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.
Public speaking is a common phobia, scarier than death for some people. Being well-prepared with a killer speech can help dispel that fear. Whether you're presenting your latest research, promoting a product, or proposing a policy, these speech writing tips can help you write a speech that is memorable and even fun to deliver.
1. Know your audience
The tone and content of your speech will vary widely based on who you're speaking to. Keeping your audience in mind as you write will help you target their interests and keep them engaged with your speech.
2. Write in your voice
It can be tricky at first to write in a style that is appropriate for a speech. To ensure your language is conversational, read out loud as you write. Dictating your speech will help you make sure your voice comes through.
3. Short words and sentences go a long way
Long sentences and big words that make sense on paper can be very hard to follow when spoken out loud. Keep your writing tight and concise. You'll be understood better that way.
4. Use transitions
Make your speech easy to follow. Using transitions helps break your speech into logical chunks for your listeners. You audience's ears will perk when they hear phrases such as "most importantly" or "what this means is."
Practice, practice, practice Once you know how to write a speech, it becomes easy to construct it. Once you are comfortable and confident with the speech you've written, it will come across when you're up on stage. Half of the battle is the delivery, but it all starts with writing a speech you'll be proud to deliver.
Get started with one of our speech templates!