How to Write a Speech: Step-by-Step Guide
Writing a speech is very similar to writing essays or some paper. You need to examine those who will listen to you, define the excellent length, identify your purpose, and choose the topic. It can apply to any speech, whether you need it for college purposes, conferences, or business meetings.
However, there is something fundamental about speeches. We know some famous speakers’ speeches changed the flow of history. The power of the word used correctly can change things, inspire, provoke, and many other positive things.
When you present your speech, you can get the feedback right away. During your talk you may see people losing interest, there are talks, somebody is playing on the phone, and it means something goes wrong. If your oration fails, it is unpleasant, but it is not the end of the world. It means there are things you can improve to perform better next time.
If you need help with this task – here it is. This guide is for those who feel scared of writing a speech. Hesitate no more! Follow our tips, and you will improve in your struggle.
First of all, you need to make sure you have enough time to write an effective speech. A sufficient amount of time and attention to details will let you produce a statement that will transmit your main ideas, persuade people, and inspire.
Drafting an Effective Speech
Any type of writing would begin with making a draft. It gives you an idea of what your speech looks like, what kind of information you already included, and what is there to add, the volume, etc.
1. Research Your Topic Well
So, you will be writing a speech on any given topic. Whatever it is, you need to gather as much information about it as possible to study all the aspects and be able to operate facts. If this is an academic speech, you will probably need to keep specific requirements. It is better to ask your teacher about those.
2. Make an Outline that Includes Your Main Argument and Points
If you believe that speeches do not need outlines, you are wrong. Producing a good draft helps a lot in writing winning speeches. It is a starting point in the process.
Generally, your speech will consist of:
- Introduction part;
- 4-6 key points which you will need to support with persuasive evidence;
- Ending or Conclusion.
If it is an informative or persuasive text you are composing, you might also add a problem and its solution points.
An outline is not something constant. If you come up with a better idea, you are free to change it to improve our speech.
3. Choose a Hook to Grab the Audience’s Attention
What you must do is remember about a good starting line as it is something that will guarantee our audience’s attention throughout the rest of the speech. Depending on the topic and purpose, you can begin with:
- Something funny;
- Something shocking;
- Something frightening.
Remember to design a good thesis. It is the first serious information the people will hear, so it must be precise and linked to the topic of your speech.
4. Connect Your Topic to a More Significant Issue to Give Background Information
No matter the topic you are talking about, you have to explain the relevance of your theme to your listener. It may seem natural to you, but it is not always like that for people. If they don’t see the relevance, they lose interest quickly. Expand the narrow topic to the broader one to make yourself clear.
Example. You are talking about the effects of global warming on humans. You need to start by explaining what it is, its possible reasons and signs. And then, proceed to the narrow topic.
5. Address Each of Your Main Points in a Logical Order
When the topic is clear to the audience, proceed to make your points. Let them be clear and support each of them by any additional information – facts, statistics, and evidence. You should approximately make each point one paragraph long.
6. Introduce New Topics and Summarize the Material You Have Already Covered
To give your audience a better idea of what you talk about, give them some additional information before you start a new topic. And make sure you make a summary after each explanation. Let this information to be plain and clear.
7. Include Transitions to Guide Your Audience through Your Speech
Transitions are something that will help to make your projection smooth and logically linked. We do not even notice them in our speech in our everyday life, but if they are excluded, we will sound strange. Below you will find some of the most commonly used transitions:
8. Conclude Your Speech with a Call-to-Action. End Strong
Of course, your speech should have a purpose. It’s not just blah-blah with a bunch of people. You should build it in such a way to provoke people for some action. It is what you are ending should aim at. In this part, you need to do our best to inspire and encourage people for more operation, more research, and more involvement in solving the problem.
Example. If you were talking about the effect of global warming on humans, provide information about an organization working on those problems and trying to eliminate the impact.
Making Your Speech More Engaging
So, you are almost done with your speech, and it seems perfect for you. Now try to look at it from your audience. Use the tips below to make your speech more interesting.
9. Keep Your Words and Sentences Short and Simple
If you are writing something for the audience, you should remember one rule – the simpler, the better. Avoid long, complex sentences, even if they sound to you more convincing. In this way, you may just puzzle the listener and kills their interest in your speech. Use simple words and shorter sentences.
10. Favor Nouns over Pronouns for Clarity
Pronounce is good to make your speech diverse. However, too many of them may not be in our favor. It is best to use nouns not to confuse the listener. But, if there is no way to avoid using pronouns, here are some you can use with no problem:
11. Repeat a Word or Phrase a Few Times during Your Speech
You don’t have to turn into a parrot to repeat the same words a hundred times. But you can choose a phrase or two to repeat several times during your speech for a better effect on the audience. This way, you will emphasize your arguments and keep the interest of your listeners.
12. Limit Statistics and Quotes to Avoid Overwhelming Your Audience
Your audience will not like if you stuff your speech with tons of citation or statistics. It will sound too dull. If you still want to add some of them to your text, make sure you selected the most relevant. And limit them to one per each point.
13. Maintain an Appropriate Tone throughout Your Speech
Remember that the tone, or else call it mood if your speech should be approximately the same during the entire performance. Whether you want to be funny or serious, you should strive to be like that all the time.
14. Provide Visual Aids if You are Allowed
For some topics, especially difficult ones, having a supportive visual presentation can be a good idea. It will allow your audience to follow you easily and see the main aspects of your speech. Listeners’ attention will be focused on you and your announcement. The presentation can include pictures, charts, tables, quotes, etc.
15. Include Theatrics
An excellent method to keep your audience engaged is using theatrics. It is some visual experiment you can do with our audience if it is relevant to our topic. You can ask your listeners to do something right on the spot using some items you prepare in advance.
If there is an example or explanation you feel might be unclear, it is best to show or act it.
Practice and Check for Weak Spots that You Can Improve
We recommend leaving your speech aside for a day or two once it is finished. Rest your mind from it, and then return with a fresh look. You will quickly see if there is anything you need to improve, maybe shorter or prolong, add some formation, etc.
Ask a family member or a friend to listen to your performance. Let it be a little rehearsal before the big speech. Practice as much as you need to make your production great.