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?
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
“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.
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.
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?
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?
- 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.
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.
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How to write a speech that your audience remembers
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Content Marketing Manager, ACC
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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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What makes a speech persuasive and memorable – and how do you write one? How can storytelling help political, corporate, nonprofit, and community leaders achieve their goals? What is the role of the speech in our politics, policymaking, and international relations? This course will explore the techniques speechwriters and speakers use, from research to rhetoric, to shape messages that move people and change the world.
Each course in the DPI communications series assumes a fluency with the English language. Attendance at first class mandatory.
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How to Write a Speech
Last Updated: June 13, 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. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. 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 2,958,325 times.
Giving an original speech for a class, event, or work presentation can be nerve-wracking. However, writing an effective speech can help to bolster your confidence. With careful planning and an eye for detail, you can write a speech that will inform, persuade, motivate, or entertain! Give yourself plenty of time to craft your speech and practice it several times for best results.
Drafting an Effective Speech
- If you are writing a speech for a class, make sure to check with your teacher to get details about the number and acceptable types of sources.
- If you are writing an informative or persuasive speech, then plan to arrange your speech with a problem and solution structure. Start the speech by talking about what is wrong, then explain how to fix the problem in the second half of your speech.  X Research source
Tip : Keep in mind that you can always refine your outline later or as you draft your speech. Include all of the information that seems relevant now with the expectation that you will likely need to pare it down later.
- For example, if you are writing a motivational speech about weight loss, then you might say something like, “Five years ago, I could not walk up a flight of stairs without needing to take a break halfway up.”
- If you hope to persuade audience members to reduce their use of fossil fuels, then you might start off by saying, “Gas-powered vehicles are the reason why global warming is threatening to destroy our planet.”
- For example, if you are giving a speech on increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research, it would be helpful to provide information on how common Alzheimer’s disease is and how it affects families. You could accomplish this with a combination of a statistic and an anecdote.
Tip: Keep your introduction less than 1 paragraph or 1 double-spaced page long. This will help to ensure that you do not spend too much time on the context and background before getting to the meat of your topic.  X Research source
- For example, in a speech about ending animal testing for cosmetics, you might start with a point about how animal testing is cruel, then explain that it is unnecessary, and then talk about the alternatives to animal testing that make it obsolete.
- For example, if you are about to cover the concept of delayed onset muscle soreness (also known as DOMS), then explain what it is in a nutshell first, then go into more detail about it and how it relates to your point, then end that section of your speech with a brief summary of the main point you are trying to make.
- In that moment
- The following week
- For example, if you have just described the effects of global warming on the polar bear population, conclude your speech by telling your audience about non-profit organizations that are working to protect the environment and the polar bear population.
- If you have just shared your weight loss story to motivate your audience, tell them what they can do to start their own weight loss journey and share resources that you found helpful.
Making Your Speech More Engaging
- For example, instead of saying, “Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is the pinnacle of human existence because it enables you to accomplish physical feats that boost your confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment,” say, “A healthy body weight allows you to do more physically, and this may make you happier overall.”
- Keep in mind that it is also important to vary your sentence structure. You can include a longer sentence once or twice per page to add variety to your speech. Just avoid using lots of long sentences in your speech.  X Research source
- For example, if you are giving a speech for a group of sales associates who are trying to increase sales of a new product called “Synergy,” then you might repeat a simple phrase to that effect, such as “Tell your customers about Synergy,” or you could simply say, “Synergy” a few times during your speech to remind your audience of this product.
- If you are writing a motivational speech about how running can help people to overcome emotional hurdles, then you might repeat a phrase in your speech to emphasize this idea, such as, “Run through the pain.”
- For example, if you are giving a speech about moose mating patterns, 2 numbers that show the decline in the moose population over a 50 year period may be a striking addition to your speech. However, sharing a complex set of moose population statistics would be less compelling and possibly even confusing to your audience.
- Choose quotes that are easy to follow and make sure that you explain how each quote you use supports to your argument. Try to stick with quotes that use simple language and take up no more than 2 lines on your page.
- For example, when describing your love of food in a motivational speech about becoming a chef, you might decide to include a joke and say something like, “I always wanted to become a chef, ever since I was a little kid and I discovered that people actually make donuts and they don’t just randomly fall from the sky.”
- Avoid relying on the slides to make the speech for you. You will still need to deliver your speech in an engaging manner. Only use the slides as a complement to your words.
- Make sure to read your speech out loud when you review it! This will help you to determine if it sounds natural and if there are any awkward sections that you can cut, smooth out, or explain more clearly.  X Research source
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/speech/tips.htm
- ↑ Patrick Muñoz. Voice & Speech Coach. Expert Interview. 12 November 2019.
- ↑ https://www.write-out-loud.com/howtowritespeech.html
- ↑ https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/7-sensational-essay-hooks/
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/speeches/
- ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/speech-introductions
- ↑ https://pac.org/content/speechwriting-101-writing-effective-speech
About This Article
To write a speech, start off with an attention-grabbing statement, like "Before I begin my speech, I have something important to say." Once you've gotten everyone's attention, move on to your strongest argument or point first since that's what audiences will remember the most. Use transitions throughout your speech, like "This brings us back to the bigger picture," so the audience doesn't get lost. To conclude your speech, restate the key points and leave your audience with a question or something to think about. To learn how to edit your first draft, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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The power of good, inspiring, motivating, and thought-provoking speeches can never be overlooked. If we retrospect, a good speech has not only won people’s hearts but also has been a verbal tool to conquer nations. For centuries, many leaders have used this instrument to charm audiences with their powerful speeches. Apart from vocalizing your speech perfectly, the words you choose in a speech carry immense weight, and practising speech writing begins with our school life. Speech writing is an important part of the English syllabus for Class 12th, Class 11th, and Class 8th to 10th. This blog brings you the Speech Writing format, samples, examples, tips, and tricks!
Must Read: Story Writing Format for Class 9 & 10
This Blog Includes:
What is speech writing, speech in english language writing, how do you begin an english-language speech, introduction, how to write a speech, speech writing samples, example of a great speech, english speech topics, practice time.
Speech writing is the art of using proper grammar and expression to convey a thought or message to a reader. Speech writing isn’t all that distinct from other types of narrative writing. However, students should be aware of certain distinct punctuation and writing style techniques. While writing the ideal speech might be challenging, sticking to the appropriate speech writing structure will ensure that you never fall short.
“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”- Alexander Gregg
The English language includes eight parts of speech i.e. nouns , pronouns , verbs , adjectives , adverbs , prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.
- Noun- A noun is a word that describes anything, such as an animal, a person, a place, or an emotion. Nouns are the building blocks for most sentences.
- Pronoun – Pronouns are words that can be used in place of nouns. They are used so that we don’t have to repeat words. This makes our writing and speaking much more natural.
- Verb – A verb is a term that implies activity or ‘doing.’ These are very vital for your children’s grammar studies, as a sentence cannot be complete without a verb.
- Adjective – An adjective is a term that describes something. An adjective is frequently used before a noun to add extra information or description.
- Prepositions- A preposition is a term that expresses the location or timing of something in relation to something else.
- Conjunction- Because every language has its own set of conjunctions, English conjunctions differ from those found in other languages. They’re typically used as a connecting word between two statements, concepts, or ideas.
- Interjections- Interjections are words that are used to describe a strong emotion or a sudden feeling.
Relevant Read: Speech on the Importance of English
The way you start your English speech can set the tone for the remainder of it. This semester, there are a variety of options for you to begin presentations in your classes. For example, try some of these engaging speech in English language starters.
- Rhetorical questions : A rhetorical question is a figure of speech that uses a question to convey a point rather than asking for a response. The answer to a rhetorical question may be clear, yet the questioner asks it to emphasize the point. Rhetorical questions may be a good method for students to start their English speeches. This method of introducing your material might be appealing to the viewers and encourage them to consider how they personally relate to your issue.
- Statistics: When making an instructive or persuasive speech in an English class, statistics can help to strengthen the speaker’s authority and understanding of the subject. To get your point over quickly and create an emotional response, try using an unexpected statistic or fact that will resonate with the audience.
- Set up an imaginary scene: Create an imaginary situation in your audience’s thoughts if you want to persuade them to agree with you with your speech. This method of starting your speech assists each member of the audience in visualizing a fantastic scenario that you wish to see come true.
Relevant Read: Reported Speech Rules With Exercises
Format of Speech Writing
Here is the format of Speech Writing:
- Introduction : Greet the audience, tell them about yourself and further introduce the topic.
- Body : Present the topic in an elaborate way, explaining its key features, pros and cons, if any and the like.
- Conclusion : Summary of your speech, wrap up the topic and leave your audience with a compelling reminder to think about!
Let’s further understand each element of the format of Speech Writing in further detail:
After the greetings, the Introduction has to be attention-getting. Quickly get people’s attention. The goal of a speech is to engage the audience and persuade them to think or act in your favour. The introduction must effectively include:
- A brief preview of your topic.
- Define the outlines of your speech. (For example, I’ll be talking about…First..Second…Third)
- Begin with a story, quote, fact, joke, or observation in the room. It shouldn’t be longer than 3-4 lines. (For Example: “Mahatma Gandhi said once…”, or “This topic reminds me of an incident/story…”)
This part is also important because that’s when your audience decides if the speech is worth their time. Keep your introduction factual, interesting, and convincing.
It is the most important part of any speech. You should provide a number of reasons and arguments to convince the audience to agree with you.
Handling objections is an important aspect of speech composition. There is no time for questions or concerns since a speech is a monologue. Any concerns that may occur during the speech will be addressed by a powerful speech. As a result, you’ll be able to respond to questions as they come in from the crowd. To make speech simpler you can prepare a flow chart of the details in a systematic way.
For example: If your speech is about waste management; distribute information and arrange it according to subparagraphs for your reference. It could include:
- What is Waste Management?
- Major techniques used to manage waste
- Advantages of Waste Management
- Importance of Waste Management
The conclusion should be something that the audience takes with them. It could be a reminder, a collective call to action, a summary of your speech, or a story. For example: “It is upon us to choose the fate of our home, the earth by choosing to begin waste management at our personal spaces.”
After concluding, add a few lines of gratitude to the audience for their time.
For example: “Thank you for being a wonderful audience and lending me your time. Hope this speech gave you something to take away.”
Practice Your Speech Writing with these English Speech topics for students !
A good speech is well-timed, informative, and thought-provoking. Here are the tips for writing a good school speech:
Speech Sandwich of Public Speaking
The introduction and conclusion must be crisp. People psychologically follow the primacy effect (tendency to remember the first part of the list/speech) and recency effect (tendency to recall the last part of the list/speech).
Use Concrete Facts
Make sure you thoroughly research your topic. Including facts appeals to the audience and makes your speech stronger. How much waste is managed? Give names of organisations and provide numerical data in one line.
Use Rhetorical Strategies and Humour
Include one or two open-ended or thought-provoking questions. For Example: “Would we want our future generation to face trouble due to global warming?” Also, make good use of humour and convenient jokes that engages your audience and keeps them listening.
Check Out: Message Writing
Know your Audience and Plan Accordingly
This is essential before writing your speech. To whom is it directed? The categorised audience on the basis of –
- Knowledge of the Topic (familiar or unfamiliar)
Use the information to formulate the speech accordingly, use information that they will understand, and a sentence that they can retain.
Timing Yourself is Important
An important aspect of your speech is to time yourself. Don’t write a speech that exceeds your word limit. Here’s how can decide the right timing for your speech writing:
- A one-minute speech roughly requires around 130-150 words
- A two-minute speech requires roughly around 250-300 words
Recommended Read: Letter Writing
Speech Writing Examples
Here are some examples to help you understand how to write a good speech. Read these to prepare for your next speech:
Write a speech to be delivered in the school assembly as Rahul/ Rubaina of Delhi Public School emphasises the importance of cleanliness, implying that the level of cleanliness represents the character of its residents. (150-200 words)
“Cleanliness is next to godliness,” said the great John Wesley. Hello, respected principal, instructors, and good friends. Today, I, Rahul/Rubaina, stand in front of you all to emphasise the significance of cleanliness.
Cleanliness is the condition or attribute of being or remaining clean. Everyone must learn about cleaning, hygiene, sanitation, and the different diseases that are produced by unsanitary circumstances. It is essential for physical well-being and the maintenance of a healthy atmosphere at home and at school. A filthy atmosphere invites a large number of mosquitos to grow and spread dangerous diseases. On the other side, poor personal cleanliness causes a variety of skin disorders as well as lowered immunity.
Habits formed at a young age become ingrained in one’s personality. Even if we teach our children to wash their hands before and after meals, brush their teeth and bathe on a regular basis, we are unconcerned about keeping public places clean. On October 2, 2014, the Indian Prime Minister began the “Swachh Bharat” programme to offer sanitation amenities to every family, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and safe and appropriate drinking water supplies. Teachers and children in schools are actively participating in the ‘Clean India Campaign’ with zeal and excitement.
Good health ensures a healthy mind, which leads to better overall productivity, higher living standards, and economic development. It will improve India’s international standing. As a result, a clean environment is a green environment with fewer illnesses. Thus, cleanliness is defined as a symbol of mental purity.
Thank you very much.
Relevant Read: Speech on Corruption
You are Sahil/Sanya, the school’s Head Girl/Head Boy. You are greatly troubled by the increasing instances of aggressive behaviour among your students. You decide to speak about it during the morning assembly. Create a speech about “School Discipline.” (150 – 200 words)
INDISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS,
It has been reported that the frequency of fights and incidences of bullying in our school has increased dramatically in the previous several months. Good morning to everyone present. Today, I, Sahil/Sanya, your head boy/girl, am here to shed light on the serious topic of “Increased Indiscipline in Schools.”
It has come to light that instructor disobedience, bullying, confrontations with students, truancy, and insults are becoming more widespread. Furthermore, there have been reports of parents noticing a shift in their children’s attitudes. As a result, many children are suffering emotionally, psychologically, and physically. The impact of this mindset on children at a young age is devastating and irreversible.
Not to mention the harm done to the school’s property. Theft of chalk, scribbling on desks, walls and lavatory doors, destruction of CCTV cameras and so forth. We are merely depriving ourselves of the comforts granted to us by doing so.
Following numerous meetings, it was determined that the main reasons for the problem were a lack of sufficient guidance, excessive use of social media, and peer pressure. The council is working to make things better. Everyone is required to take life skills classes. Counselling, motivating, and instilling friendly ideals will be part of the curriculum. Seminars for parents and students will be held on a regular basis.
A counsellor is being made available to help you all discuss your sentiments, grudges, and personal problems. We are doing everything we can and expect you to do the same.
So, let us work together to create an environment in which we encourage, motivate, assist, and be nice to one another because we are good and civilised humans capable of a great deal of love.
Relevant Read: How to Write a Speech on Discipline?
The current increase in incidences of violent student misbehaviour is cause for alarm for everyone. Students who learn how to manage their anger can help to alleviate the situation. Write a 150-200-word speech about the topic to be delivered at the school’s morning assembly. (10)
HOW TO CONTROL ANGER
Honourable Principal, Respected Teachers, and Dear Friends, I’d like to share a few “Ways to Manage Anger” with you today.
The growing intolerance among the younger generation, which is resulting in violence against teachers, is cause for severe concern. The guru-shishya parampara is losing its lustre. Aggressive behaviour in students can be provoked by a variety of factors, including self-defence, stressful circumstance, over-stimulation, or a lack of adult supervision.
It has become imperative to address the situation. Life skills workshops will be included in the curriculum. Teachers should be trained to deal with such stubborn and confrontational behaviours. Meditation and deep breathing are very beneficial and should be practised every morning. Students should be taught to count to ten before reacting angrily. Sessions on anger control and its importance must also be held.
Remember that Anger is one letter away from danger. It becomes much more crucial to be able to control one’s rage. It’s never too late to start, as a wise man once said.
“Every minute you stay angry, you lose sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
Relevant Read: English Speech Topics for Students
Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’ is one of his most famous speeches. Its impact has lasted through generations. The speech is written by utilising the techniques above. Here are some examples:
“still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination” – emotive Language
“In a sense, we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check” – personalising the speech
“to stand up for freedom together” – a call to action.
Importantly, this is an example of how the listener comes first while drafting a speech. The language chosen appeals to a specific sort of audience and was widely utilised in 1963 when the speech was delivered.
- The Best Day of My Life
- Social Media : Bane or Boon?
- Pros and Cons of Online Learning
- Benefits of Yoga
- If I had a Superpower
- I wish I were ______
- Environment Conservation
- Women Should Rule the World!
- The Best Lesson I Have Learned
- Paperbacks vs E-books
- How to Tackle a Bad Habit
- My Favorite Pastime/Hobby
- Why should every citizen vote?
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Is it real or not?
- Importance of Reading
- Importance of Books in Our Life
- My Favorite Fictional Character
- Introverts vs Extroverts
- Lessons to Learn from Sports
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Also Read: How to Ace IELTS Writing Section?
Ans. Speech writing is the process of communicating a notion or message to a reader by employing proper punctuation and expression. Speech writing is similar to other types of narrative writing. However, students should be aware of some different punctuation and writing structure techniques.
Ans. Consider your topic and audience; examine or research the topic; create an outline; rehearse your speech, and adjust the outline based on comments from the rehearsal. This five-step strategy for speech planning serves as the foundation for both lessons and learning activities.
Ans. Writing down a speech is vital since it helps you better comprehend the issue, organises your thoughts, prevents errors in your speech, allows you to get more comfortable with it, and improves its overall quality.
Speech writing and public speaking are effective and influential. Hope this blog helped you know the various tips for writing the speech people would want to hear. If you need help in making the right career choices at any phase of your academic and professional journey, our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you. Sign up for a free session now!
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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
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.
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.
- 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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Understanding the Speech Format - Detailed Guide & Examples
Published on: Oct 13, 2018
Last updated on: Nov 6, 2023
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Are you looking for the optimal speech format that will help you leave a lasting impact on your listeners?
Well, some speakers can’t deliver a speech without a well-written script in their hand. Whereas, some avoid using a written speech because they believe that reading makes them feel uncomfortable and stiff.
A successful speech depends on both careful preparation and effective presentation. Hence, speech writing is very important.
Writing a speech should not be a nail-biting or anxiety-provoking experience. If you learn the basic speech format, you can excel in speech writing !
Having said that, this step-by-step guide on speech format can make the nerve-racking task of speech delivery simple and straightforward.
Let’s get started!
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How to Write a Speech Format?
Speech writing gives you a chance to leave an everlasting and meaningful impression on the audience. You might have always believed that you are not good with words. And speech writing may bring you out in cold sweats, but this is different.
Let’s see how one should write a great speech that impresses the audience.
1. Decide the Purpose of Your Speech
To understand the purpose of your speech, consider these queries:
- What is the main motive behind it?
- Is it to inform or persuade? Is it to entertain or demonstrate? Or is it a combination of these?
- What do you want to achieve with your speech?
- Do you want your audience to act upon something, or do you want to convince them to believe what you are saying?
Your answer to all of these questions will decide the organizational structure, type of speech, tone, and content as well.
Identify your listeners and decide which type of speech is suitable for your targeted audience. If you are going to deliver a speech at a wedding, write a special occasion speech . Similarly, if your motive is to persuade the audience, you’ll have to write a persuasive speech .
2. Choose a Speech Topic
Choose an effective speech topic that catches the audience’s attention immediately. A good speech topic is your first step to impress the audience.
You can select any topic according to the type of speech you need to deliver. Pick a motivational speech topic if you want to get the audience to act upon your message. If you want to make your audience laugh, decide on an entertaining speech topic .
3. Do the Research
Conduct thorough research on your particular subject to collect relevant material. Finding credible and updated material is crucial, as good research is the backbone of sound speech.
Before you write your speech, you need to know what your speech will be about exactly. And how long it needs to be, i.e., 5 minutes or 30 minutes long. So, always collect the data according to the time limit.
For a 5-minute speech, you only need a brief material. Your speech should revolve around the central idea. If your speech is 30 minutes long, you need to collect enough details to cover in 30 minutes.
4. Craft the Outline
Now that you have the material for your speech, craft an outline to organize your material. Drafting an outline at first always saves precious time.
Write keywords in the outline that prompt you to remember what you’ll include in your speech. Having an outline for your speech is like having a road map that guides you throughout the speech delivery.
As mentioned before, the basic speech outline format consists of three things:
Here is a speech outline template that you can use while crafting an outline for your speech.
Speech Format Outline
5. Write an Effective Introduction
An introduction will give a brief overview of what you are going to tell your audience. Here are the five things that you should include in your introduction paragraph.
- Greetings and Your Introduction
Decide how you are going to greet your audience and how you will introduce yourself to the audience. You can start with a fact, a quotation, posing a rhetorical question, or even with one-liner humor.
Keep in mind that whatever you start with, must be related to your topic and suitable for your audience.
- A Precise Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a brief summary of your speech, and it provides the main message of your speech.
- Your Credibility
You need to establish your credibility to make your speech effective. Cite your expertise and qualification that gives you the right to speak about your speech topic.
- Brief Overview
Briefly tell your audience what you are going to share so that they have an idea of what to expect from your speech.
- Benefits of Listening to Your Speech
Convince your audience why they should listen to you. Tell them what's in your speech for them and why should they pay attention. Give them reasons and be specific about the benefits.
6. Write a Detailed Body
The body is where you write the details of what you want to share with your audience. Generally, the body section has three main points, but it can have more than 3 points.
It is always a good idea to be specific and inform the audience of only essential things.
Quite frankly, if you introduce the audience to an abundance of ideas or topics, they might not remember them all! To leave a lasting impact, decide on 2 or 3 ideas, so the crowd remembers them all!
While crafting the body section of your speech, you should keep the following things in mind:
- Choose the three strongest points that describe your topic efficiently.
- Always provide supporting examples. Make sure that the evidence you provide matches the type of speech you are going to write.
- Use transition phrases to make a logical connection between the details.
- Use visual aids like images, graphs, or tables to help your audience understand your topic better.
- Keep the sentence structures in check. Make sure there are no grammatical errors and follow an engaging tone.
7. Craft a Compelling Conclusion
The final section is the conclusion that sums up the whole speech. Here is how you can write an effective speech conclusion that summarizes and draws all the details together:
- Summarize all the main points
- Restate the thesis statement to reinforce your message
- Remind the audience about the benefits they’ll get if they carry out what you have proposed.
- Provide a call to action at the end of your speech
8. Do the Formatting
After the final draft, the next step is editing and formatting. Read your speech aloud and check the flow and organization of the information. Refine the draft by removing unnecessary things and correcting any grammatical mistakes.
Proofread your speech to make sure it contains all the vital information. Correct the structure if needed, and ensure that your speech is free from all kinds of mistakes. Revise your speech as many times as possible.
How to Rehearse a Speech
Rehearsal plays an important role in delivering an effective presentation. You need to practice a lot to be confident with your speech and deliver it perfectly. Here is how you can do it efficiently:
- Set the time on the stopwatch that is going to be allocated to you. You need to finish your speech within the allocated time.
- Read your speech out loud. Hearing yourself will help you familiarize yourself with the flow of your speech quickly. Remove or change the phrases that sound awkward, and fix the organization of information.
- Your habitual unconscious gestures
- Irregular breathing because of long sentences
- Taking breaks or pauses at the wrong places
- The body posture
- Raising or dropping the voice
- Repeated fillers, i.e., umm, err, uhh, etc
- Lack of smiling and eye contact
- Tone variation
- If you experience any problems, stop and fix the problem before starting again from where you left off.
- Make notes of where you need to remember to do something. It will help you improve your speech delivery.
- If possible, do a proper dress rehearsal at the actual venue in front of a bunch of friends. It will help you to get comfortable with the dress, stage, and actual presentation situation.
If you’ve plenty of time, rehearse at least three times or more, before the final presentation. The more you do the rehearsals, the more you build up your confidence and the easier it becomes to deliver your speech.
Now, let’s take a look at some comprehensive speech format examples for multiple academic levels and various occasions.
Speech Format Examples for Different Academic Levels
Follow these speech format samples to learn how to properly format a speech and easily get through the speech writing process.
Speech Format for Class 8
Speech Format for Class 9
Speech Format for Class 10
Speech Format for Class 11
Speech Format for Class 12
O Levels Speech Format
Speech Format Examples for Different Occasions
Best Man Speech Format
College Speech Format
Debate Speech Format
Impromptu Speech Format
Formal Speech Format
Welcome Speech Format in English
Persuasive Speech Format
Public Speech Format
Informative Speech Format
Extemporaneous Speech Format
Want to see some outstanding speech examples ? Head over to our detailed blog!
Wrapping it up, if you came up with a speech after following the guide, you should be able to grab the attention of the audience within seconds!
This guide contains all the essentials to crafting a compelling speech and presenting it in a meaningful way!
However, if you still need some help, you can hire a professional writer. Our speech writing service provides top-notch speeches at cheap prices.
Order now and get expertly crafted speeches to impress your audience. Hire our reliable essay writing service and let our experts handle your speech writing needs!
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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The Speech Writing Process
By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos (Page 62)
Just like events planning, or any other activities, writing an effective speech follows certain steps or processes. The process for writing is not chronological or linear ; rather, it is recursive . That means you have the opportunity to repeat a writing procedure indefinitely, or produce multiple
drafts first before you can settle on the right one.
By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos
The following are the components of the speech writing process.
• Audience analysis entails looking into the profile of your target audience. This is done so you can tailor-fit your speech content and delivery to your audience. The profile includes the following information.
Q demography (age range, male-female ratio, educational background and affiliations or degree program taken, nationality, economic status, academic or corporate designations)
Q situation (time, venue, occasion, and size)
Q psychology (values, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, cultural and racial ideologies , and needs)
A sample checklist is presented below.
The purpose for writing and delivering the speech can be classified into three — to inform, to entertain, or to persuade .
- An informative speech provides the audience with a clear understanding of the concept or idea presented by the speaker.
- An entertainment speech provides the audience with amusement.
- A persuasive speech provides the audience with well-argued ideas that can influence their own beliefs and decisions.
The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to inform ….
These are examples of specific purpose….
- To inform Grade 11 students about the process of conducting an
- automated student government election
- To inform Grade 11 students about the definition and relevance of
information literacy today
- To inform Grade 11 students about the importance of effective money management
The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to entertain ….
- To entertain Grade 11 students with his/her funny experiences in
- To entertain Grade 11 students with interesting observations of people who lack information literacy
- To entertain Grade 11 students with the success stories of the people in the community
The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to persuade ….
- To persuade the school administrators to switch from manual to
- To persuade Grade 11 students to develop information literacy skills
- To persuade the school administrators to promote financial literacy
- among students
The topic is your focal point of your speech, which can be determined once you have decided on your purpose. If you are free to decide on a topic, choose one that really interests you. There are a variety of strategies used in selecting a topic, such as using your personal experiences, discussing with your family members or friends, free writing, listing, asking questions, or semantic webbing .
Narrowing down a topic means making your main idea more specific and focused. The strategies in selecting a topic can also be used when you narrow down a topic. In the example below, “Defining and developing effective money management skills of Grade 11 students” is the specific topic out of a general one, which is “ Effective money management.”
Data gathering is the stage where you collect ideas, information, sources, and references relevant or related to your specific topic. This can be done by visiting the library, browsing the web, observing a certain phenomenon or event related to your topic, or conducting an
interview or survey. The data that you will gather will be very useful in making your speech informative, entertaining, or persuasive .
Writing patterns, in general, are structures that will help you organize the ideas related to your topic. Examples are biographical , categorical / topical , causal , chronological , comparison / contrast , problem-solution, and spatial .
The different writing patterns
An outline is a hierarchical list that shows the relationship of your ideas. Experts in public speaking state that once your outline is ready, two-thirds of your speech writing is finished. A good outline helps you see that all the ideas are in line with your main idea or message. The elements of an outline include introduction, body, and conclusion. Write your outline based on how you want your ideas to develop. Below are some of the suggested formats.
The body of the speech provides explanations, examples, or any details that can help you deliver your purpose and explain the main idea of your speech. One major consideration in developing the body of your speech is the focus or central idea. The body of your speech should only have one central idea.
The following are some strategies to highlight your main idea.
- Present real-life or practical examples
- Show statistics
- Present comparisons
- Share ideas from the experts or practitioners
The introduction is the foundation of your speech. Here, your primary goal is to get the attention of your audience and present the subject or main idea of your speech. Your first few words should do so. The following are some strategies.
- Use a real-life experience and connect that experience to your subject.
- Use practical examples and explain their connection to your subject.
- Start with a familiar or strong quote and then explain what it means.
- Use facts or statistics and highlight their importance to your subject.
- Tell a personal story to illustrate your point.
The conclusion restates the main idea of your speech. Furthermore, it provides a summary, emphasizes the message, and calls for action. While the primary goal of the introduction is to get the attention of your audience, the conclusion aims to leave the audience with a memorable statement.
The following are some strategies.
- Begin your conclusion with a restatement of your message.
- Use positive examples, encouraging words, or memorable lines from songs or stories familiar to your audience.
- Ask a question or series of questions that can make your audience reflect or ponder.
Editing/Revising your written speech involves correcting errors in mechanics, such as grammar, punctuation, capitalization, unity, coherence, and others. Andrew Dlugan (2013), an awar di ng public speaker, lists six power principles for speech editing.
- Edit for focus.
“So, what’s the point? What’s the message of the speech?”
Ensure that everything you have written, from introduction to conclusion, is related to your central message.
- Edit for clarity.
“I don’t understand the message because the examples or supporting details were confusing.”
Make all ideas in your speech clear by arranging them in logical order (e.g., main idea first then supporting details, or supporting details first then main idea).
- Edit for concision.
“The speech was all over the place; the speaker kept talking endlessly as if no one was listening to him/her.”
Keep your speech short, simple, and clear by eliminating unrelated stories and sentences and by using simple words.
- Edit for continuity.
“The speech was too difficult to follow; I was lost in the middle.”
Keep the flow of your presentation smooth by adding transition words and phrases.
- Edit for variety.
“I didn’t enjoy the speech because it was boring.”
Add spice to your speech by shifting tone and style from formal to conversational and vice-versa, moving around the stage, or adding humor.
- Edit for impact and beauty.
“There’s nothing really special about the speech.”
Make your speech memorable by using these strategies: surprise the audience, use vivid descriptive images, write well-crafted and memorable lines, and use figures of speech.
Rehearsing gives you an opportunity to identify what works and what does not work for you and for your target audience. Some strategies include reading your speech aloud, recording for your own analysis or for your peers or coaches to give feedback on your delivery. The best
thing to remember at this stage is: “Constant practice makes perfect.”
Some Guidelines in Speech Writing
1. Keep your words short and simple. Your speech is meant to be heard by your audience, not read.
2. Avoid jargon , acronyms, or technical words because they can confuse your audience.
3. Make your speech more personal. Use the personal pronoun “I,” but take care not to overuse it. When you need to emphasize collectiveness with your audience, use the personal pronoun “we.”
4. Use active verbs and contractions because they add to the personal and conversational tone of your speech.
5. Be sensitive of your audience. Be very careful with your language, jokes, and nonverbal cues.
6. Use metaphors and other figures of speech to effectively convey your point.
7. Manage your time well; make sure that the speech falls under the time limit.
10 Characteristics of Speech Writing That You Need to Know
When it comes to speech writing, the first step to success is knowing your purpose and objective. Without a clear goal, crafting a speech effectively communicating your message to your audience is difficult.
1: Know your purpose and objective
Before you start writing your speech, understand your purpose and objective clearly. What is the message you want to convey to your audience? What is the main goal of your speech? What do you want your audience to know and do with your message?
What is the message you want to convey to your audience? Are you informing, persuading, or entertaining? Knowing your objective will help you stay focused and on track throughout the speech-writing process.
For instance, if your goal is to persuade your audience to support a certain cause, you may want to use persuasive language, statistics, and other evidence to make a compelling argument.
Knowing your purpose and objective will help you stay focused and on track throughout the speech-writing process.
2. Know your audience
Another essential characteristic of speech writing is understanding your audience. Who are you speaking to? What do they care about? Knowing your audience will help you tailor your speech to their interests, concerns, and expectations.
For instance, if you speak to a group of young students, you may want to use simple language, vivid examples, and relatable stories to keep them engaged and interested.
3. Be clear and concise
When it comes to speech writing, less is often more. Keep your sentences short and to the point and avoid using complex language or jargon your audience may not understand. A clear and concise speech is more likely to resonate with your audience and leave a lasting impression.
For instance, instead of saying, "The postprandial state is associated with hyperinsulinemia," you can say, "Eating too much can cause high insulin levels."
4. Use stories and examples
Using stories and examples is an effective way to make your speech more engaging and memorable. Stories and examples can help your audience connect with your message and visualize the impact of your ideas.
For instance, if you give a speech about the importance of teamwork, you can tell a story about a successful team that achieved a challenging goal through collaboration and mutual support.
5. Be authentic
Authenticity is key when it comes to delivering a powerful and effective speech. Be yourself and speak from the heart. Your audience will appreciate your honesty, which will help build a connection with them.
6. Use humor
Humor is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your audience and make your speech memorable. However, using humor appropriately and avoiding offensive or insensitive jokes is important.
7. Use repetition
Repetition is a powerful rhetorical device that can help to reinforce your message and make it more memorable. By repeating key phrases or ideas as needed and appropriately, you can emphasize their importance and help your audience remember them. For instance, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, he repeats the phrase "I Have a Dream" several times to reinforce his message of hope and equality.
8. Use rhetorical questions
Rhetorical questions are a great way to engage your audience and make them think. By asking a question that does not require an answer, you can encourage your audience to reflect on your message and consider its implications.
9. Use inclusive language
Inclusive language is a language that avoids stereotypes or discriminatory terms and includes everyone. Inclusive language is essential when delivering a speech, as it shows respect for your audience and makes them feel valued.
10. Practice, practice, practice
Finally, one of the most important characteristics of speech writing is practice. Practice delivering your speech in front of a mirror or with friends or family. This will help you refine your delivery and ensure you are comfortable and confident when delivering your speech.
Speech writing is a complex but rewarding skill that requires careful consideration of your purpose, audience, language, and delivery. Following these ten characteristics, you can write a powerful and effective speech that will engage your audience and leave a lasting impression. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to rehearse your speech until you are confident and comfortable with your delivery.
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Format for Writing a Speech: A Basic Template & Outline To Use for Any Occasion
The goal of all forms of communication is to convey a clear message or information that fosters understanding. One of the building blocks to achieving this goal is structuring a speech for clarity and coherence.
Speech format is the structure or template used to create a coherent speech. It includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. Another factor that builds an effective speech is the outline. It serves as a guideline and focuses on a speech’s flow or organization.
The format of speech writing vs. outline might be confusing but think of it like a ladder. The side rails are the format of the speech —it holds the ladder together. Meanwhile, the outline serves as the steps to deliver your message.
Speech writing can be an intimidating task. However, knowing the format for writing a speech and the best speech writing strategies makes it as easy as climbing a ladder.
Speech Writing Format
The speech writing format is the structure of every speech. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Introduction: This part of a speech starts with a brief statement about your topic or purpose. It should be short and straight to the point while catching listeners’ attention. It is because aside from giving an overview, the introduction functions as a hook.
Body: As the meat of the speech, the body is part of a talk where you will present your ideas in detail. The basic guidelines for writing the body are:
- Highlight the main ideas followed by the supporting details.
- Use transition words to guide your audience through your speech.
- Keep the sentences short for ease of pronunciation and delivery.
You can arrange the components of the body chronologically as in writing a narrative speech. Another technique is to write it according to the level of importance and relevance.
Conclusion: This final part of the format of the speech summarizes all the points that you made during your speech. Make sure you briefly restate the key points mentioned earlier in the body. However, more than giving a summary, the conclusion functions to inspire your audience to act and reflect.
Knowing the format of how to write a speech helps you organize your thoughts. It also makes it easy to plan what you want to say and how you would present them.
What is Speech Writing?
Speech writing is the art and process of crafting speeches for public speaking events. As an art, it involves the formation of ideas and creatively packaging them as a message. Meanwhile, it includes the process of researching, planning, outlining, drafting, and editing.
The speech should be well-written and organized to ensure smooth delivery and effective communication. A great speech writer understands how to structure and deliver information effectively. They also know how to connect ideas and use examples to illustrate points.
Writing a speech is a skill every person needs to master as it is part of our daily lives —we communicate with people every day. It’s not something you learn in an hour or two, as it takes practice and time.
You can start honing your English speech-writing skills by reading famous speeches of prominent personalities. Observe how they wrote it and learn their strategies.
Speech in English Language Writing
The foundation of speech in English language writing is grammar. Grammar is the set of rules used to construct meaningful utterances. It helps speakers express themselves clearly and concisely. In addition, it provides us with a framework for organizing thoughts into coherent paragraphs.
Another factor that contributes to speech in the English language is pragmatics. Pragmatics is how speakers use language to send and receive information. It enters the delivery process of speech as the speaker needs to consider how that audience will form meaning with the speaker’s utterances.
Starting to learn how to write speech in English is easy when you take it step by step. Learn the common words and their function or grammar before moving to more complex concepts like knowing phrases and forming sentences and paragraphs.
How to Write a Speech?
Learning how to write a speech after knowing the basic speech format can be tricky. The speech writing process varies for different persons. However, knowing what to place under the introduction, body, and conclusion helps create an effective speech.
The introduction of speech in English states the overview of the topic and sets out the purpose of the talk. It’s necessary to keep it short. Use 125-150 words to grab the attention of the audience. In the age of technology, where the majority owns mobile phones, you must ensure that you can hook the audience into listening to your speech in just a few seconds.
The format of the speech introduction varies depending on the occasion. On special occasions like weddings, one can use an informal speech introduction. Meanwhile, a formal speech introduction would be proper for events like business conferences, award ceremonies, and graduation programs.
2. The Body
The challenging part of how to write a speech is the body. It is the longest part, where you coherently present ideas. Note that the prescribed word limit per paragraph is 150-200 words.
Write the body of a speech with the smooth flow of delivery in mind. As such, section the body into different main ideas or themes. Remember to include two or three supporting details under each key point. Finally, use transition words to guide your listeners and organize your thoughts.
The conclusion is the last part of the format of speech writing. It is crucial when trying to write a perfect speech. Similar to the introduction, the challenge is maintaining the audience’s attention. Accept the possibility that the audience will check cell phones when delivering your talk. So, in your conclusion, craft a powerful statement or pose a question to bring back their attention to you. Most importantly, to make your audience act or reflect on your topic. Having a powerful conclusion makes your speech worth remembering.
How to Write a Speech Format?
Understanding the public speech format is a valuable asset you can add to your skill set. It will help you write better speeches. Additionally, it will make you more confident when speaking in front of an audience. Here are ten tips on how to write a speech format and create an amazing speech:
1. Decide the purpose of your speech
The three main goals of speeches are to inform, persuade, and entertain. Facts are meant to be presented to the audience on informative speeches. Convincing the audience to take action is the aim of a persuasive speech. Lastly, an entertaining speech aims to make people relax, laugh, and smile.
A lecture or speech about music theories and a speech on disaster risk prevention are examples of informative speeches. Conversely, a speech on the importance of a learning management system delivered to respected teachers is a persuasive speech. Stand-up comedies, birthday greeting speeches, and award acceptance speeches are entertaining in nature.
2. Know your audience
Another factor that determines how you write a speech is your audience. You have to adjust your outlining strategy and style with the end goal of connecting to your audience. A formal speech would be proper when delivering a speech with English teachers and college students in the audience. Meanwhile, when giving a speech to your fellow students, you may use an informal tone of speech.
Note that your audience is people from different walks of life. Therefore, your style of speech must relate to various demographics. Craft a public speech format on a topic or speech people would want to hear.
3. Choose a speech topic
After knowing your audience, decide on what to write in a speech. Ensure that the topics you discuss are of interest and would be beneficial to them. For example, if you’re giving a lecture to your class, you can talk about the topic they’ve been studying all semester. If you’re giving a talk at a wedding, you can share a funny anecdote about the bride or groom. When giving a commemorative speech, focus on the accomplishments to pay tribute to a person, group, or institution.
Considering the subject matter in the early planning stage of your speech saves you from revising your draft multiple times.
4. Do the research
The “unskippable” process of writing a speech is research. Remember that your information must be factual, no matter the type of speech you are writing or its purpose. Research is crucial in the speech writing process because it will help you to know what to write in a speech.
Visiting your school library or browsing the internet are great ways to research. Moreover, you can also reach out to your English teacher to help you find resources.
5. Craft the outline
More than knowing the format, mastering how to write a speech writing outline is a valuable asset or skill that helps you stay organized. It is necessary no matter the style of speech you’re going to write.
Break down your main topic into subtopics to create a speech outline. For example, when writing a 5-minute speech about “should art be a part of the school curriculum?” for a school assembly: take the keywords from the topic and define it. What is art? Briefly enumerate forms of art. Next, what is a holistic curriculum? Answer why art plays a crucial role in the holistic curriculum. End your speech with the benefits of art. Finally, create a punchline on why a curriculum is incomplete without art.
6. Start with a hook
In English speech writing, a hook is a statement that draws the audience in and makes them want to listen more. The best hooks are memorable, unexpected, and attention-grabbing.
Speech has time limits. Therefore, it is best to engage people instantly with the first few sentences of your talk. You can use a rhetorical question, powerful quote, or narrative as your hook.
7. Include narratives
Speech writers are story writers. Hence, weaving a narrative into your speech structure is the best way to pique the audience’s interest. You can narrate a personal story or an anecdote.
Stories make your point more memorable. In fact, research has shown that people remember stories better than they do facts. So, to maintain the crowd’s attention, use narratives to relay facts and help them understand your message.
8. Include a call to action
One of the basic guidelines for writing following the format of public speech is the call to action (CTA). A CTA is a statement that tells your audience what they should do next. A good way to work out which call to action will help achieve your goals is to ask yourself “what would I like my audience to do as a result?” It could be as easy as “let’s give the newlyweds a toast” in a wedding speech. Or inspiring people to cut their carbon footprint when delivering a speech about global warming.
9. Conclude your speech
The last structure of a speech you should not forget is the conclusion. Concluding speeches give you the chance to reiterate your message and leave attendees reflecting on it. Summarize your main points and connect them to your call to action to accomplish this. You can end your speech with an engaging question to make your audience reflect on your message.
10. Review your speech
Finally, the last step in how to write a speech writing format or outline is reviewing your output. This process involves editing for grammar consistency, paraphrasing complex sentences, and rearranging topics for better flow and coherence. The final check you perform before delivering your speech is necessary because it helps ensure that your message will be clear and concise.
How to Rehearse a Speech
Delivery brings your speech to life from the paper to the crowd. But to avoid breaking into cold sweats or feeling anxious, practice or rehearsal is essential. A popular trick in public speaking that coaches suggest is to imagine your audience are frogs instead of real persons. This trick works during the rehearsal stage.
Here are five steps when rehearsing a speech:
1. Start by silent reading and assigning or marking pauses in your speech.
Your speech / should look like this / after marking your pauses.//
2. Stand in front of a mirror, read aloud, and practice your pauses and voice modulation.
3. Record your speech to identify where you stumbled.
4. Try speaking without your copy to test your retention.
5. Simulate the event by practicing in front of your friends.
Speech Writing Tips
After learning about speech format and speech outline, here are actionable steps you can do to start honing your speech writing skills:
1. Choose an easy topic to start with.
2. Use a blank speech outline template to guide you as a beginner.
3. Fill out the blank template with the main idea, supporting details, and conclusion of your topic.
4. Read about something that interests you.
5. Lose the blank template and create your own outline to summarize what you read.
6. Create a speech based on your outline.
7. Edit and revise to make it spotless.
8. Write for different types of audiences.
9. Change your style depending on the event (e.g., birthday speech, graduation ceremony).
10. Practice consistently to build your unique speech-writing voice.
The basic format of speech writing is easy to follow: the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction sets up your thesis or argument; the body explains it in detail, and the conclusion summarizes what you’ve said and includes a call to action. This blog is your guide on writing your next amazing speech — from start to finish!
Frequently Asked Questions
The five steps on how to write a speech in English are the following: 1. Know about your topic by identifying main themes or ideas and their supporting details. 2. Create your outline and arrange how you will present your message. 3. Write your first draft following the basic format: introduction, body, and conclusion. 4. Read and rewrite your draft to ensure proper grammar and organization. 5. Use your final output to practice your speech out loud.
There are four types of speech delivery: impromptu, extemporaneous, memorized, and manuscript. An impromptu delivery happens on the spot and makes you think on your feet. Think of when you got called for a class recitation. Another school activity is reporting or presenting in class — that’s an example of extemporaneous speaking. You will have time to research the topic and deliver your speech naturally. As the name suggests, memorized speech is written and remembered by the writer word by word. Lastly, manuscript delivery is a formal speech wherein a speaker reads the material on paper. News anchors, politicians, and other public speakers use this speech delivery method.
Preparation and practice are the two requirements of good speech delivery. The preparation phase includes researching, outlining, drafting, editing, revising, and finalizing processes. Meanwhile, practice is the speaking phase. It is when one reads the manuscript out loud with proper pacing, tone, and pauses.
An outline is the skeleton of your speech. It helps you in organizing the information you want to convey during your speech. The first step of outlining is to know about your topic by researching it. Next, extract and arrange the main ideas, either chronologically or by the level of importance or relevance. Finally, insert supporting details in every main idea you identified. Take an overall review of the outline you created and adjust as necessary.
The format of public speech writing includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. To write the introduction, start with a topic sentence stating what you will talk about in your speech. Don’t forget to include a hook in your introduction. The body of your speech expounds on the main idea of your topic and supports it with relevant examples. For each point, make sure you provide evidence and support for your claims. In addition, add transition words between points to help the listener understand the flow of your speech. Finally, conclude your speech with a summary statement that restates the main idea of your speech and integrates a call to action.
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What Is Speech Writing? Best Tips And Jobs In 2021
- by WritersGig Admin
- March 31, 2021
- No comments
- 7 minute read
Table of Contents Hide
What is speech writing, who is a speech writer, #1. informative speech, #2. entertaining speech, #3. demonstrative speech, #4. persuasive speech, #5. special occasion speech, #6. oratorical speech.
- What Is The Job Description Of A Speech Writer?
Speech Writing Tips
#1. introduction, #2. the body, #3. conclusion, salary of a speech writer, recommendation.
Having a skill like speech writing whether as a student or a professional is very important with a lot of benefits.
You might be asking what is speech writing and how can you go about it? But don’t worry as all your questions will be answered in this article.
Actually, public speaking or writing a speech is not as difficult as it seems, but just following the basic tips to write a compelling speech and be able to communicate good ideas effectively is all you need.
Therefore, read this article to the end to be able to know the tips and write a great speech that will leave a good impression on your audience.
Speech writing is a means of sending a message to the audience through words. There are no many differences between speech writing and essay writing.
When writing a speech all you need to know is understanding your speech purpose, the required lenght, the time limit, and the audience analysis.
Putting up an effective speech can be stressful because you need to engage your audience’s attention. But if you follow the right speech format, you can easily come up with a great speech the will wow your audience.
According to Wikipedia , a speechwriter is a person who is employed to prepare and write speeches that will be delivered by another person.
Speechwriters are employed by a lot of people like senior-level elected officials and executives in the government and private sectors.
Also, they can be hired to write for weddings and other social occasions. The delivery part of a speech is part of the challenge speechwriters face when crafting the message.
Speechwriters specialize in a kind of writing that merges marketing, theater, public relations, sales, education, and politics all in one presentation.
Read this: Best Differences Between UX And UI | When And How To Use Them
Types Of Speech Writing
There are different types of speech writing and they fall into different categories.
So knowing the various types of speeches can help you suggest which kind of speech that best suit you needs. Here is a list of the types of speech writing.
- informative Speech
- Entertaining Speech
- Demonstrative Speech
- Persuasive Speech
- Oratorical Speech
- Debate Speech
- Special Occasion Speech
- Pitch Speech
- Motivational Speech
- Impromptu Speech
- Farewell Speech
- Explanatory Speech
- Eulogy or Funeral Speech
So, let’ explain some of them.
The purpose of Informative speeches is to educate the audience on a particular topic or message. Unlike demonstrative speeches, they don’t use visual aids. However, they use facts, data, and statistics to help audiences grip a concept.
Furthermore, informative speech writing can also cover social or economic topics. Although they’re not written down for the audience to believe a certain viewpoint or opinion, they inform the audience with all the relevant details surrounding a particular topic.
The purpose of entertaining speech writing is to entertain a crowd of people. It is always less formal and shorter than traditional speeches, entertaining speeches communicate emotions rather than giving the audience facts and figures.
You can always find entertaining speeches at a birthday party or a wedding. Some examples of entertaining speeches are a best man’s speech at a wedding or a principal’s speech before a school talent show.
The purpose of Demonstrative speech writing is to educate the audience about a topic or idea they don’t have knowledge of. They include visual aids to help better demonstrate or describe something in greater detail.
However a demonstrative speech and an informative may seem familiar but a demonstrative speech actually demonstrates how to do something.
For example, a tech company can give a speech demonstrating their new devices. While they’re informing the public about their new products,in this way they are making a demonstrative speech demonstrating how the company works.
persuasive speech writing help to convince the audience that the speaker has the right opinion on a particlar topic.
Persuasive speeches can cover any topic from entertainment to something more serious like politics. Typically, speakers use concrete evidence to better persuade their listeners and gain their support.
Having enough facts or evidence, helps your point more believable and you will have a greater chance of getting your audience’s support about the particular topic you are talking on.
Special occasion speech is speeches which you give on specific occasions. This kind of speech doesn’t fall into a particular category and doesn’t follow a format.
Instead, they focus to fit the special occasion, whether it’s a wedding, an award show, or a birthday party. Special occasion speeches aim to fit the context of the environment to effectively communicate the message and gain the audience’s attention.
Also, they are always short and upbeat and still interesting and direct. An example of a special occasion speech is if you’re accepting an award, you use a special occasion speech to express how much the award means to you.
Also, read: 7 Ways Hiring a Freelance Writer Can Save Your Business Money
An oratorical speech refers to a specific type of speech. Generally, it is more formal than other types of speeches.
Even though some oratorical speeches can be long such as those found at funerals or graduations, others may be short and more informal such as a toast at a special event.
Though oratorical speech givers don’t really want to persuade the audience on a particular topic, they can still cover certain issues and express their opinion.
What Is The Job Description Of A Speech Writer ?
Here are some of the jobs as speech writer
- Speech Writers create and edit speeches for different occasions and purposes.
- They can be employed in the corporate, political, or PR sectors, or do freelance work for other organizations.
- Also, speech writers conduct research and on some occasions spend time with the person who will be delivering the speech.
- They write copy for radio and television commercials
Here are some of the speech writing tips that will tell you what it takes to come up with an amazing speech.
- One of the speech writing tips is to avoid putting multiple ideas into your speech. Always keep in mind that people only remember very little, so just give one to two main ideas that they will remember.
- Always remember that you are writing a speech that people will hear, not writing an essay that people will read. Hence, the more conversational it will sound, the better it will be.
- If you want your audience to believe that you know what you are talking about. It is important to do some quality research on your topic. It will show that you have a sound knowledge of your topic that you are giving a speech on.
Steps On How To Write A Speech
Generally, the steps to write a speech are similar to writing an essay or presentation. However, you need to keep in mind the audience you are specifically writing it for.
They can consider the speech if it is written to engage the audience and hold their attention from the start to the end.
Therefore, your speech must have something that can grab the audience’s attention.
The beginning of the speech depends in different types of speeches and it depends on the purpose of thye speech.
For example, the informative speeches contain an introductory section that not only introduces the topic to the audience, but it also stimulates their interest.
It is a good idea to introduce yourself and the purpose of your speech at the start. Once you convey your speech’s basic idea to the audience, you can provide additional information.
Start the speech with a strong hook that not only compels the audience but encourages them to listen to every single word you say.
In the body of a speech, there are no specific rules to follow. But there are some things you should keep in mind while writing this section.
The body paragraphs should follow a sequential order for the timeline events and present one piece of information at a time. This section should present the supporting elements in a simple way.
The paragraphs should follow a pattern of cause and effect. Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos to convince your audience to believe you.
The conclusion part is a very important part of a speech that makes a good impression and leaves the audience with some takeaways.
you can restate the main points of the speech and leave something for the audience to think about. Provide a call to action with a strong closing statement to help the audience remember the big ideas.
conclusively, it is very important for you to practice after writing your speech. You can read your speech aloud and check whether it sounds like a book reading or a real person talking.
Also, you can practice your speech in front of the mirror or read your speech to a friend to make sure your speech sounds like a real person talking.
Also, read this: How to Build Your Copywriting Portfolio in 2021
The salary of a speechwriter depends on the company/person you are working for or the state you are residing in.
According to Zippa , the average salary of a speechwriter in America is $65,283 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $95,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $44,000 per year.
While putting down a speech writing, it is important to have the right intention and a general understanding of the environment and your audience to be able to effectively interact with your audience and make a good impression.
Also, i believe this article will help you to put down an engaging and excellent speech writing and become a good speech writer.
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Speech writing is the process of writing something that is generally meant to be delivered to a large audience. Speech writing is more or less like essay writing with an aim to either convince someone of a certain viewpoint or make a public statement. That does not mean that all speech writing is the same. There are different types of speeches that people make, some political, some educational, some may be a public address; and for each type, there is a certain way of writing.
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The main difference between essay writing and speech writing is structure. Great speechwriters frame their speeches as an interesting narrative. They make it seem like the audience is being taken on a journey and the speech is the path that they follow. As mentioned earlier, speech writing is different for different occasions, but it will usually follow a set structure that can be broken down into three parts.
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The opening of the speech needs to be attention-grabbing and captivating. The main purpose of a speech is to be heard, and they need to engage people and convince them to think or act along the lines of the speaker. So the best start is to create an opening line that states the intent of the speaker or to pose a question or a shocking statistic.
The middle is where the speaker gets into the full swing of their argument. It is the main bulk of the speech. You should include a series of reasons and arguments as to why the audience needs to agree with you.
It is imperative that the audience hear the speaker and never forget them or the message they pose to the audience . The most memorable part of a speech is always the ending. A speech can be ended either with a recap of what the speaker said or by giving a call to action.
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King’s speech: what is it and why does it matter?
Senior Lecturer in History, Anglia Ruskin University
Sean Lang 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.
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.
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Today, King Charles will give his first speech from the throne as monarch. He delivered the queen’s speech once as Prince of Wales, deputising in May 2022 for his mother, who could not attend. This is the first speech by a king since 1951, though on that occasion King George VI was too ill to attend and the speech was read out by the Lord Chancellor .
Who writes the king’s speech and why does it matter?
The king’s speech is the central part of the ceremony marking the state opening of parliament .
At the start of each parliamentary session, the monarch goes – in a state coach and escorted by the household cavalry – to the House of Lords, accompanied by the crown as a symbol of his royal authority. There, he reads out a speech outlining the government’s plans and priorities for the year ahead.
Although it is known as the king’s speech, it is actually written by the government, for the monarch. In 1964, an irreverent Private Eye cover had Queen Elizabeth II reading the speech while saying: “I hope you realise I didn’t write this crap.”
The speech and the ceremony are a reminder of the constitutional relationship of crown and government. Although political power rests with the prime minister and cabinet, there is nevertheless a layer of authority above them.
What happens at the speech?
The tradition of a king’s speech has its origins in the medieval parliament, but the speech from the throne as we know it today first evolved in the late 17th century , when parliament finally established its power over the monarch.
Much of the modern ritual is a Victorian concoction. The monarch sits on the royal throne in the House of Lords – the upper house. Members of parliament are imperiously summoned by a royal official known as the gentleman usher of the black rod (though the office is currently held by a woman, and so: the lady Usher of the black rod). No seats are provided for MPs, so they have to crowd into an inadequate space at the back.
Meanwhile, the door of the Commons is slammed in black rod’s face as a reminder of the independence of the Commons. And that, ever since 1642, when Charles I entered the chamber with armed men in a foiled attempt to arrest five MPs, the House of Commons is the one place in the realm where the monarch is not allowed to step.
MPs amble informally down to the upper house to show they are going because they choose to, not because they are summoned, and the speech they are to hear is the work of the government, not the king. It’s political theatre.
What if the monarch disagrees with the speech?
Whatever his private feelings, the monarch must not show any overt preference for any political party, so the speech is always read in as neutral a tone as possible. Sometimes the speech might include current acronyms or technical terms which sit strangely with the glittering jewellery and gold on display, but the monarch must read it all, giving nothing away either by tone of voice or facial expression.
The monarch has the right to advise, warn and encourage the prime minister on policy. In return he must always follow the prime minister’s advice and he must read the prime minister’s speech.
This means that a monarch might solemnly read out a speech written by one party, and, a year later, if there has been a change of government, equally solemnly read out a speech outlining a completely different programme and written by their opponents.
What can we expect from this year’s king’s speech?
The grand ceremonial of the state opening has sometimes been scaled down, in wartime or if the economic situation suggests tactful restraint. This is something the king himself has to gauge, with advice from the government.
The speech is the first indication of the government’s legislative priorities for the year ahead. We can certainly expect reference to housing and the cost of living crisis, and possibly to the ongoing crises in Gaza and Ukraine. Reports have indicated that the speech will also include bills related to the prime minister’s pro-motorist plans, a gradual smoking ban and leasehold reform.
After the speech, the monarch makes an equally ceremonial departure and MPs shuffle off back to the Commons where they begin a debate, which normally lasts a week. This is called a humble address to the monarch, thanking him for his gracious speech, but in reality offering MPs a chance to support or attack the government for its now-public list of intentions. And so normal politics resumes.
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How to Write a Poem: A Step-by-Step Guide
Poetry is . . . song lyrics without the music? Writing that rhymes? A bunch of comparisons and abstract imagery that feels like a code for the reader to decipher?
The answer to all of the above is yes, but poetry encompasses much more. Poetry is a broad literary category that covers everything from bawdy limericks to unforgettable song lyrics to the sentimental couplets inside greeting cards. Poetry’s lack of rules can make it feel hard to define but is also what makes poetry enjoyable for so many to write.
If you’ve ever wondered how to write a poem, read on. Writing poetry doesn’t have to be daunting—we’re going to demystify the process and walk you through it, one step at a time.
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What is a poem?
A poem is a singular piece of poetry.
Poems don’t have to rhyme; they don’t have to fit any specific format; and they don’t have to use any specific vocabulary or be about any specific topic. But here’s what they do have to do: use words artistically by employing figurative language . With a poem, the form is as important as the function—perhaps even more so.
In contrast, prose is writing that follows the standard sentence and paragraph structure. Prose, while it takes many different forms and tones, largely mimics human speech patterns.
The purpose of a poem
Poetry expresses emotions and conveys ideas, but that’s not all it can do. Poets tell stories, teach lessons, and even communicate hidden messages through poetry. When you listen to music with lyrics, you’re listening to poetry.
When you’re writing poetry, keep your goal in mind. Are you writing to evoke emotion? To perform your poem at an open mic night? To get a good grade on your assignment? Although there aren’t any hard and fast rules for writing poetry, there are some fundamental guidelines to keep in mind:
- Show, don’t tell. The goal is to provoke an emotion in the reader.
- Less can be more. While it’s perfectly acceptable to write long, flowery verse, using simple, concise language is also powerful. Word choice and poem length are up to you.
- It’s OK to break grammatical rules when doing so helps you express yourself.
Elements of poetry
The key elements that distinguish poetry from other kinds of literature include sound, rhythm, rhyme, and format. The first three of these are apparent when you hear poetry read aloud. The last is most obvious when you read poetry.
One thing poetry has in common with other kinds of literature is its use of literary devices. Poems, like other kinds of creative writing , often make use of allegories and other kinds of figurative language to communicate themes.
In many cases, poetry is most impactful when it’s listened to rather than read. With this in mind, poets often create sound, whether to be pleasing, jarring, or simply highlight key phrases or images through words. Read this short poem “The Cold Wind Blows” by Kelly Roper aloud and listen to the sounds the letters and words make:
Who knows why the cold wind blows
Or where it goes, or what it knows.
It only flows in passionate throes
Until it finally slows and settles in repose.
Do you hear the repeated “ose” sound and how it mimics the sound of wind gusts? Poets create sound in a variety of ways, like alliteration , assonance, and consonance.
Poetry has rhythm. That’s what often makes it so attractive to set to music.
A poem’s rhythmic structure is known as its meter . Meter refers to:
- The number of syllables in each line
- The stressed and unstressed syllables in each line
These syllables are grouped together to form feet , units that make up a line of poetry. A foot is generally two or three syllables, and each combination of two or three stressed and unstressed syllables has a unique name.
You probably recognize the term iambic pentameter from English class. It comes up a lot in high school English classes because Shakespeare wrote in it frequently, and Shakespeare is frequently read in high school English classes. An iamb is a two-syllable foot where the second syllable is stressed: duh-DUH. Pentameter means that each line in the poem has five feet or ten total syllables.
Iambic pentameter is just one of the many kinds of rhythm a poem can have . Other types of feet include the trochee , two syllables where the first syllable is stressed (DUH-duh), and dactyl , three syllables where only the first is stressed (DUH-duh-duh). When a poem only has one foot per line, it’s in monometer; when there are two feet per line, it’s in dimeter; and so on.
Stressed and unstressed syllables aren’t the only way you can create rhythm in your poetry. Another technique poets frequently embrace is repetition. Repetition underscores the words being repeated, which could be a phrase or a single word. In her poem “Still I Rise”, Maya Angelou repeats the phrase “I rise” with increasing frequency as the poem progresses, changing it from “I’ll rise” in the first stanzas to a repeated “I rise” toward the ending, to emphasize her unbreakable spirit:
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
With poetry, rhythm and rhyme go hand in hand. Both create musicality in the poem, making it pleasurable to recite and listen to.
Rhymes can appear anywhere in a poem, not just at the ends of alternating lines. Take a look at all the places Lewis Carrol uses rhymes in this excerpt from “Jabberwocky”:
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
When you’re reading poetry, one of the first things you’ll likely notice is its formatting. Simply put, poems just aren’t formatted the same way as prose. Sentences end in weird places, there are blank lines between the different sections, one word might have a line all to itself, or the words might be arranged in a shape that makes a picture on the page.
One of poetry’s defining characteristics is that it doesn’t adhere to the same formatting that prose does. You (most likely) won’t find sentences and paragraphs in poetry. Instead, you’ll find stanzas, lines, and line breaks.
A stanza is the poetic equivalent of a paragraph. It’s a group of lines that (usually) adheres to a specific rhyme or rhythm pattern. For example, a quatrain is a four-line stanza in which the second and fourth lines rhyme. An isometric stanza is a stanza of any length where each line has the same meter.
Literary devices aren’t limited to prose—many, perhaps even most, poems incorporate one or more literary devices. Literary devices commonly found in poetry include:
- Figurative language
Often, poets use literary devices in conjunction with other poetic elements. One famous example of a poem that layers multiple literary devices is Margaret Atwood’s “[you fit into me]”:
you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
In the first stanza, Atwood uses a simile, a type of figurative language , to create an initially pleasant image: a hook and eye closure, a small metal hook that neatly fits into an appropriately sized metal loop to fasten clothing. Then the second stanza juxtaposes this with a jarring image: a fish hook plunged into an eyeball. These images together, formatted as two stark sections separated by a break, express the poem’s uncomfortable, visceral theme.
Types of poetic forms
There are many different types of poems. Some have very strict style rules, while others are classified according to the topics they cover rather than their structure. When you’re writing poetry, keep the form you’re writing in mind as you brainstorm—with forms that involve rhyming or require a specific number of syllables, you’ll probably want to jot down a list of go-to words that fit into your chosen format before you start writing.
A haiku is a three-line poem that always fits this format: The first and third lines contain five syllables and the second line contains seven syllables.
A limerick is a five-line poem that follows a strict AABBA rhyme scheme. Though they often discuss humorous subjects, this isn’t a requirement—the only requirement is that it fits this precise rhyme pattern.
A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem that was often used by Shakespeare and Petrarch. Although a sonnet’s exact rhyme scheme varies from poem to poem, each sonnet has some kind of consistent rhyme pattern.
Here’s a tip: Grammarly’s Citation Generator ensures your essays have flawless citations and no plagiarism. Try it for citing sonnets in Chicago , MLA , and APA styles.
Blank verse poetry is written in a specific meter that, as a rule, does not rhyme. Although this specific meter is often iambic pentameter, that isn’t a requirement for blank verse poetry—the only requirements are that it does not stray from its meter (whichever meter the poet chose) and that it doesn’t rhyme.
With free verse, anything goes. When you read a poem that doesn’t appear to fit any specific format, you’re reading free verse poetry.
An ode is a poem that celebrates a person, an event, or even an object. An ode uses vivid language to describe its subject.
Elegies are poems that, like odes, pay tribute to specific subjects. However, rather than being purely celebratory, an elegy is generally a reflection on its subject’s death and includes themes of mourning and loss.
How to write a poem
Writing a poem isn’t the same as writing a short story , an essay, an email, or any other type of writing. While each of these other kinds of writing requires a unique approach, they all have one thing in common: they’re prose.
Poetry isn’t prose, as we explained above. And that’s what makes it feel like the wildcard of creative writing.
With poetry, going through the standard writing process can feel like a creativity killer. That doesn’t mean you should just sit down, scrawl out a poem, and call it a day. On the contrary, when you’re writing poetry, you might find that skipping one or more stages in the traditional writing process will help you be more creative.
Of course, you might also find that following the writing process helps you explore and organize your thoughts before you start to write. The usefulness of starting with brainstorming, then moving onto outlining, then starting to write only once you’ve got an outline varies from poet to poet and even poem to poem. Sometimes, inspiration strikes and the words just start flowing out of your mind and onto the page.
Here are a few tips to help you get started and write your next poem:
1 Decide what you want to write about
Unless you’ve been assigned to write a poem about a specific topic, the first step in writing a poem is determining a topic to write about. Look for inspiration around you, perhaps in nature, your community, current events, or the people in your life. Take notes on how different things make you feel and what they drive you to think about.
Freewriting can be a helpful exercise when you’re searching for the perfect topic to write a poem about. You can use a writing prompt as a jumping-off point for your freewriting or just jot down a word (or a few) and see where your mind guides your pen, stream-of-consciousness style.
Once you have a topic and a theme in mind, the next step is to determine which kind of poem is the best way to express it.
2 Determine the best format for your topic
Your poem doesn’t have to adhere to any specific format, but choosing a format and sticking to it might be the way to go. By opting to write in a particular format, like a sonnet or a limerick, for example, you constrain your writing and force yourself to find a way to creatively express your theme while fitting that format’s constraints.
3 Explore words, rhymes, and rhythm
If you’ve decided to write your poem in a specific format, read other poems in that format to give yourself a template to follow. A specific rhythm or rhyme scheme can highlight themes and clever wordplay in your poem. For example, you might determine that a limerick is the most effective way to make your readers laugh at your satirical poem because the format feels like it has a built-in punchline.
4 Write the poem
Now it’s time to write! Whether you opt for using a pen and paper, typing on a laptop, or tapping on your phone, give yourself some uninterrupted time to focus on writing the poem.
Don’t expect to write something perfect on the first try. Instead, focus on getting your words out. Even if your lines don’t rhyme perfectly or you’ve got too many or too few syllables to fit the format you chose, write what’s on your mind. The theme your words are expressing is more important than the specific words themselves, and you can always revise your poem later.
5 Edit what you’ve written
Once you have a draft, the next step is to edit your poem. You don’t have to jump right from writing to editing—in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Give yourself a break. Then in a day or two, come back to your poem with a critical eye. By that, we mean read it again, taking note of any spots where you can replace a word with a stronger one, tighten your rhythm, make your imagery more vivid, or even remove words or stanzas that aren’t adding anything to the poem. When you do this, you might realize that the poem would work better in another form or that your poem would be stronger if it rhymed . . . or if it didn’t.
Reading your poem aloud can help you edit it more effectively because when you listen to it, you’ll hear the poem’s rhythm and quickly notice any spots where the rhythm doesn’t quite work. This can help you move words around or even completely restructure the poem.
If you’re comfortable sharing your poetry with others, have somebody else read your poem and give you feedback on ways you can improve it. You might even want to join a writing group, online or off, where you can workshop your poetry with other writers. Often, other people can spot strengths and weaknesses in your work that you might not have noticed because your perspective is too close to the poem. A more distanced perspective, as well as perspectives from readers and writers of different backgrounds, can offer up ways to make your writing stronger that you hadn’t considered before.
Give your writing extra spark
When you’re writing poetry, you’re allowed to break the rules. In fact, you’re encouraged to break the rules. Breaking the rules artistically is one of the key differences between writing poetry and writing prose.
But making mistakes isn’t the same as breaking the rules. Mistakes in your poetry, like misspelled words and incorrect punctuation, can distract readers from what you’re communicating through your words. That’s where Grammarly comes in. Grammarly catches any mistakes or tone inconsistencies in your work and suggests ways you can make your writing stronger. The outcome: writing with confidence and getting better at breaking the rules on purpose.
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This is what happened when Julia Louis-Dreyfus used AI to write an acceptance speech
Julia Louis-Dreyfus knows how to get the crowd laughing.
The “Veep” star was the entertainment honoree at the WSJ. Magazine 2023 Innovator Awards this year and took the stage to deliver her acceptance speech at the MoMa in New York City on Nov. 2. Louis-Dreyfus shared that she used AI chatbot ChatGPT to help her create her speech for the night.
“As an entertainment innovator, I am very, very busy innovating,” Louis-Dreyfus, 62, said, per the Wall Street Journal's TikTok which shared a clip of the speech. “So I did what any other innovator worth her salt would do: I turned to Chat GPT-4.”
It is unknown what Louis-Dreyfus typed into ChatGPT to create the speech, but it mixed up “innovator” with “investor” and confused her for Julia Roberts.
“This is exactly what ChatGPT said,” the actor begins. “Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests and fellow investors, today is a moment of profound gratitude and reflection for me as I accept the great honor of being recognized as the investor of the year by Wall Street Journal.”
“Reflecting on this milestone, I am reminded of the unwavering support of my family and the unyielding dedication of my team that has the been driving force behind my investment strategies and my performances in ‘Erin Brockovich,’ forgive me, and ‘Mystic Pizza,’” she says in the speech, referencing Roberts' films and not her own.
Many people on the social media platform got a kick out of the snippet of her speech. Commenters noted that this would be something her “Veep” character, Selina Meyer, would do.
“But wait that would have been an amazing Veep moment!” user RickFlinchum wrote, with another user, Michele.j.d, also adding, “I feel like this is something Selina Meyer would say!!”
“The way she just drops right into Selena giving a speech,” another user, Chloe, added.
However, some questioned the prompt that she gave ChatGPT. “She clearly misspelled innovator in that prompt,” Treative wrote, while another commented, “She clearly misspelled innovator in that prompt.”
Louis-Dreyfus has kept audiences laughing for decades, and the actor recently disclosed that her reaction to her 2017 breast cancer diagnosis was just that: laughter.
Louis-Dreyfus was featured earlier this month in WSJ. Magazine , in which she detailed her reaction to when she was diagnosed the day after she won her sixth Emmy for her work on "Veep."
“I mean, it felt like it was written,” she said, explaining her response. “It felt like it was a horrible black comedy.”
The actor has been in remission for five years and shared that she's now more mindful about her life.
“I find myself living more mindfully," she said. "It’s not like it’s yakking at me all the time, but there’s more laser focus."
Liz Calvario is a Los Angeles-based reporter and editor for TODAY.com who covers entertainment, pop culture and trending news.
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What Is Happening on College Campuses Is Not Free Speech
By Gabriel Diamond , Talia Dror and Jillian Lederman
Mr. Diamond is a senior at Yale University. Ms. Dror is a junior at Cornell University. Ms. Lederman is a senior at Brown University.
Since the Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, campus life in the United States has imploded into a daily trial of intimidation and insult for Jewish students. A hostile environment that began with statements from pro-Palestinian student organizations justifying terrorism has now rapidly spiraled into death threats and physical attacks, leaving Jewish students alarmed and vulnerable.
On an online discussion forum last weekend, Jewish students at Cornell were called “excrement on the face of the earth,” threatened with rape and beheading and bombarded with demands like “eliminate Jewish living from Cornell campus.” (A 21-year-old junior at Cornell has been charged with posting violent threats.) This horror must end.
Free speech, open debate and heterodox views lie at the core of academic life. They are fundamental to educating future leaders to think and act morally. The reality on some college campuses today is the opposite: open intimidation of Jewish students. Mob harassment must not be confused with free speech.
Universities need to get back to first principles and understand that they have the rules on hand to end intimidation of Jewish students. We need to hold professors and students to a higher standard.
The targeting of Jewish students didn’t stop at Cornell: Jewish students at Cooper Union huddled in the library to escape an angry crowd pounding on the doors; a protester at a rally near New York University carried a sign calling for the world to be kept “clean” of Jews; messages like “glory to our martyrs” were projected onto a George Washington University building.
This most recent wave of hate began with prejudiced comments obscured by seemingly righteous language. Following the Oct. 7 attacks, more than 30 student groups at Harvard signed on to a statement that read, “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” There was no mention of Hamas. The university issued such a tepid response , it almost felt like an invitation.
Days later, at a pro-Palestinian rally, the Cornell associate professor Russell Rickford said he was “exhilarated” by Hamas’s terrorist attack. (He later apologized and was granted a leave of absence.) In an article, a Columbia professor, Joseph Massad, seemed to relish the “awesome” scenes of “Palestinian resistance fighters” storming into Israel. Most recently, over 100 Columbia and Barnard professors signed a letter defending students who blamed Israel for Hamas’s attacks. To the best of our knowledge, none of these professors have received meaningful discipline, much less dismissal. Another green light.
Over these last few weeks, dozens of anti-Israel protests have been hosted on or near college campuses. Many of these demonstrations had threatening features: Masked students have chanted slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which many view as a call for the destruction of Israel. Others have shouted, “There is only one solution, intifada revolution.” The word “intifada” has a gruesome history: During the Aqsa intifada of the early 2000s, hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed in attacks .
On at least one occasion, these student protests have even interrupted candlelight vigils for the victims of Oct. 7. And they haven’t been condemned by the leadership at enough universities. In recent days, some universities, including Cornell, have released statements denouncing antisemitism on campus. Harvard also announced the creation of an advisory group to combat antisemitism.
The terms “Zionist” and “colonizer” have evolved into epithets used against Jewish students like us. These labels have been spit at some of us and our friends in dining halls, dorm common rooms, outside classes and at parties.
Failure by any university to affirm that taunts and intimidation have no place on campus legitimizes more violent behaviors. We are seeing it play out before our eyes.
At Columbia, an Israeli student was physically assaulted on campus. Near Tulane, a Jewish student’s head was bashed with the pole of a Palestinian flag after he attempted to stop protesters from burning an Israeli flag. And students at Cornell live in fear that their peers will actualize antisemitic threats.
All students have sacred rights to hold events, teach-ins and protests. And university faculty members must present arguments that make students uncomfortable. University campuses are unique hubs of intellectual discovery and debate, designed to teach students how to act within a free society. But free inquiry is not possible in an environment of intimidation. Harassment and intimidation fly in the face of the purpose of a university.
The codes of ethics of universities across the country condemn intimidation and hold students and faculty to standards of dignity and respect for others. Campuses are at a crossroads: The leadership can either enforce these ethics or these places of learning will succumb to mob rule by their most radical voices, risking the continuation of actual violence.
Simply affirming that taunts and intimidation have no place on campus isn’t enough. Professors violating these rules should be disciplined or dismissed. Student groups that incite or justify violence should not be given university funds to conduct activity on campus.
Furthermore, in line with anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, established university initiatives that protect minority groups must also include Jews. Universities should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, as a mechanism for properly identifying and eliminating anti-Jewish hate.
No students should be subject to discrimination, let alone outright threats and hostility, on the basis of their identity. This standard must be applied to Jewish students, too.
Finally, it is vital that individual campus community members — students, professors, alumni, staff members and parents — act against intimidation and incivility. Stand with your Jewish friends at peaceful assemblies. Call on universities via letters and petitions to restore civility on campus.
Although one may think antisemitism has an impact only on Jews, history shows it poisons society at large. Universities have a moral responsibility to counter hateful violence in all its forms. When they fail to do so, they fail us all.
Gabriel Diamond is a senior at Yale University studying political science. Talia Dror is a junior at Cornell University studying industrial and labor relations and business. Jillian Lederman is a senior at Brown University studying political science and economics.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .
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US Supreme Court weighs if public officials can block critics on social media
- Meta Platforms Inc Follow
WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday grappled with a pair of cases from California and Michigan involving public officials blocking critics on social media, with the justices struggling to define when such conduct runs into constitutional limits on the government's ability to restrict speech.
Lower courts reached different conclusions in the two cases, reflecting the legal uncertainty over whether such social media activity is bound by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. Blocking users is a function often employed on social media to stifle critics.
The justices, hearing about three hours of arguments, focused on spelling out the circumstances for deciding whether public officials were acting in their personal capacity when blocking critics or engaged in a "state action." The First Amendment constrains government actors but not private individuals.
The first case involves two public school board trustees from Poway, California who appealed a lower court's ruling in favor of parents who sued them after being blocked from the personal accounts of the officials on X, called Twitter at the time, and Facebook. The second case involves a Michigan man's appeal after a lower court rejected his lawsuit against a Port Huron city official who blocked him on Facebook.
Conservative Justice Samuel Alito cited a hypothetical town manager who puts a municipal seal on his own social media page and tells citizens to express their views. Alito told Hashim Mooppan, a lawyer for the school board officials, that his argument could let this town manager "block anybody who expresses criticism of what the town manager is doing, and thereby create the impression that everybody in town thinks the town manager is doing the right thing."
Mooppan urged the justices to embrace the "duty or authority" legal test that looks at whether officials operated their pages to fulfill official duties or used governmental authority to maintain them. Under this test, Mooppan argued, the social media activity of his clients was not governmental.
Liberal Justice Elena Kagan cited former President Donald Trump as an example, noting he did "a lot of government" on his Twitter account, sometimes even announcing policies.
"It was an important part of how he wielded his authority - and to cut a citizen off from that is to cut a citizen off from part of the way that government works," Kagan said.
The Authority of Law statue is seen outside the U.S. Supreme Court at the start of the new term in Washington, U.S., October 2, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
The Supreme Court previously confronted the issue in 2021 in litigation over Trump's effort to block critics on Twitter. It declined to decide the matter, deeming the case moot after Trump left office.
President Joe Biden's administration sided with the officials in both cases argued on Tuesday. A ruling is expected by the end of June.
The California case involves Michelle O'Connor-Ratcliff and T.J. Zane, elected Poway Unified School District trustees. They blocked Christopher and Kimberly Garnier, parents of three local students, after they made hundreds of critical posts on issues including race and school finances. A judge sided with the couple. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.
In the Michigan case, Port Huron resident Kevin Lindke sued after City Manager James Freed blocked him from his public Facebook page following critical posts involving the COVID-19 pandemic. A judge ruled in favor of Freed. The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.
Some justices asked whether requiring public officials to include disclaimers on their personal pages making clear their social media activity is not governmental would help disentangle their private and public capacities.
Liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said she was struggling to understand "why the onus isn't on the government official to be clear about the capacity in which they're operating."
Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh told Victoria Ferres, an attorney for Freed, that considering everything an official posts about their job to be state action would be too broad, but wondered if a narrower category of postings such as announcing rules, directives or notices would suffice as official acts.
Ferres agreed: "If you have a duty to announce a rule and the only time that you ever do it is on the Facebook page, then there is going to be state action."
Reporting by John Kruzel and Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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Geena Rocero on Writing Her Best-Selling Memoir: ‘It Was a Reclamation’
By Danielle Sinay
Geena Rocero—and her rise to fame—are anything but ordinary. As chronicled in the activist turned author’s groundbreaking memoir Horse Barbie , Rocero rose from pageant queen in the Philippines to top fashion model and trans activist in the US, having publicly come out as transgender in a now viral TED Talk along the way.
As a yearslong wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation crested in 2023, Rocero’s decision to tell her story—and her subsequent honor as a Glamour Woman of the Year —couldn’t have been more urgent, or timely. And Rocero’s honor in particular made for quite a “full-circle moment,” as both she and 2022 Glamour Woman of the Year Aurora James (who presented Rocero’s award to her) noted in their moving speeches.
“ Glamour was the first American magazine to feature Geena Rocero , out and proud,” James recalled, before highlighting just some of Rocero’s impressive accomplishments. “She has spent the past decade fighting for inclusion and acceptance at the White House, the UN, the World Economic Forum, and in her native country, advocating for everyone to live the life they love.”
Geena Rocero also acknowledged the occasion’s momentous meaning, just after expressing enthusiasm at being the first Filipina Woman of the Year .
“I just love the idea that the very first Filipina Glamour Woman of the Year is a trans woman,” she said. “And as Aurora mentioned, Glamour has always seen me. And being spiritually seen, as you fully are, has been a through line in my story."
That story, and the ability to tell it as her true self, is what matters most to the author.
"Writing my memoir, Horse Barbie, for me, was a reclamation: a reclamation of the spirit that I had in the Philippines growing up,” she said later in her speech. She then shared who the “true hero” of her story really is: her mother.
“I have to speak the name of my mother, Elizabeth, who, after being separated for five years, gave me the chance and sacrifice so I could be legally recognized as the woman that I was when I moved to America. Because still in the Philippines, trans people are not legally recognized. We are legally erased,” she said.
“My mother is the hero of my story. My Catholic mother, a devout Catholic mother.”
With her groundbreaking 2023 memoir, Horse Barbie , Rocero recounted her rise from pageant queen in the Philippines to a career in fashion and trans advocacy in the United States. And as a years-long wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation crested, its publication couldn't have been more necessary.
By Raquel Willis
As for Rocero’s message to trans youth ?
“I’ve always said that in this moment as a trans person, I want them to know that you are part of this long history of pre-colonial beauty, power, and resistance, that we’ve always been here. There is light in us and in our truth. It’s so powerful, and that’s why they want to take it away from us,” she said.
“The light is on us, reflects the darker spirit in them. So in every moment, I tell them that if you’re feeling alone I want you to know that there is power in our shared ancestral story, that maybe that story will leave us feeling and through love,” she continued. “Maybe that will give us a sense of possibilities of what will happen in the future and believe with our truth.”
Fortunately, Rocero is helping make that a possibility for countless other trans storytellers. In 2014 she founded, Gender Proud , a media production company that elevates stories about trans and gender-nonconforming people. Rocero yearns to produce work that encourages young trans people amid the current waves of restrictive legislation in the US and in the Philippines, which still lacks legal recognition for trans people.
“I hope the next generation will really see art, how powerful it is, how liberating spiritually it is. Or at least find liberation in that expression,” she said. “It’s given me power, at least in these things that I think about in my head of what I want to do. I want them to heal.”
By Jake Smith
Photography by Agata Serge
Photography by Lauren Dukoff
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