How to Write a Speech | Guidelines for Students
August 7, 2019
If you intend to deliver a speech at an upcoming event, you may want to know how to write a speech. A speech is different from other forms of writing because it gets you feedback in real-time. If you write and deliver a poor speech, your audience will lose interest, doze off, start talking or wander out of the hall. However, this shouldn’t make you panic. Simply follow this speech writing guide carefully and you will be amazed by the response you will get from your audience.
How to Write a Speech Outline
Start by learning how to draft an outline that will serve as the skeleton of your speech. Use the outline as your guide when conducting research on the topic of your speech and organizing ideas. The outline should also guide you when checking the flow and completeness before you draft your speech.
Your speech should generally include:
- An introduction.
- At least five main points and their supporting evidence which may include examples, anecdotes, quotes, and statistics.
- A conclusion.
You can outline the speech using a numbered structure or bullet points. It’s important to consider the type of speech you want to write before you know how to write a speech outline. For instance, when writing a persuasive or an informative speech, your write-up should take a problem and solution format. That means you should know how to write a persuasive speech or an informational speech before you start outlining.
How to Write a Good Speech with the Audience in Mind
Before you start any form of writing, consider the target audience. When you know the persons you are writing the speech for, determining the most effective way to connect with them becomes easier. It’s not surprising that one of the best speech writing tips is to know and analyze the audience.
To write a speech with the audience in mind, know the following:
- Who you will deliver the speech you are writing to
- Why you will be giving the speech
- What the topic of your speech will be
- How long your speech should be
Think through the main points of your speech and rank them in the order of their importance. Conduct extensive research to gather enough supporting material for every point you include in your speech.
Write Your Speech
You now know how to write an outline for a speech and you have written one. You have also done extensive research on your speech topic and analyzed your audience. It’s now time to start the actual writing.
Here are the general steps for writing a speech:
- Step 1: Introduce Yourself
The introduction and speech writing format may vary from one speech to another because the audience and purpose also vary. But, the general way to introduce yourself is to greet the audience and tell them who you are, why you are giving the speech, and what the main thesis of your speech is.
- Step2: Flesh out Your Main Ideas
Follow the speech outline to flesh out your main ideas. Don’t focus on finding perfect words for presenting your ideas. Instead, allow your creativity to flow. Aim at presenting all points and supporting materials coherently and cohesively.
- Step 3: Edit Your Speech
Read through your first speech draft editing and polishing it. Make sure that you have the most cohesive draft of the speech. You can even ask a loved one or a reliable provider of speech writing services to edit the speech for you.
- Step 4: Practice
Take time to practice your speech. Practicing your speech a couple of times will enable you to discover the sections that need reworking. You will find transitions that need improvements and sentences that are difficult to read. You will also know the duration you will take to deliver the speech.
- Step 5: Revise, Update, and Practice
Revise the speech until you feel that it has a good flow. Update and practice it till you are certain that you will accomplish your goal for giving the speech.
Tips for Making a Speech More Engaging
Knowing how to write a speech and following the above steps to write one is not enough. You need to know how to make it more engaging. Again, this may depend on your speech type. Perhaps, you are reading this because you want to know how to write a speech about yourself. Maybe you want to know how to write a graduation speech because you are about to graduate. Regardless of the type of speech you want to write, here are common ways to make it more engaging.
- Write Simple and Short Sentences
Before you learn how to write a valedictorian speech, you may think that using jargons will prove that you have learnt something during your college years. But this is not true. Jargons and complex words are not what makes a speech great. A good speech is delivered using simple words and phrases. Therefore, avoid long and complex sentences because they can muddle the major points of your speech and make it more confusing. Ideally, don’t use complex phrases or words when you can express ideas with simpler words.
- Enhance Clarity by Favoring Nouns over Pronouns
Occasional use of pronouns is okay especially if it enables you to avoid repetition. However, the overuse of pronouns makes your argument hard to follow. If you use too many pronouns, the audience will have a hard time trying to keep track of the theme of your speech. Clarity is particularly important in political speech writing where you want the audience to know what differentiates you from your opponents.
- Repeat a Phrase or Word a Few Times
When used properly, repetition can be a powerful speech element. Note that repeating a phrase or word too many times can generally be distracting. However, repeating a phrase or a word a few times can help you crystallize the main argument. It can also help you keep the audience engaged.
When using the internet to learn how to write a motivational speech, you may come across a blog that gives repetition as a motivational speech writing tip. This can work because repetition enables you to emphasize an idea when giving a motivational speech.
- Limit Quotes and Statistics
Quotes and statistics enable you to make a more convincing argument. However, too many quotes and statistics can overwhelm your audience. This is a particularly important tip to bear in mind when learning how to write a wedding speech. A wedding is a special event for a wedding couple. Using too many quotes and statistics in a wedding speech makes it outright boring.
- Maintain the Right Tone
The tone is basically the mood of a speech. This varies depending on the type of speech you are writing. It may range from serious to humorous or upbeat. For instance, if you want to learn how to write valedictorian speech, you can include a joke to describe your reason for pursuing a certain course.
This is a very important tip when learning how to write a funeral speech because this write-up is the most different from the other speeches.
Follow this guide whether you want to learn how to write a commencement speech, a wedding speech, a persuasive speech, a motivational speech or any other type of speech. If you master these tips and take time to practice, you can even start earning from online speech writing jobs.
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