Content of this article
- Speech structure
- Tips for writing a good speech
- Sample for speakers
How To Write A Speech (Complete Guide)
Giving a speech is not as easy as some natural orators make it to be. It requires adequate preparation as well as planning. Even the good speakers get it wrong sometimes and find themselves giving the wrong speech or deviating from the theme of an event. People only get the part where someone walks before an audience and delivers whatever they have written down or whatever the Teleprompters have. However, speeches are first written and this is the point where things often go wrong. While preparing a speech entails reading and working on oneself, that is, audibility and confidence, writing a speech calls for a good mastery of language and also requires writers to equip themselves with enough vocabulary. Speeches can be formal and informal, but in both occasions, prior preparation is needed. People often take for granted the aspect of preparation, but as many have found out the hard way, preparation spares one of the embarrassments of getting something as obvious facts wrong.
The first step to writing a good speech is choosing the right or appropriate topic. All good speeches aim at passing some information to the audience. The information must be relevant or be in line with the occasion or the theme of the event. Some audiences can be intimidating, and if one chooses the wrong topic for an event, the result will entail a bored audience as well as a shuttered self-esteem to some orators. Some people have developed phobias simply because of having chosen the wrong topic for their speech. While some audiences are forgiving, others might even get offensive and ask the speaker to leave the stage. Topic selection is thus an important ingredient to giving a good speech. One of the obvious instructions when choosing a topic is to make sure that it is relevant to the event and appeals to the audience’s interests.
There are different types of speeches, and it is essential that speakers understand when to give which one. They include:
Each of the above is given on a different occasion and understanding the theme of an event is crucial. A demonstrative speech aims at educating an audience about an idea/object or phenomenon. Speakers who give demonstrative speeches also make use of presentations that include the use of pictures as well as designs that help to reinforce the message. An informative speech is almost the same as a demonstrative speech but differs in the fact that it does not make use of demonstrations. When giving an informative speech, speakers talk extensively about objects, events, processes, or concepts and this ensures that their message is delivered. On the other hand, a persuasive speech seeks to persuade the audience. Speakers giving this kind of speech aim at convincing their audience that their opinion is indeed factual and credible. Finally, an entertaining speech aims at amusing people and helps to create a happy mood. These are often given in graduation and wedding ceremonies.
Every speech must have a purpose/thesis or an underlying message that the speaker aims at delivering to their audience. When writing a speech, it is important to define the message that one intends to pass clearly. Whether it was an assignment at school or a speech at a wedding or an organization’s annual meeting, the writer must ensure that they write their speech around the specific message that they wish to pass. Understanding the type of speech one is required to give is the first step to finding a thesis for a speech. The above provides writers with a starting point because it makes their end goal clear, that is, write to entertain, or to educate or persuade. The thesis must hence be established first before the writer delves into writing the entire speech.
A speech outline is of great importance and guides the writer on what they need to do while writing the different sections. As with any piece of writing, mostly essays, the format is the same, that is, introduction, body, and finally a conclusion. Each of these sections aim at developing the central theme of the speech.
Typical speech structure
In the introduction, the writer needs to briefly but clearly establish the message or underlying theme of their speech. Audiences differ, and while some might stick around for the entire speech, a majority expects to hear the speakers theme in the introduction.
A thesis carries the speech’s message or theme. If left out, the speech would be flat which lacks a sense of direction or purpose. If for example, the speech written is about a suicide bombing that took place in the market, the thesis statement can be about how the world can foster peace and insist on love.
Regardless of the events at the market, it is important for the world to consider a strategy that is not aimed at ending more lives. Preaching and insisting on love can indeed help avert the dangers of terrorism and ensure that people love others as they love themselves.
The body supports the thesis statement and builds on it. When writing a speech, it is important to have topic sentences that represent the main points that support the main theme. These need to stand out, and the audience needs to know when the speaker is going through them.
How to finish a speech is not a challenging task. When writing a conclusion for a speech, the writer needs to recap the highlights of a speech. A summary of the speech’s core message makes up a speech conclusion.
Tips for speech writing
There are different speech writing tips and if adhered to can help one to deliver a high-quality speech. Things like the choice of vocabulary and understanding the theme of the event are of great importance when writing a speech, but other tips can help writers to write high quality and relevant speeches.
Below are some tips for an effective speech:
- Be memorable –In some occasions, the audience only remembers a single line from a speech. It is, therefore, important to condense the speech’s theme into a few words that the audience can easily remember.
- Avoid wasting the opening – Audiences are most receptive during the opening stages of speech. However, some speech writers waste the opportunity of maintaining them by starting low. It is thus essential to include shocking facts or make a joke or start with a question and in some instances to engage the audience by seeking answers to the question.
- Maintain eye contact –making and maintaining eye contact is a strategy that speakers can use toengage their audience personally.
- Always speak of things that mean something to you –this induces passion as well as originality. It is easy for an audience to tell when someone is faking it but when they see and feel the speaker’s passion for a particular subject, they get hooked and offer their full attention.
- Repeat yourself –Emphasis is indeed of great importance. The speech’s keywords, theme, as well as phrases should always be reinforced. This also helps to make the speech more memorable.
- Speeches are talks delivered in public on formal and informal occasions.
- There are many types of speeches such as 'welcome speech', 'thank you speech' and 'farewell speech'. Besides, there are also speeches on topics of interest and social issues.
- The PRESENT TENSE IS USUALLY USED when you write out a speech.
You are the head prefect in your school. At the beginning of the new school term, you have been asked to remind students about the school regulations. Write out your speech using the notes below:-
-wear white shoes and socks
-boys - short
-girls - short or long - long hair must be tied up
Make up-is not allowed in school!
-Pay attention in class
-No playing truant
When writing the speech, remember to;
- include all the points given
- elaborate on the points
- set out your speech correctly
- write in paragraph
Sample answer + explanation on the framework (Pay attention to how the points are elaborated)
Good morning to our principal, teachers and fellow students. Welcome to the new school term. I am Nuzul Fikrie Ahmad, the head prefect of SMK Raja Muda. This morning, I would like to refresh your memory about our school regulations especially regarding attire and conduct.
Paragraph 1 – INTRODUCTION
1) Greet the audience.
e.g: Good morning / afternoon / evening to
e.g: I am Dr Fiqry Nasir from Assunta Hospital in Petaling Jaya.
3) Introduce topic
e.g: I am here to present a talk on the topic ‘Body Fitness.’
4) Purpose of speech
e.g: The purpose of my talk today is to make you realize the importance looking after your food intake and how your health can be maintained through exercising.
To create a good impression, always be dressed neatly in your school uniform complete with white shoes and white socks. Don’t forget to wear your school badge and name tag.
Your hair should be short and neatly combed. Boys should always keep their hair short. Girlsare allowed to keep long hair but it should always be neatly combed and tied. No one is allowed to wear jewellery. If you do, then your jewellery will be confiscated. In addition, you cannot use make-up. Your nails should always be kept short. Remember, no nail polish is allowed.
Regarding your conduct, always be punctual. Respect your teacher and pay attention in class. Remember, no loitering around and playing truant. If you don’t comply with the school rules, you will have to face the music.
Last term, several students were suspended or expelled from school for fighting, smoking and other serious offences. Handphones are banned. If you bring handphones, they will be confiscated.
Paragraph 2,3,4,5 – BODY
These regulations are meant to create a positive image and environment for the school. There are, of course, some black sheep who will break the regulations. Do not be influenced by them. Instead, set a good example for others.
Paragraph 6: Conclusion