

What Mohammed Qahtani and Darren Tay did superbly well in their talks was that they used props that nobody expected them to.

By pulling out a cigarette and lighter or a white pair of underwear, the audience can’t help but be gripped by what the speaker is about to do next. And that makes for a powerful speech opening.

6. Simon Sinek

Opening: “How do you explain when things don’t go as we assume? Or better, how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions?”

7. Julian Treasure

Opening: “The human voice. It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the world. Probably the only one that can start a war or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak people don’t listen to them. Why is that? How can we speak powerfully to make change in the world?”

How to use questions to open a speech?

I use this method often. Starting off with a question is the simplest way to start your speech in a manner that immediately engages the audience.

But we should keep our questions compelling as opposed to something that is fairly obvious.

I’ve heard many speakers start their speeches with questions like “How many of us want to be successful?”

No one is going to say ‘no’ to that and frankly, I just feel silly raising my hand at such questions.

Simon Sinek and Jullian Treasure used questions in a manner that really made the audience think and make them curious to find out what the answer to that question is.

What Jullian Treasure did even better was the use of a few statements which built up to his question. This made the question even more compelling and set the theme for what the rest of his talk would be about.

So think of what question you can ask in your speech that will:

  • Set the theme for the remainder of your speech
  • Not be something that is fairly obvious
  • Be compelling enough so that the audience will actually want to know what the answer to that question will be

8. Aaron Beverley

Opening: Long pause (after an absurdly long introduction of a 57-word speech title). “Be honest. You enjoyed that, didn’t you?”

How to use silence for speech openings?

The reason this speech opening stands out is because of the fact that the title itself is 57 words long. The audience was already hilariously intrigued by what was going to come next.

But what’s so gripping here is the way Aaron holds the crowd’s suspense by…doing nothing. For about 10 to 12 seconds he did nothing but stand and look at the audience. Everyone quietened down. He then broke this silence by a humorous remark that brought the audience laughing down again.

When going on to open your speech, besides focusing on building a killer opening sentence, how about just being silent?

It’s important to keep in mind that the point of having a strong opening is so that the audience’s attention is all on you and are intrigued enough to want to listen to the rest of your speech.

Silence is a great way to do that. When you get on the stage, just pause for a few seconds (about 3 to 5 seconds) and just look at the crowd. Let the audience and yourself settle in to the fact that the spotlight is now on you.

I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about starting the speech off with a pure pause that just makes the beginning so much more powerful. It adds credibility to you as a speaker as well, making you look more comfortable and confident on stage. 

If you want to know more about the power of pausing in public speaking , check out this post we wrote. It will give you a deeper insight into the importance of pausing and how you can harness it for your own speeches. You can also check out this video to know more about Pausing for Public Speaking:

9. Dan Pink

Opening: “I need to make a confession at the outset here. Little over 20 years ago, I did something that I regret. Something that I’m not particularly proud of. Something that in many ways I wish no one would ever know but that here I feel kind of obliged to reveal.”

10. Kelly McGonigal

Opening: “I have a confession to make. But first I want you to make a little confession to me.”

How to use a build-up to open your speech?

When there are so many amazing ways to start a speech and grip an audience from the outset, why would you ever choose to begin your speech with a ‘Good morning?’.

That’s what I love about build-ups. They set the mood for something awesome that’s about to come in that the audience will feel like they just have to know about.

Instead of starting a speech as it is, see if you can add some build-up to your beginning itself. For instance, in Kelly McGonigal’s speech, she could have started off with the question of stress itself (which she eventually moves on to in her speech). It’s not a bad way to start the speech.

But by adding the statement of “I have a confession to make” and then not revealing the confession for a little bit, the audience is gripped to know what she’s about to do next and find out what indeed is her confession.

11. Tim Urban

Opening: “So in college, I was a government major. Which means that I had to write a lot of papers. Now when a normal student writes a paper, they might spread the work out a little like this.”

12. Scott Dinsmore

Opening: “8 years ago, I got the worst career advice of my life.”

How to use storytelling as a speech opening?

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.” Steve Jobs

Storytelling is the foundation of good speeches. Starting your speech with a story is a great way to grip the audience’s attention. It makes them yearn to want to know how the rest of the story is going to pan out.

Tim Urban starts off his speech with a story dating back to his college days. His use of slides is masterful and something we all can learn from. But while his story sounds simple, it does the job of intriguing the audience to want to know more.

As soon as I heard the opening lines, I thought to myself “If normal students write their paper in a certain manner, how does Tim write his papers?”

Combine such a simple yet intriguing opening with comedic slides, and you’ve got yourself a pretty gripping speech.

Scott Dismore’s statement has a similar impact. However, just a side note, Scott Dismore actually started his speech with “Wow, what an honour.”

I would advise to not start your talk with something such as that. It’s way too common and does not do the job an opening must, which is to grip your audience and set the tone for what’s coming.

13. Larry Smith

Opening: “I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you’re going to fail to have a great career.”

14. Jane McGonigal

Opening: “You will live 7.5 minutes longer than you would have otherwise, just because you watched this talk.”

How to use provocative statements to start your speech?

Making a provocative statement creates a keen desire among the audience to want to know more about what you have to say. It immediately brings everyone into attention.

Larry Smith did just that by making his opening statement surprising, lightly humorous, and above all – fearful. These elements lead to an opening statement which creates so much curiosity among the audience that they need to know how your speech pans out.

This one time, I remember seeing a speaker start a speech with, “Last week, my best friend committed suicide.” The entire crowd was gripped. Everyone could feel the tension in the room.

They were just waiting for the speaker to continue to know where this speech will go.

That’s what a hard-hitting statement does, it intrigues your audience so much that they can’t wait to hear more! Just a tip, if you do start off with a provocative, hard-hitting statement, make sure you pause for a moment after saying it.

Silence after an impactful statement will allow your message to really sink in with the audience.

Related article: 5 Ways to Grab Your Audience’s Attention When You’re Losing it!

15. Ramona J Smith

Opening: In a boxing stance, “Life would sometimes feel like a fight. The punches, jabs and hooks will come in the form of challenges, obstacles and failures. Yet if you stay in the ring and learn from those past fights, at the end of each round, you’ll be still standing.”

How to use your full body to grip the audience at the beginning of your speech?

In a talk, the audience is expecting you to do just that – talk. But when you enter the stage and start putting your full body into use in a way that the audience does not expect, it grabs their attention.

Body language is critical when it comes to public speaking. Hand gestures, stage movement, facial expressions are all things that need to be paid attention to while you’re speaking on stage. But that’s not I’m talking about here.

Here, I’m referring to a unique use of the body that grips the audience, like how Ramona did. By using her body to get into a boxing stance, imitating punches, jabs and hooks with her arms while talking – that’s what got the audience’s attention.

The reason I say this is so powerful is because if you take Ramona’s speech and remove the body usage from her opening, the entire magic of the opening falls flat.

While the content is definitely strong, without those movements, she would not have captured the audience’s attention as beautifully as she did with the use of her body.

So if you have a speech opening that seems slightly dull, see if you can add some body movement to it.

If your speech starts with a story of someone running, actually act out the running. If your speech starts with a story of someone reading, actually act out the reading.

It will make your speech opening that much more impactful.

Related article: 5 Body Language Tips to Command the Stage

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Final Words

So there it is! 15 speech openings from some of my favourite speeches. Hopefully, these will act as a guide for you to create your own opening which is super impactful and sets you off on the path to becoming a powerful public speaker!

But remember, while a speech opening is super important, it’s just part of an overall structure.

If you’re serious about not just creating a great speech opening but to improve your public speaking at an overall level, I would highly recommend you to check out this course: Acumen Presents: Chris Anderson on Public Speaking on Udemy. Not only does it have specific lectures on starting and ending a speech, but it also offers an in-depth guide into all the nuances of public speaking. 

Being the founder of TED Talks, Chris Anderson provides numerous examples of the best TED speakers to give us a very practical way of overcoming stage fear and delivering a speech that people will remember. His course has helped me personally and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to learn public speaking. 

No one is ever “done” learning public speaking. It’s a continuous process and you can always get better. Keep learning, keep conquering and keep being awesome!

Lastly, if you want to know how you should NOT open your speech, we’ve got a video for you:

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how to write a speech speech

Psychedelics helped Sycamore grad write Ohio State graduation speech, he says on LinkedIn

how to write a speech speech

Ohio State's chosen commencement speaker for the class of 2024, entrepreneur and Sycamore High School graduate Chris Pan, was high on psychadelic ayahuasca while he wrote his speech, according to posts he made on social media.

"Got some help from AI (Ayahuasca Intelligence) this week to write my commencement speech for 60k grads and family members at Ohio State University next Sunday," he wrote in a LinkedIn post before graduation.

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic liquid made from heating or boiling multiple psychoactive plants from South America, according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Australia.

Pan also said he tried using ChatGPT and artificial intelligence to write his speech, according to his LinkedIn post and an Instagram post.

Ohio State graduation death: Coroner identifies woman who died in fall from Ohio Stadium

In the weeks preceding graduation, Pan shared multiple drafts of his speech on Instagram. His earliest posted draft included a lengthy section about the Israel-Palestine conflict and a moment where he removed his shirt.

But on Sunday, Pan did not explicitly mention Gaza, Israel or Palestine (or remove his shirt). Rather, he remarked how after holding multicultural events over the past few months, we must "end suffering on both sides."

Ohio State graduation death: Here's what we know

"What I learned is that there is so much pain and trauma in both communities. Pain causes hate and violence. Hurt people hurt people. Healed people help people," he said. "When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. World peace starts with inner peace."

Pan also led the crowd through two brief musical numbers  – "What's Going On?" by the 4 Non Blondes and "This Little Light of Mine" by Harry Dixon Loes – and espoused how he thinks Bitcoin is "a very misunderstood asset class," which was met by groans from audience members. He promised everyone in attendance a free bracelet from his company, MyIntent, "as an apology for listening to me talk about Bitcoin."

Pan was born in Taiwan and moved to Cincinnati when he was 7, according to a 2018 Ohio State video . He graduated from Sycamore High School in 1995, according to Enquirer archives, and from OSU in 1999. He went on to receive a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He worked at consulting firm McKinsey and Company, PepsiCo and Facebook before starting his own business, MyIntent.org, in 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

MyIntent sells jewelry with a custom word of the customer's choosing etched in it, according to the company's website.

Dispatch reporter Sheridan Hendrix contributed to this report.

Ohio State commencement speaker says he got help from psychedelics while writing speech

how to write a speech speech

Ohio State's chosen commencement speaker for the class of 2024, entrepreneur Chris Pan, was high on ayahuasca while he wrote his speech, according to posts he made on social media.

"Got some help from AI (Ayahuasca Intelligence) this week to write my commencement speech for 60k grads and family members at Ohio State University next Sunday," he wrote in a LinkedIn post before graduation.

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic liquid made from heating or boiling multiple psychoactive plants from South America, according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Australia.

Pan also said he tried using ChatGPT and artificial intelligence to write his speech, according to his LinkedIn post and an Instagram post.

Ohio State graduation death: Coroner identifies woman who died in fall from Ohio Stadium

In the weeks preceding graduation, Pan shared multiple drafts of his speech on Instagram. His earliest posted draft included a lengthy section about the Israel-Palestine conflict and a moment where he removed his shirt.

But on Sunday, Pan did not explicitly mention Gaza, Israel or Palestine (or remove his shirt). Rather, he remarked, how after holding multicultural events over the past few months, we must "end suffering on both sides."

Here's what we know: Ohio State graduation death

"What I learned is that there is so much pain and trauma in both communities. Pain causes hate and violence. Hurt people hurt people. Healed people help people," he said. "When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. World peace starts with inner peace."

Pan also led the crowd through two brief musical numbers  — "What's Going On?" by the 4 Non Blondes and "This Little Light of Mine" by Harry Dixon Loes — and espoused how he thinks Bitcoin is "a very misunderstood asset class," which was met by groans from audience members. (He promised everyone in attendance a free bracelet from his company, MyIntent, "as an apology for listening to me talk about Bitcoin.").

Pan graduated from OSU in 1999 and went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School. He worked at consulting firm McKinsey and Company, PepsiCo and Facebook before starting his own business, MyIntent.org, in 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

MyIntent sells jewelry with a custom word of the customer's choosing etched in it, according to the company's website.

Dispatch reporter Sheridan Hendrix contributed to this report.

[email protected]

@NathanRHart

Gaza campus protests: what are students’ free speech rights and what can universities do?

how to write a speech speech

Lecturer in Political Theory and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast

Disclosure statement

Suzanne Whitten does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Red camping tents on a green lawn, with a large hand painted sign reading 'students demand arms off campus'

Students expressing solidarity with Palestinians and protesting Israel’s war in Gaza have set up encampments on campuses around the UK. Around 15 encampments have emerged in Oxford , Cambridge , Edinburgh , Warwick Manchester and others. They’ve also emerged in other countries including France and Ireland .

Broadly, students are calling for transparency over and divestment from universities’ financial links with Israeli companies (particularly those involved in the arms industry). They are demanding university leaders cut ties with Israeli universities, increase resources (including scholarships for Palestinian students and make long-term commitments relating to the rebuilding of higher education in Palestine.

The encampments follow similar action at more than 140 universities in the US. There, scenes of police arresting protesters have sparked intense debate about when (if ever) it is permissible to limit the free expression of students.

Read more: US student Gaza protests: five things that have been missed

Universities have a difficult balance to strike between protecting student speech rights and ensuring campus safety.

In the US, public universities (as “arms of government”) are prevented from interfering with free speech under the constitution’s first amendment. While this doesn’t apply in the same way to private universities, most have agreed to uphold policies that closely resemble it. These rights must be balanced against reasonable considerations about the time, place and manner of the speech, as well as civil rights laws against harassment.

The UK does not have the same free speech protections, but many university leaders have made clear that their institutions support freedom of expression . They have reminded students of their duties to ensure that protest activities remain lawful and do not risk the safety of others.

They have encouraged students to follow university policy , and be mindful of other students, staff and members of the public. This generally means that they should not obstruct their access to work or get in the way of their education.

Rishi Sunak met with 17 vice-chancellors and representatives from the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), seeking reassurance that any antisemitism arising from the protests would be swiftly dealt with. And the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, called for vice-chancellors to “show leadership” to ensure that campuses are a safe place for all students.

Are the protests legal?

Protests that take place on university campuses in the UK are considered legal exercises of the right to freedom of expression. The rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, which is enshrined in UK law under the Human Rights Act .

These rights are further reinforced by a 1986 UK education law , which requires universities to take “reasonably practicable” steps to protect freedom of speech on campus. This includes permitting and facilitating the right to protest.

There are notable exceptions. In England and Wales, speech that incites violence is considered unlawful, as is harassment on the basis of protected characteristics (race, religion, sexuality and so on). The law is slightly different in Scotland and Northern Ireland .

Expressed support for one of the UK government’s 79 proscribed organisations (including Hezbollah and Hamas) is also criminalised by the Terrorism Act .

A student protest, with a prominent cardboard sign reading 'every university in gaza has been destroyed'.

When it comes to semi-permanent occupations, duties to facilitate freedom of expression will be in tension with universities’ obligations to keep students and staff safe. Sally Mapstone, the president of the vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK, said universities “may need to take action ” if encampments interfere with the ability to take exams, graduate or go about other business.

In the past, universities have ended occupations by applying for a “possession order” from the High Court. This can lead to students being removed by bailiffs, as happened in March 2023 when the University of Bristol evicted students taking part in a rent strike.

In April 2024 , Bristol Students Occupy for Palestine ended a four-week occupation of the university’s executive management building after they were served with a possession order.

Any universities that take this route would need to show that they have considered protestors’ freedom of expression and assembly rights , and that these have been outweighed by other competing obligations.

The encampments could also risk breaching the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act and the Public Order Act, introduced in 2022 and 2023. These controversial laws limit noisy protests and make it unlawful to cause “public nuisance”.

They also ban protests that cause serious disruption to the life of the community , including by tunnelling , locking-on and taking part in slow-walking protests . Again, any interventions (from either the university or the police) must be weighed against the freedom of expression rights of protesters.

Successful negotiations

So far, some of the protests have been successful. Management at Goldsmiths, University of London agreed to protesters’ demands, including investing in a number of scholarships for Palestinian students and reviewing the university’s investment policy. The encampment at Trinity College Dublin has ended after the university agreed to divest from “Israeli companies that have activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and appear on the UN blacklist in this regard”.

The University of York has also agreed to divest from weapons manufacturers. Other universities have established meetings between protesters and management, though most negotiations are still in the early stages.

Apart from upholding their legal obligations, universities should maintain open lines of dialogue with protesters. Doing so is not only essential from a safety perspective, but ensures that all are able to exercise their rights effectively. So far, most universities have been clear about their commitment to free expression, acknowledging lawful protest as a fundamental component of university life.

The free exchange of ideas will often make some people feel uncomfortable . But speech which harasses or threatens others is not only unlawful, it prevents them from taking part in university life as equals. Universities must also offer accessible channels of complaint for students and staff who have experienced abuse from others on campus.

  • UK higher education
  • Student protests
  • UK universities
  • Campus free speech
  • encampments
  • Gaza Protests

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Jerry Seinfeld’s Duke University Commencement Speech Spurs Walkouts as Students Chant ‘Free Palestine’

By Ellise Shafer

Ellise Shafer

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Jerry Seinfeld Duke

Jerry Seinfeld received an honorary degree at Duke University’s commencement on Sunday, but before he could begin his speech, the comedian was met with student walkouts.

According to the New York Times , dozens of students left the graduation ceremony and chanted “Free, free Palestine” in protest of Seinfeld, who has been vocal about his support of Israel. Others in the crowd responded to the protesters with applause and cheers of approval for Seinfeld, who began his speech with, “Thank you. Oh my God, what a beautiful day.”

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In addition to posting about his support of Israel on social media, in December Seinfeld made a trip to Tel Aviv to meet with families of the hostages taken during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. Earlier this month, his wife, Jessica Seinfeld, promoted on Instagram a UCLA counterprotest to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have been taking place at universities across the country.

Representatives for Seinfeld declined to comment on the matter.

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Tories tell police: Bring back stop and search

Priority is to tackle knife crime rather than ‘appease’ campaigners who claim it is discriminatory

Police must increase their use of stop and search to tackle knife crime rather than “appease” campaign groups who claim it is discriminatory, the policing minister has said.

Writing in The Telegraph, Chris Philp says stop and search is a “vital tool” in taking knives off the streets but warns it is “not used nearly often enough” by police.

It comes after use of the tactic became a major political issue a decade ago, when Theresa May, as home secretary, curbed the powers amid claims by campaigners that black people were being disproportionately targeted by police. The move resulted in the number of stop and searches falling dramatically, from a high of 1.2 million in 2010-11 down to 279,728 in 2017-18.

However, Mr Philp says: “The police must use the powers available to them without fear or favour. I want to see them take a robust approach and this starts with increasing the use of stop and search.

“In today’s climate police stop and search is the best foot forward, we know this. What we can’t do is tiptoe around using these powers in an aim to appease. The first priority must always be prevention and public safety.”

A senior government source added: “We cannot avoid using the powers to appease politically correct campaigners who oppose police action, when police action is needed to protect all communities.”

Mr Philp’s comments will be seen as the latest attempt by the Government to draw dividing lines between the Tories and Labour, before the general election.

The public think that crime is one of the most important issues facing the country, according to YouGov. The pollster’s long-running survey, which asks the public every week which issue facing the country is the most important, places crime fourth, behind health, immigration and asylum, and the economy. Nearly a quarter of those asked (23 per cent) chose crime as one of the most important issues, highlighting why the Tories believe it is an area where they can make gains over Labour.

Mr Philp’s comments come days after Rishi Sunak warned that Britain would be less safe under a Labour government.

On Tuesday, James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, announced that knife detection wands that could detect weapons from a distance and body-worn systems to check for knives were being developed as part of a £4 million drive to tackle the knife crime crisis.

Knife crime nationally has risen by 7.2 per cent to nearly 50,000 offences, close to the past record high of 51,200, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In London, which accounts for more than a third of all knife crime in England and Wales, it hit a record high of more than 14,500 offences last year..

Although stops and searches have increased from a low of 280,000 in 2017 after successive home secretaries reversed the restrictions, they have continued to drop in the Metropolitan Police to 137,059 in 2023-24, the second lowest on record.

Mrs May curbed the use of the tactic amid concern that black people were being stopped a “disproportionate” seven times more than white people.

However, Sir Mark Rowley, the Met Commissioner, this month pledged to increase its use after admitting it had fallen partly because of officers’ lack of “confidence” amid fears of “complaints, the investigation they get and whether they feel supported behind it”.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has backed stop and search as “an extremely important tool” against knife crime but said it must also be done in an “effective and fair way” because of community concerns.

Mr Philp writes: “I welcome the Met Commissioner’s commitment to increasing use of stop and search in London where knife crime is sadly particularly prevalent. But I want to see this commitment on a national level. We should leave people in no doubt that carrying a knife is a criminal offence and could lead to up to four years in prison.”

The latest government figures show black people were five times as likely to be stopped as white people, with 27.2 stops per 1,000 black people against 5.6 per 1,000 white people. But official data also show that black men were nine times more likely to be murdered and five times more likely to require hospital treatment.

Particular ethnic groups ‘not unfairly targeted’

Government sources pointed to data showing stop and search “success” rates – where drugs, knives or stolen goods are found – were about the same at 25 per cent to 30 per cent for all ethnicities, showing that particular ethnic groups were not being unfairly targeted.

“If you measure disproportionality by reference to the offending population rather than the general population, the disproportionality largely disappears. ⁠Young black men are hugely disproportionately likely to be victims of knife crime,” said a source.

As home secretary, Mrs May introduced the “best use of stop and search scheme” which required police chiefs to open up the tactic to public security and placed stringent safeguards on the use of “no-suspicion” searches. Within two years, stops and searches fell by two-thirds.

The Tory home secretaries that succeeded her, Sajid Javid and Priti Patel eased the restrictions. They lowered the rank of officer who could approve “no suspicion” searches, and allowed them in cases where the officer believed there may be violence rather than would be violence. New powers also give police the automatic right to stop and search adults convicted of knife offences.

However, Mr Philp says there are also safeguards to ensure the public are protected from “unnecessary searches and from disproportionate use amongst certain groups”.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor has always been clear that stop and search is a vital operational policing tool and has an important role to play in keeping Londoners safe and tackling violence on our streets.  

“He fully supports the Met police around the use of intelligence led stop and search that is carried out fairly and with respect, so that the police retains the trust and confidence of all the communities it serves as we work to build a safer and fairer London for everyone.”

Police need a more robust approach to taking knives off our streets 

By Chris Philp

The need for a zero-tolerance approach to knife crime has never been more acute. I know I share in the public’s shock at the horrific incident in Hainault on April 30. My thoughts go out to the family of Daniel Anjorin who are now living with the awful consequences of this crime.

I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the officers who intervened on that day, putting their own safety at risk to bravely keep further victims from harm. For some, this came at extreme personal cost and I wish the two officers who were injured a speedy recovery. Police put themselves on the line every day to protect the public and they deserve our gratitude.

The police are carrying out intensive action this week to tackle knife crime and on Tuesday, I was out on a raid with the Met to see these operations first hand. Police are ramping up their efforts and I am committed to giving them the tools they need.

We are making progress. Our streets are safer than they were in 2010 and hospital admissions for young people with serious knife injuries are down by a quarter since 2019, but I’m in no doubt there’s still some way to go.

The police must use the powers available to them without fear or favour. I want to see them take a robust approach and this starts with increasing the use of stop and search. It is a vital tool in taking knives off our streets, yet it’s not used nearly often enough.

So often these crimes stem from non-violent incidents which escalate when knives are carried in public. It’s illegal to be in possession of a knife in public without reasonable excuse and stop and search is the best way to enforce this.

More than 138,000 weapons have been removed from Britain’s streets since 2019 through a range of tactics, with almost half seized in stop and searches. Stop and search has also led to almost 300,000 arrests since 2019.

I welcome the Met Commissioner’s commitment to increasing use of stop and search in London where knife crime is sadly particularly prevalent. But I want to see this commitment on a national level. We should leave people in no doubt that carrying a knife is a criminal offence and could lead to up to four years in prison.

The police already have the power to stop and search individuals where they have reasonable grounds to suspect they are carrying illegal items, such as knives or drugs. Last year we went even further by launching Serious Violence Reduction Orders, which are being piloted in four force areas.

These orders give the police the automatic right to stop and search adults convicted of knife and offensive weapon offences. We have also removed non-statutory restrictions to make it easier for the police to use ‘Section 60’ searches, which allow officers to stop and search people even if they don’t have direct suspicions about them. Section 60 authorisation can only be enforced in specific circumstances, such as if the police have intelligence that an incident involving weapons may take place in a particular area.

Of course, we need safeguards in place to ensure these powers are used appropriately. There are measures in place to protect the public from unnecessary searches and from disproportionate use amongst certain groups.

I want to assure the public that we’ve updated the safeguards on stop and search to strengthen trust between the police and local communities. We have enshrined in law requirements on the police to communicate with their local communities when section 60 stop and search powers are authorised. We have also consulted on a new Community Scrutiny Framework intended to support the process of engagement between police forces and the communities they serve, which we will publish in the coming months.

This is just one tactic in the fight against knife crime and we know that prevention is as important as enforcement. Since 2019, we’ve funded 20 initiatives known as Violence Reduction Units in the areas across England and Wales most affected by serious violence. These have reached over 271,000 people in their fourth year alone and in combination with additional visible policing patrols, prevented an estimated 3,220 hospital admissions for violent injury since 2019. These units bring police forces together with local organisations to tackle the root causes of serious violence in that area, providing early intervention and prevention schemes for young people at risk of involvement in knife crime.

This Government has taken consistent action to address serious violence and the UK has some of the toughest laws in the world restricting dangerous weapons. We keep restrictions around all weapons under constant review and earlier this year we responded to new evidence by banning zombie-style knives and machetes which will take effect this summer. This follows the ban on zombie knives in 2016 and on cyclone knives in 2019. We are also taking action in the Criminal Justice Bill to tighten the law with new restrictions on knives.

And we’re not stopping there. Our approach to tackling serious violence is constantly evolving. This week we announced a further £3.5 million investment into knife detection technologies with the aim that one or more of these will eventually be deployed to officers to detect knives from a distance. We have also funded the refit and redeployment of four vans into new mobile live facial recognition units for the Met to bolster efforts to address knife crime, which is rising in the capital. This is part of wider funding which aims to tackle serious violence through hot-spot policing. The effectiveness of these units is well proven. In December 2023, deployments of live facial recognition in Croydon led to 15 arrests for offences including rape, robbery, fraud, grievous bodily harm and possession of class A drugs.

But in today’s climate police stop and search is the best foot forward, we know this. What we can’t do is tiptoe around using these powers in an aim to appease. The first priority must always be prevention and public safety.

Chris Philp is the Policing Minister

  • Knife crime,
  • Ministry of Justice
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  1. 10 Easy Steps: How to Write a Speech Example in 2024

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  2. Speech Writing Outline and Format for Students

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  3. How to Write a Speech

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  4. Basics of how to Write a Speech

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  6. Speech Writing Format, Samples, Examples

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  6. Best Tips and Tricks for writing Speech

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  1. How to Write a Good Speech: 10 Steps and Tips

    Create an outline: Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval. Write in the speaker's voice: While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style.

  2. How to write a good speech [7 easily followed steps]

    Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending) TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing. Return to top. A step by step guide for writing a great speech.

  3. How To Write A Speech That Inspires You Audience: 13 Steps

    Step 7: Write the Body. Now you are ready to write the body of your speech. Draw from your research and flesh out the points stated in your introduction. As you create your body, use short sentences. People can't listen as long as they can read, so short and sweet sentences are most effective.

  4. How to Write a Great Speech for Public Speaking in 7 Steps

    For example, people use one writing tool to put the speech's theme in a 15-20 word short poem or memorable paragraph, then build your speech around it. 3. Have a Clear Structure. When your speech has a clear structure to it your speech becomes more memorable. When writing your speech, have a clear path and a destination.

  5. How to Write a Speech: 6 Tips for a Powerful Address

    Second Part: Describes a possible solution or set of solutions. Third Part: Summarizes how the solutions will solve the problem. 3. Write in the same tone as you speak. One of the most important public speaking tips is to remember that you are writing something that you will be speaking out loud for people to hear.

  6. How to Write a Speech: Top Tips

    Start by identifying your topic, title, and the purpose of your speech, which will set the foundation of your outline. Then, determine the main points of your speech; keep it short with two to three points. Remember, a short speech is typically less than ten minutes long, so keep your points concise and to the point.

  7. How to Write a Speech to Engage your Audience

    Writing a speech can be a daunting task, especially if you want to engage your audience and deliver your message effectively. In this blog post, you'll learn how to write a speech that follows a clear structure, uses persuasive techniques, and incorporates storytelling elements. You'll also get tips on how to practice your speech with VirtualSpeech, an online platform that provides AI-powered ...

  8. How to write a speech

    For you as the speaker, it's much easier (and more powerful) to tell a story that you lived versus one you read in a book. 2. Write out your speech from beginning to end. As Grant Baldwin discusses in this video on preparing your talk, you want to write out your talk to have a basic structure: beginning, middle, and end.

  9. How to Write a Speech: Follow My Simple 6-Step Formula

    Giving a Best Man Speech. Step 1. Find your speech's "Golden Thread". The first lesson in how to write a speech is setting a clear objective from the get-go — so that what you write doesn't end up being vague or convoluted. Afterall, If you don't know exactly what your speech is about, neither will your audience.

  10. Speeches

    Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience's emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

  11. 3 Ways to Write a Speech

    8. Conclude your speech with a call-to-action. As you near the end of your speech, your audience should be excited by your topic and ready to act. Encourage your audience to find out more and participate in a solution to the problem you have described by telling them how they can do so.

  12. How to Write a Structured Speech in 5 Steps

    See why leading organizations rely on MasterClass for learning & development. Learning how to write a speech requires a keen awareness of how to tailor your rhetoric to a given issue and specific audience. Check out our essential speech-writing guidelines to learn how to craft an effective message that resonates with your audience.

  13. Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

    Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing. Vary the sentence structure. Use short sentences. Use occasional long ones to keep the audience alert. Fragments are fine if used sparingly and for emphasis. Use the active voice and avoid passive sentences. Active forms of speech make your sentences more powerful.

  14. How to write a speech introduction: 12 of the best ways to start

    9. It's in the news. Take headlines from what's trending in media you know the audience will be familiar with and see. Using those that relate to your speech topic as the opening of your speech is a good way to grab the attention of the audience. It shows how relevant and up-to-the-minute the topic is. For example:

  15. How to Write a Speech

    Choose your topic and the main points that your speech will cover. Know your audience and get to know what they are looking for. Pay attention to their needs. Define the purpose of the speech and properly organize it. Introduction. A strong statement to grab the reader's attention. Refine the thesis statement.

  16. How to Write a Speech Essay for Any Occasion

    You need to write a speech in a way that keeps the attention of an audience and helps paint a mental image at the same time. This means that your speech should contain some color, drama, or humor. It should have "flair.". Make your speech memorable by using attention-grabbing anecdotes and examples.

  17. How to write a speech: 20 good and effective tips

    5. Grabbing attention. Before the start of a presentation, the listeners usually do their own stuff: talk to each other, browse their computer or mobile, walk around, talk on the phone, etc. If you start your speech with the usual „Well, let's start. I'm …", people from the third row may not even notice you.

  18. How to Write an Informative Speech: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    2. Include a hook, thesis, and road map of your speech in the introduction. It's common to begin a speech with an attention-grabbing device, such as an anecdote, rhetorical question, or quote. [8] After getting the audience's attention, state your thesis, then preview the points your speech will cover.

  19. How to Write a Persuasive Speech: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

    3. Address the counter-argument. Although it is not strictly necessary, your argument may be stronger if one or more of your supporting points addresses the views of the opposing side. This gives you a chance to address your audience's possible objections and make your argument stronger.

  20. How to Write a Speech: A Guide to Enhance Your Writing Skills

    Tips to Write a Speech. Understand the purpose of your speech: Before writing the speech, you must understand the topic and the purpose behind it. Reason out and evaluate if the speech has to be inspiring, entertaining or purely informative. Identify your audience: When writing or delivering a speech, your audience play the major role. Unless ...

  21. How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

    First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you. You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your argument as a solution to a problem. Your first job as a speaker is to convince your audience that a particular ...

  22. 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How to Create Your Own)

    Analyze their response and tweak the joke accordingly if necessary. Starting your speech with humour means your setting the tone of your speech. It would make sense to have a few more jokes sprinkled around the rest of the speech as well as the audience might be expecting the same from you. 4. Mohammed Qahtani.

  23. Free Tutorial

    Introduction 9 lectures • 21min. Writing an effective speech involves several key steps to ensure your message is. 01:02. Stories and Examples: Humanize your speech by including personal stories. 01:48. Define Your Purpose: Determine the primary goal of your speech. 03:03. Craft a Compelling Introduction: Start with a strong opening. 03:45.

  24. You can thank psychedelics for that wild OSU graduation speech

    Psychedelics helped Sycamore grad write Ohio State graduation speech, he says on LinkedIn. Ohio State's chosen commencement speaker for the class of 2024, entrepreneur and Sycamore High School ...

  25. OSU commencement speaker took psychedelic to write speech, he says

    Ohio State commencement speaker says he got help from psychedelics while writing speech. Ohio State's chosen commencement speaker for the class of 2024, entrepreneur Chris Pan, was high on ...

  26. Ohio State commencement speaker says he took psychedelics to write

    "Got some help from AI (Ayahuasca Intelligence) this week to write my commencement speech for 60,000 grads and family members at Ohio State University next Sunday," Pan wrote.

  27. Gaza campus protests: what are students' free speech rights and what

    But speech which harasses or threatens others is not only unlawful, it prevents them from taking part in university life as equals. ... Write an article and join a growing community of more than ...

  28. Jerry Seinfeld's Duke Speech Spurs Walkouts, 'Free Palestine' Chants

    Jerry Seinfeld received an honorary degree at Duke University's commencement on Sunday, but before he could begin his speech, the comedian was met with student walkouts.. According to the New ...

  29. Commencement Speaker Admits He Used Psychedelics To Write Speech

    May 08, 2024 3:33 PM ET. Font Size: Chris Pan announced on LinkedIn that he took psychedelics to write his commencement speech at Ohio State University Sunday. Pan, a social entrepreneur and investor, said in his post that he received "extra heartfelt" inspiration for the commencement speech he gave to "60k grads" and their relatives at ...

  30. Tories tell police: Bring back stop and search

    Writing in The Telegraph, Chris Philp says stop and search is a "vital tool" in taking knives off the streets but warns it is "not used nearly often enough" by police.