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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.

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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. 

4. Practice

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.

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Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

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How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 09-11-2022

- an easily followed format for writing a great speech

Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?

Unsure? Don't be.

You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.

However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.

And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.

To learn quickly, go slow

Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.

Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.

I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.

The foundation of good speech writing 

These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.

In the meantime...

Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline

Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.

  • WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
  • WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
  • WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
  • HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.

Use an outline

The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!

Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template.  I recommend using it!

Understanding speech construction

Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.

  • an opening or introduction
  • the body where the bulk of the information is given
  • and an ending (or summary).

Imagine your speech as a sandwich

Image: gourmet sandwich with labels on the top (opening) and bottom (conclusion) slices of bread and filling, (body). Text: Key ingredients for a superb speech sandwich.

If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.

The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.

You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.

But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.

So let's find out who they are before we do anything else. 

Step 2: Know who you are talking to

Understanding your audience.

Did you know a  good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view?  ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on  building rapport .)

Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.

Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.   

Writing from the audience's point of view

speech in a writing

To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.

Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.

Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.

Ask yourself

  • How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
  • What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?

Step 3: Writing as you speak

Writing oral language.

Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.

If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.

Use the information below as a guide

Infographic: The Characteristics of Spoken Language - 7 points of difference with examples.

(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language  as a pdf.) 

You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.

Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research. 

( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)

Step 4: Checking tone and language

The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.

You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point.  Is it right? Have you made yourself clear?  Check it.

Graphic:cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in front of a laptop. Text:How to write a speech: checking tone and language.

How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.

Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!

How to check what you've prepared

  • Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
  • Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.

Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.

For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.

The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.

  • Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.

We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."

Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .

And now repeat the process

Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.

Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.

Step 5: Use transitions

Providing links or transitions between main ideas.

Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.

Graphic - girl walking across a bridge. Text - Using transitions to link ideas.

If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.

Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form

Link/transition examples

A link can be as simple as:

"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."

What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.

Here's a summarizing link/transition example:

"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.

And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."

Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?

Keep them if they are clear and concise.

For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .

Step 6: The end of your speech

The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.

Comic Graphic: End with a bang

Example speech endings

Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.

"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!

Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.

"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

How to figure out the right call to action

A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.

  • Was it to motivate or inspire?
  • Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
  • Was it to share specialist information?
  • Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?

Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.

For more about ending speeches

Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.

Write and test

Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?

Step 7: The introduction

Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.

The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!

What makes a great speech opening?

Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.

You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.

The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".

Hooks to catch your audience's attention

Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.

Graphic: shoal of fish and two hooked fishing lines. Text: Hooking and holding attention

Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?

Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?

Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.

Choosing the best hook

  • Is it humor?
  • Would shock tactics work?
  • Is it a rhetorical question?
  • Is it formality or informality?
  • Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
  • Or is it a mix of all these elements?

A hook example

Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.

"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.

I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.

At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...

No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"

And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.

Prepare several hooks

Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.

For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.

speech in a writing

That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!

Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.

Step 8: Checking content and timing

This step pulls everything together.

Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!

Go through your speech really carefully.

On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.

On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.

On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.

Double, triple check the timing

Now go though once more.

This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.

If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.

Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.

Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.

Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.

You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.

Graphic: Click to read example speeches of all sorts.

Step 9: Rehearsing your speech

And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .

speech in a writing

Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.

The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.

Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist

Before you begin writing you need:.

  • Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
  • You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for

The basic format

  • the body where you present your main ideas

Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.

How to write the speech

  • Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
  • Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
  • Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
  • Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
  • An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.

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speech in a writing

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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?

Audience analysis

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

For example:

“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.

Too complicated:

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.

Pronoun problem:

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?

More specific:

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?

Other resources

  • 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.

Works consulted

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.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • 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

  • Self-Introduction

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.

Self Introduction

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.

Addressing Friends/Classmates/Peers

  • 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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How to Write a Speech

Last Updated: February 21, 2024 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 2,967,195 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.

Sample Speeches

speech in a writing

Drafting an Effective Speech

Step 1 Research your topic well.

  • 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.

Step 2 Make an outline...

  • 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. [4] 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.

Step 3 Choose a hook to grab the audience’s attention right away.

  • 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.”

Step 4 Connect your topic to a larger issue to give background information.

  • 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. [7] X Research source

Step 5 Address each of your main points in a logical order.

  • 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.

Step 6 Introduce new topics and summarize material you have already covered.

  • 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.

Step 7 Include transitions to guide your audience through your speech.

  • In that moment
  • The following week

Step 8 Conclude your speech with a call-to-action.

  • 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

Step 1 Keep your words and sentences short and simple.

  • 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. [15] X Research source

Step 2 Favor nouns over pronouns for clarity.

  • 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.”

Step 4 Limit statistics and quotes to avoid overwhelming your audience.

  • 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.

Step 5 Maintain an appropriate tone throughout your speech.

  • 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.”

Step 6 Provide visual aids if you are allowed.

  • 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.

Step 7 Practice and check for weak spots that you can improve.

  • 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. [22] X Research source

Expert Q&A

Patrick Muñoz

You Might Also Like

Write a Welcome Speech

  • ↑ 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

Patrick Muñoz

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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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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Speech Writing

Barbara P

The 10 Key Steps for Perfect Speech Writing

13 min read

Published on: Oct 9, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 2, 2023

speech writing

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Share this article

Speech writing is a crucial skill that transcends academic settings and finds its place in various aspects of our lives. 

Whether you're a student preparing for a class presentation, or someone looking to inspire an audience on a special occasion, speech writing is an invaluable asset. 

In this guide, we will look into the steps, outline, tips, and examples that will empower you to become a proficient speechwriter. With these insights, you'll be well-equipped to not only engage your audience but leave a lasting impact with your words. 

Let’s start with the basics!

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What is Speech?

Speech, often regarded as the art of effective communication, is the act of expressing thoughts, ideas, or messages verbally in a structured manner. It involves the use of language, tone, and body language to convey information to an audience. 

Speech serves a variety of purposes, from informing and persuading to entertaining and inspiring. In essence, it's the spoken word's ability to connect people, convey meaning, and invoke emotions.

What is Speech Writing?

Speech writing is the process of creating a well-structured, coherent script for a spoken presentation. It involves crafting the content, tone, and organization of a speech to ensure that the message is conveyed clearly and effectively to the intended audience. 

Speech writers carefully choose words , phrases , and rhetorical devices to maximize the impact of the spoken words. They aim to engage, inform, persuade, or inspire the listeners. Effective speech writing is a skill that requires careful planning, research, and attention to detail.

Next up we will look into the steps to write a good speech.

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How to Write a Speech?

Writing a compelling speech that captivates your audience requires careful planning and execution.  Whether you're preparing a persuasive presentation or an informative talk the following ten steps will guide you from the initial concept to the final delivery:

Step 1: Define Your Purpose and Audience

  • Purpose: Begin by identifying the main objective of your speech. Are you looking to inform, persuade, entertain, or inspire your audience? Understanding your purpose will shape the tone, content, and structure of your speech.
  • Audience: Know your audience's demographics, interests, and expectations. Consider factors such as age, education, beliefs, and cultural background. Tailor your speech to resonate with your specific audience.

Step 2: Choose a Topic

  • Select a topic that aligns with your purpose and engages your audience's interest. 
  • Ensure your topic is not too broad or too narrow. You should be able to cover it effectively within your allotted time.

Step 3: Research and Gather Information

  • Thoroughly research your chosen topic. Utilize reputable sources such as books, articles, academic journals, and trusted websites.
  • Take detailed notes during your research to have a wealth of information and supporting evidence for your speech.

Step 4: Create a Strong Thesis or Central Message

  • Your thesis statement is the core message of your speech. It should be clear, concise, and specific. It encapsulates the key idea you want to convey to your audience. This statement will guide the content and structure of your speech.

Step 5: Develop an Outline

  • Divide your speech into three main sections: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Each section serves a distinct purpose.
  • Outline the main points you want to cover within the body of the speech. Organize them logically, and ensure each point supports your thesis.

Step 6: Write the Introduction

  • Craft a compelling introduction that captures your audience's attention. Use a hook, such as a relevant quote, story, or question, to pique their interest.
  • Provide context to help your audience understand the topic, and introduce your thesis statement to set the direction for your speech.

Step 7: Build the Body

  • In this section, expand on the main points outlined earlier. Each main point should be a clear and distinct idea.
  • Support your points with evidence, examples, and data. Use transitions to guide your audience smoothly from one point to the next, creating a coherent flow.

Step 8: Craft a Memorable Conclusion

  • Summarize the key points you've made in the body of your speech. Reiterate your thesis statement to reinforce your central message.
  • End with a compelling closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. This can be a call to action, a thought-provoking statement, or a memorable quote.

Step 9: Edit and Revise

  • Review your speech for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Check for any inconsistencies or unclear language.
  • Seek feedback from peers, mentors, or speech coaches. Consider their suggestions and make necessary improvements to refine your speech.

Step 10: Practice and Rehearse

  • Practice your speech multiple times to become familiar with the content and the order of your points.
  • Work on your delivery skills, including tone, pace, and body language. Practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself can help you identify areas for improvement.

Bonus Step: Get Feedback

  • If possible, conduct a practice run in front of a small audience. This can be friends, family, or classmates.
  • Listen to their feedback and address any concerns or suggestions. Incorporating feedback can significantly enhance your speech.

Speech Writing Format

Creating an effective speech requires following a structured speech format to ensure that your message is conveyed clearly and engages your audience. 

Here is a standard speech writing format to guide you through the process:

1. Introduction:

  • Hook: Start the speech with a compelling hook, such as a question, quote, anecdote, or startling fact, to grab the audience's attention.
  • Provide Context: Give your audience a brief overview of the topic and its relevance.
  • Thesis Statement: Present your central message or thesis statement, which sets the direction for the speech.
  • Main Points: Divide the body of your speech into two to five main points or sections, each supporting your thesis statement.
  • Supporting Evidence: For each main point, provide supporting evidence, data, examples, or anecdotes to make your argument compelling.
  • Transitions: Use clear transitions between points to maintain a smooth and coherent flow throughout the speech.

3. Conclusion:

  • Summarize Key Points: Briefly recap the main points you've covered in the body of your speech.
  • Restate Thesis: Rewrite your thesis statement to reinforce your central message.
  • Closing Statement: End with a memorable closing statement that leaves a lasting impression, which can be a call to action, a thought-provoking idea, or a final quote.

Types of Speech Writing

There are many types of speeches , and they are combined into different categories. We will take a look at some basic types of speech writing:

Informative Speeches

Persuasive speeches, entertaining speeches, motivational speeches, special occasion speeches.

Now, let's explore each type in more detail:

An informative speech aims to educate or provide information to the audience. These speeches typically focus on facts, data, and explanations.

Examples: Informative speeches can cover a wide range of topics, such as scientific discoveries, historical events, technological advancements, or explanations of complex concepts.

A persuasive speech aims to convince the audience to adopt a particular viewpoint or take a specific action. These speeches often employ persuasive techniques and emotional appeals.

Examples: Persuasive speeches can address issues like climate change, social justice, political candidates, or consumer choices, urging the audience to support a particular stance or take action.

Entertaining speeches are designed to amuse and entertain the audience. They often include humor, anecdotes, and storytelling.

Examples: Stand-up comedy routines, humorous storytelling, and funny anecdotes are examples of entertaining speeches.

Motivational speeches are meant to motivate and uplift the audience. They often incorporate personal stories, motivational quotes, and themes of resilience and hope.

Examples: Speeches by notable figures like Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" address social change. Others like commencement speeches inspire graduates to embrace the future.

Special occasion speeches are delivered during specific events or celebrations. These speeches can include toasts, eulogies, wedding speeches, and more.

Examples: A eulogy at a funeral, a wedding toast, or a commencement address at a graduation ceremony are all examples of special occasion speeches.

Speech Writing Topics

The topic is the first and foremost thing that you need to write a speech. Here are some amazing speech-writing topic ideas to help you get started.

Persuasive Speech Topics

  • The impact of climate change on our future
  • Social media and mental health: is it time for regulation?
  • The importance of vaccination in preventing disease outbreaks
  • The ethics of artificial intelligence and privacy
  • The benefits of renewable energy for a sustainable future

Informative Speech Topics

  • The science behind Covid-19 vaccines
  • Exploring the history and impact of the internet
  • The art of sustainable gardening and urban farming
  • Understanding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology
  • The wonders of space exploration: mars missions and beyond

Demonstration Speech Topics

  • How to create a delicious and healthy smoothie bowl
  • DIY home renovation: painting techniques and tips
  • The art of crafting homemade natural soap
  • Mastering Yoga: a guided sun salutation sequence
  • Gardening for beginners: planting your first vegetable garden

Impromptu Speech Topics

  • If I could travel anywhere in the world right now, I would go to...
  • The most influential person in my life and why.
  • What superpower I wish I had and how I'd use it.
  • A book that changed my perspective on life.
  • The best piece of advice I've ever received and how it impacted me.

For more inspiring topics check out our impromptu speech topics blog!

Entertaining Speech Topics

  • The art of dad jokes: Making people laugh with cheesy humor.
  • Embarrassing moments at family gatherings: A humorous take.
  • Hilarious autocorrect fails in text messaging.
  • The funny side of pets and their quirky behaviors.
  • Epic food mishaps in the kitchen: Tales of culinary disasters.

Check out our blog for more entertaining speech topics !

Motivational Speech Topics

  • “I’m proud of you my son” someday, my dad will say this to me
  • Positive thinking boosts your self-confidence.
  • It is perfectly fine for a boy to cry.
  • Same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt a child
  • I will make my parents proud

Looking for more inspirational speech topics? Read our motivational speech topics blog to get inspired!

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Speech Writing Examples

When it comes to learning the art of speech writing, practical guidance is important. To illustrate effective techniques and structure, here are some short speech-writing examples for students. 

These speech writing samples will help you understand how to craft compelling speeches that resonate with your audience.

For additional samples, read through our speech examples blog!

Speech Writing Tips

Follow these tips for writing a speech that not only informs but also inspires and persuades.

  • Audience Analysis: Before you start, conduct a thorough audience analysis. Understand their interests, knowledge, and expectations.
  • Engaging Speech: Craft an engaging speech that captures your audience's attention from the start. Use rhetorical questions or captivating anecdotes.
  • Short Sentences: Keep your sentences concise and easy to follow. Short sentences are more impactful.
  • Connect with the Audience: Make your audience feel involved. Use relatable examples and stories to establish a connection.
  • Great Speech Structure: Organize your speech with a clear structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Rhetorical Questions: Utilize rhetorical questions to stimulate thought and engagement.
  • Memorable Sentence Structures: Create memorable sentence structures that stick in their memory and the audience remembers the key message.
  • Public Speaking: Remember that public speaking requires practice, so rehearse your speech multiple times to boost confidence and delivery.

Moving towards the end, for effective communication, speech writing is a skill that can empower you to inform, persuade, and inspire your audience. This comprehensive guide has walked you through the essential steps, outlines, and examples to help you craft a compelling and memorable speech.

If you think you are good at speaking but not so good at writing and this thing bothers you a lot, then there is no harm in getting some help. We at MyPerfectWords.com can save you from embarrassment by helping you write an outstanding speech. 

Our best essay writing service is here to assist you in crafting a compelling speech. With our expertise, we can help you not only effectively convey your message but also captivate your audience.

Don't wait – place your order now and get assistance from our experienced writers to fulfill your " Write my speech " requirements.

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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Speech Writing

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  • Jan 16, 2024

Speech Writing

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!

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.

Must Read: Story Writing Format for Class 9 & 10

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 410 , 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.”

speech writing format

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)


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)


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
  • Understanding Feminism
  • 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. Before beginning with the speech, choose an important 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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The Art Of Writing Effective Speeches

Imagine that you have been asked to emcee at an event tomorrow. What’s the first thing you’re going to do?…

The Art Of Writing Effective Speeches

Imagine that you have been asked to emcee at an event tomorrow. What’s the first thing you’re going to do? You’re most likely going to write down your speech and rehearse it till you feel confident. You’ll probably think about ways to connect with the audience and adjust your speech accordingly.

Speech writing is more common than we realize. Whether it’s wedding vows or farewell speeches, there are many times when we find ourselves making a speech. Writing a speech is easier than it sounds. Read on to learn tips that will help you write impactful speeches.

What Is Speech Writing?

A speech is a form of formal spoken communication that an individual delivers with the proper choice of words, expressions and examples. Its purpose is to explain, inform or persuade others. Speech writing is the art of writing a message for an audience that can captivate and influence them.

Writing a speech is different from writing any other piece of written communication because you write to be heard and not to be read. Effective speech writing not only helps you connect with a large number of people, it also helps you direct them towards a particular agenda. The ability to write and deliver good speeches will help you at conferences, client meetings and even dinner parties!

If you feel that drafting a speech is an unusual activity, here are a few real-life examples of speech writing that will change your mind:

Employees often use PowerPoint presentations to get their message across—whether it’s about a new business strategy or new initiatives. They’re usually required to explain those slides so that the audience understands their points. Employees often draft a speech to communicate their ideas during such presentations.

Educational institutions often invite chief guests for graduation ceremonies, where the chief guest delivers a speech. Typically, these speeches are inspiring and filled with good wishes for the graduating students. Chief guests often read from a speech that they have drafted beforehand.

Techniques For Writing A Speech

Anybody can learn how to become a speechwriter—it’s a skill that can be developed with patience and persistence. Here are a few powerful strategies for writing compelling speeches:

Monitor Language And Style

Use language appropriate to your audience. Make your speeches interesting by including real-life examples and quotes. Avoid using complex words and jargon. Deliver your speech with appropriate nonverbal cues that help draw your audience in. For instance, use an even tone, pause when needed, maintain eye contact and stand straight without fidgeting.

Make Room For Questions

An effective way to liven up your speech is to ask your audience open-ended questions. Not only does it engage them but it also helps them remain focused. Prepare a set of relevant or related questions in advance. You may also conclude your speech with a thought-provoking question.

Pause At The Right Moments

A powerful pause adds impact to a sentence. When writing a speech, group your sentences into short paragraphs and use the paragraph breaks to take a pause. Don’t be afraid to wait for a few seconds before speaking again. The drop and rise in your voice as you begin speaking after a pause will help you emphasize key points.

Use The Power Of Three

Words and messages are best remembered in groups of three. Group your ideas into threes and use alliteration to make them memorable. An example is,  “Live, laugh and love is the motto we live by.” The power of three makes speeches impactful.

Implement Dramatic Contrast

When you place two opposing ideas or viewpoints together, you create a dramatic contrast. This method is extremely useful if you want to surprise your audience and draw them into your speech. Here’s an example:  “Five years ago, we had nothing, but look at us today! Our earnings have doubled every quarter and we have opened offices in five cities.”

Effective Tips For Speech Writing

Here are a few tips that will help you write effective and impactful speeches:

Write down the  purpose or goal of the speech before you start drafting it and understand whether you’re trying to inspire, educate or entertain your audience

Your speech should be tailored to your audience so read the room before you include informal words or slangs

You don’t want to overwhelm your audience by speaking for too long so practice making your speech and time yourself

Make sure that there’s a beginning, a middle and an end, ensuring that you maintain continuity between the main ideas

Your opening is your best shot! Use humor or personal anecdotes to connect with the audience

Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course will teach you effective ways of writing your thoughts and ideas. The PREP (Point, Reasons, Example and Point) Model will help you structure your points. Discover how to tell your story in a way that will make everyone sit up and take notice.

Explore topics & skills such as Writing Skills , Process of Writing , 7 C’s of Communication , How to Make an Effective Presentation & the Rule of Three from Harappa Diaries and deliver your ideas with precision.


Speech Writing Tips: 27 Key Tips from Seasoned Pros

Speech Writing Tips: 27 Key Tips from Seasoned Pros

Whether it’s your first speech or your hundredth, you might be feeling the anxiety build as you stare at a blank page. You need to wow your audience, but you’re not sure how. It can be stressful to create a moving speech from nothing, but you’re not alone. Below, I’ve compiled a killer list of speech writing tips from seasoned pros.

So, what are the best speech writing tips to remember? Choose the right topic for your audience, which is based on their interests and needs. To make your speech more interesting, avoid jargon, and use personal stories and humor in your speech. Make your transitions from subtopic to another smooth, natural, and flawless.

By the end of this article, you’ll know how to write an awesome speech from start to finish. So, let’s not waste another moment!

Table of Contents

Speech Writing Tips: The Audience

Before you begin writing your speech , you need to consider several factors about your audience. Without taking these points into consideration, your speech will fall flat or may even offend your audience, so don’t rush past this part.

#1 Who is my audience for this speech?

This is the first and most important question you need to ask yourself. The answer will dictate the path your speech should take. This first tip has everything to do with the people you’re talking to and nothing at all to do with you.

Why does your audience even matter? Isn’t your speech all about you?

No! If a speech needs to touch an audience, move them, or inspire them, the speaker needs to recognize the audience and adapt to them. Your job, before any other, is to figure out who your audience is and then write your speech around their needs and expectations.

For example, if your audience is a room full of young mothers at a convention aimed at small crafting businesses, you don’t want to come at them with a bunch of sports metaphors. That’s not to say they won’t understand or appreciate one of those thrown in for contrast and a new twist. However, it’s safe to assume they’d rather hear crafting anecdotes or small business stories instead of quips about the latest sports news.

On the flip side, if you’re speaking to a room full of lawyers on a retreat intended to relax and entertain them, you wouldn’t want to fill your speech with depressing cases and stories of judicial frustration. More on that in a moment though.

The bottom line is that you need to gauge who your audience is before you write a single word.

#2 Why is my audience here?

I touched on this briefly a moment ago, but I want to dig into it a bit deeper to drive my point home. Knowing who your audience is, is only half the equation. Understanding why they are there is the other half.

The “why” matters almost as much and who they are. For example, if the audience is there because it’s required, they may come into the speech feeling hostile and tense. A hostile audience is a closed-off audience; they’ll need to be handled with care.

If the audience has paid to be there, on the other hand, they are more likely to be receptive and open right from the start.

So, why are they there?

  • Is their attendance voluntary or compulsory?

#3 What does the audience want from my speech?

You know who you’ll be speaking to and why they are there. Now, you just need to figure out what they want from your speech. If you know what they want to walk away with, you can deliver it.

Recommended books

speech in a writing

In my previous examples, we saw mothers at a convention for small crafting business owners, and we saw a bunch of lawyers on a relaxing retreat. Each of those groups will be at their events for a specific reason, and you need to know what that reason is.

They are both groups of professionals, but they each have very different expectations for your speeches. One group expects to learn from you or be inspired. The other group wants to be entertained.

How you handle these two situations should be based on their needs. So, what do they want to get out of your speech ?

  • Are they there to learn?
  • Are they there to be inspired?
  • Do they want to be entertained?
  • Do they want to be challenged?
  • What do they hope to gain from your speech?
  • Why is this topic important to this particular audience?

Remember, this isn’t about what you want them to get out of it; it’s about their needs and expectations. Your job is to make sure your words resonate with them, and that won’t happen if you don’t understand what they need.

How do I utilize these speech writing tips for my audience?

So, now you know who your audience is, why they are there, and what they expect from you. But what do you do with all this information?

#4 Research demographics

Jump online and research your audience’s specific demographics. Important factors may include:

  • Political affiliations

#5 Be informed about the industry

Pay attention to current trends in their industries as well as past ones. Doing some research now can help your speech writing process in the long run, so take the time to dig deep.

#6 Understand the mission

Every event has a mission. Speak to the event organizers to get a better feel for the main mission of this event. This is a good time to ask more questions about the attendees, too.

#7 Check out the venue

Look up the venue and speak to the people in charge. Organizers often choose venues that are friendly to their causes or already have a good reputation in their circles.

#8 Research other speakers

It helps to look at past speakers for the group and how they were received. It’s also very helpful to do some research on fellow speakers at this particular event, if there are any.

Speech Writing Tips for Choosing A Topic

Though you will likely have instructions for the general theme of your speaking engagement, the specific topic will be up to you. Choosing the right topic for your audience and their needs can be a stressful part of writing a speech.

Choosing the wrong topic can make your speech a nightmare for you and your audience. So how do you choose the right speech topic for your audience? Using the previous speech writing tips to get to know your audience, you should already have some ideas about topics of interest to that group.

Just in case you’re still stumped, here are some more speech writing tips for choosing a topic.

#9 Explore relevant speech topics

While researching your audience, the event, and the venue, you probably stumbled across interesting tidbits of information about each. Use them. Even if they seem insignificant at first, everything is worth exploring at this stage.

Look at the bits of information floating around the group you’ll be speaking about. This can be something in the news, a hot topic on social media, or new legislation that could affect the group.

#10 Ask event coordinators for speech ideas

Event coordinators will have a clear picture of the event, the main focus, and the interest of the attendees. Ask the coordinator for suggestions on topics. They may be willing to share the list of topics already being discussed by other speakers, too.

Knowing what other people will be talking about can help you choose a smaller niche or expand on that topic. It can help you avoid redundancy, too.

#11 Ask social media for speech topics

Harness the power of social media by asking your followers what kinds of topics they’d like to explore. Even if these people won’t be in that audience, if they’re familiar with the main theme, they probably have an idea of what kind of speech they’d enjoy hearing.

Writing the Speech

You’ve done a lot of research, spoken to important people, and have a solid plan for impressing your audience. Now comes the hard part.

Getting your ideas and facts down onto paper can be frustrating and incredibly stressful. What will you say? How will the audience react? What if you don’t make sense?

These next tips can help you nail the writing process and produce your finest speech yet.

#12 Write your speech outline first

Outline your speech before you begin writing the words you’ll be speaking. This helps you stay on topic. It also gives you an opportunity to test out the flow of ideas and pacing.

If anything in your outline seems out of place, you have an opportunity at this point to make room for it, or just chuck it. Don’t hang onto stubborn bits past the outline stage. If it just won’t fit, don’t try to force it. You’ll only frustrate yourself. Save that bit for another speech.

#13 Write Your Speech Introduction Last

It may seem counterintuitive to write the beginning last, but hear me out.

Your speech introduction is one of the most important parts of your speech. This will set the tone for the entire speech. Sometimes, it’s hard to get past that first step and get to the meat of your speech because you aren’t entirely certain what your speech is about yet.

So, skip the intro and start working on the body first. You’ll edit that draft over and over, fine-tuning it to perfection. And once you’re done, you will know exactly what your speech is about.

That’s the point where you can nail your introduction, touching on a few key points, and getting your audience ready for the main event.

When you do begin your introduction, lay it out in a simple way. Introduce yourself, talk about your purpose, mention your key points briefly, and establish credibility so your audience can trust you. If you can add some humor at this point, that would help relax your audience, but only do so if it’s appropriate for the occasion.

Your speech introduction is your hook. This is the way you grab attention. Use this moment to engage the audience, too. Eye contact, body language, and asking questions right from start will draw attention.

But a good hook needs more than these tricks. You need to get attendees to want to stay and listen.

Some hooks include:

  • A puzzling question
  • Posing a dilemma
  • Or a combo of all of these

If you’re still stuck on introduction ideas, you can watch a few speeches from popular orators to get a feel for it.

#14 Use personal stories and humor in your speech

After your outline is done, look at your subtopics and choose a few to add personal stories too. It’s best to put personal anecdotes with the most important parts of your speech to help those aspects stand out. Adding a personal touch keeps audiences engaged and interested.

Don’t waste your anecdotes on minor points, unless they add something bigger than entertainment to the mix.

Make sure your anecdotes don’t pull focus from your topic. If people are too connected with your story, it could pull their attention away from the real point of your speech. There is a balancing act here.

Speech Writing Tips: 27 Key Tips from Seasoned Pros

#14 Use repetition when writing your speech

Humans are creatures of habit and routine. Both habits and routine come from the repetition of actions, thoughts, and words. Use that to your advantage when you write your next speech.

Pick a short phrase to repeat throughout your speech. It will trigger a subconscious reaction in your audience and help them pay attention. It will help them remember your points, too.

An example of repetition in a speech is Winston Churchill’s “We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing ground” speech . Everyone knows and remembers most of it. It’s the repetition of “we shall fight” that made this speech memorable.

#15 Remember that your audience is not you

You were asked to make this speech because you’re an authority. Your job is to impart your knowledge or to entertain your audience, but you have to remember that they’re not you.

The attendees may be interested in your topic, but they don’t have the same knowledge you do ; that’s why you are up there talking and not them. So, this speech writing tip is here to remind you to be a teacher, a guide, and an authority.

Your audience is interested in what you have to say. They will want and need specifics, facts, sources, and information. It’s your job to give it to them. Though each person listening may have some knowledge on your topic, you need to be sure your words and points are clear to someone who might not know much at all.

#16 Don’t patronize or talk down to your audience

Yes, you’re an authority. People will be looking to you for guidance and information. However, you’re not their parent. You’re not above them or more important than they are. Be careful not to cross the line from friendly expert to overbearing know-it-all.

#17 Choose jargon carefully

You want to write and speak naturally, but using too much industry jargon can be just as bad as using none at all. Be sure to choose appropriate industry jargon sparingly, but not too little.

Jargon helps build your credibility, while too much makes you sound desperate.

#18 Nail your speech transitions

You’ll need to go from one subtopic to another in a smooth, natural, and flawless way . This can be a major sticking point for some people.

One of my favorite ways is to put an anecdote between two subtopics to help bridge the gap. Most personal stories have multiple meanings and lessons to be learned. Put an anecdote between two closely related subtopics to help.

You can also use the recap method to transition between subtopics. It’s as simple as saying, “We explored this and this, but let’s turn to this for a moment”, and then continue on. This works best with subtopics that are naturally close together.

#19 Write a great speech ending

Hey, no pressure, but you need to write an awesome speech ending. This is your chance to recap briefly, excite the audience, and add your call to action.

What did your audience want and need from your speech? What was the point of the entire thing? The ending of your speech is where you show your audience that you delivered exactly what they needed.

A call to action can be as simple as signing up for your mailing list or as complex as voting or buying something. Whatever it is, make it clear that your speech has been persuading enough to give the attendees what they need.

One major problem a lot of speeches have is that they wander. It’s a common mistake to let your speech meander back and forth over a variety of topics.

While it may make total sense to you as you write it and even practice it, you must remember that your audience will probably get lost with your ramblings or lose interest in what you have to say.

Here are some speech writing tips to keep your speeches focused.

#20 Keep a narrow focus for your speech

It’s exciting to get up in front of people and talk about your passions. The problem many speakers run into is the desire to cram too much information into a short span of time . This confuses audiences and muddies your point.

Instead of putting every idea into your speech like a blanket, think of your speech as a thread in a bigger tapestry. You aren’t there to show them the entire picture; you’re there to show them details on one important part.

If you stay focused and on topic, your audience will get more out of your speech than if you try to cover every possible point. Besides, if you stay focused now, you are more likely to be asked back for another speech on another part of your tapestry.

#21 Keep your speech simple

This speech writing tip isn’t as much about wowing your audience as it is to caution against too many of those tactics at once . It’s tempting to fill speeches with various “tricks of the trade” to keep attendees glued to their seats, but it can backfire.

If you keep your speech simple and to the point, listeners are more likely to remember what you said. That means they’ll get a lot more out of your speech than the generic memory of you being really fun to watch.

  • Use short sentences
  • Use simple language appropriate for the audience
  • Don’t ramble
  • Cut extraneous words that don’t add value

#22 Write your speech like you speak

Too many people ignore this speech writing tip—don’t be one of them! You need to write your speech like you speak. That means using everyday language and even colloquialisms where appropriate.

By keeping your speech natural, it’ll help you stay comfortable and confident, which then helps you stay on topic. Adding big words you don’t normally use will only distract you and your audience.

Speech Writing Tips: 27 Key Tips from Seasoned Pros

#23 Stick to the facts to write an impressive speech

Understandable, it’s easy to get sucked into the excitement of passionate topics. When people are excited about something, they tend to exaggerate. Since exaggeration is sometimes considered as one branch of lying , that tendency can get you in trouble when writing a speech.

Elaboration is one thing—and it’s a good thing to do in your speech—but it’s a slippery slope from elaboration to exaggeration. Be sure you can cite your sources at any given moment.

Stick to the facts and you won’t find yourself in front of an audience shaking their heads in disbelief. Even if your facts are wild, if you can back them up with sources, you’ll keep your audience listening.

#24 Try to sound normal

Another big issue speakers face is sounding unnatural. There is a stiffness or obvious discomfort to some speakers that can make the audience feel uncomfortable. Some of this is due to anxiety over public speaking, but some has to do with poor word choice while writing the speech.

These tips will help you write a more natural-sounding speech.

  • Use common terminology for the industry, but avoid difficult to pronounce words.
  • Ask questions to keep the audience engaged. Speakers and audiences are more comfortable when it feels like a conversation.
  • Laugh, smile, and gesture as if you were speaking to a friend. Obviously, you don’t want to laugh and smile if it’s a somber event, but use socially acceptable emotions and behaviors to keep yourself relaxed.
  • Be open, honest, and human. If you know you’ll be nervous, add it to your speech. Poorly veiled discomfort can infect audiences, too. Showing your vulnerability will help show your human side while setting the audience at ease. And writing it in the speech in advance can help alleviate some of the stress.
  • Write your speech with contractions. Say things like “I’m” instead of “I am” and “they’re” instead of “they are” to keep your tone friendly.

Practice Makes Perfect

You’ve researched, outlined, written, and edited your speech. Pat yourself on the back, but you’re not done yet.

#25 Read your speech out loud

Seeing the same words over and over on the page can start to muddle your brain. It’s a fact. The more you look at your speech, the less likely you are to see the mistakes .

The only real way to overcome this is to read your words out loud. You can do this alone or with a friend, but you must not skip this part of your preparation.

When you read your words out loud, your brain will often autocorrect your mistakes, just like it does while writing and editing silently. The difference this time is that your ears will now catch the mistake and give you the chance to fix it.

So, for example, if you’re reading your speech and your mouth says one thing while the paper says something else, you know there’s an issue. Stop, examine the problem, and make corrections.

If you continue to stumble over places in your speech where it is grammatically correct and is mistake-free, your brain is telling you there’s still a problem. Maybe it doesn’t sound as natural as you thought. Maybe it’s the wrong tone.

Whatever it is, your brain, eyes, and ears are trying to tell you there’s an issue. Don’t ignore these situations.

#26 Record your speech

If you can’t figure out what the problem is while reading aloud, record yourself. This can be audio or video; it doesn’t matter. Just record your speech and then replay it.

You may be able to spot the mistake by listening or watching. If you’re still stumped why it sounds odd, ask a friend or two to help.

#27 Time yourself

When your speech is done, you have one more job to do. Time yourself. It seems so simple and obvious, but many people forget this step.

Writing a speech is an arduous task sometimes, and once it’s done, you may feel great relief. But if you don’t time yourself giving your completed speech, you may find yourself on speech day talking too long or not long enough.

While timing, if you keep coming up short, try these tricks to lengthen the speech:

  • Add pauses for emphasis
  • Speak slower
  • Practice suitable gestures and body language
  • Add more content

If your speech is coming up too long, try these tips to shorten it:

  • Speak faster, but not too fast
  • Add more contractions
  • Remove extra sentences
  • Check for the bad kind of repetition or overstating facts
  • If all else fails, you may need to cut sections

These speech writing tips cover the planning, research, writing, and practice stages. No matter where you’re running into difficulties in writing your speech, there should be something here to help. And if you’re completely stumped or too nervous to even begin, just follow the steps in order.

I’m always looking for more tips and tricks to share with my readers. If you’ve developed your own processes and would like to share, I’d love to hear from you.

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Speech preparation: The important question of “What do i do if…” Speech preparation is vital, and the more thoroughly you do it, the greater the chance that your presentation will work out well. Also, it is wise to ask yourself a question “what you would do if…” (full article here)

33 tips to improve your presentation skills. This post will highlight 33 main presentation skills you should know and use in the future. Probably you will see that most of them are very simple to implement right away and don’t require elaborate action plans. (full article here)

How to speak with confidence in public? Accept the fact you’ll be nervous, but don’t let it control you. Prepare your speech or presentation well in advance. Practice in front of a variety of listeners. Learn controlled breathing. Act like you own the stage. (full article here)

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15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How to Create Your Own)

Hrideep barot.

  • Public Speaking , Speech Writing

powerful speech opening

Powerful speech opening lines set the tone and mood of your speech. It’s what grips the audience to want to know more about the rest of your talk.

The first few seconds are critical. It’s when you have maximum attention of the audience. And you must capitalize on that!

Instead of starting off with something plain and obvious such as a ‘Thank you’ or ‘Good Morning’, there’s so much more you can do for a powerful speech opening (here’s a great article we wrote a while ago on how you should NOT start your speech ).

To help you with this, I’ve compiled some of my favourite openings from various speakers. These speakers have gone on to deliver TED talks , win international Toastmaster competitions or are just noteworthy people who have mastered the art of communication.

After each speaker’s opening line, I have added how you can include their style of opening into your own speech. Understanding how these great speakers do it will certainly give you an idea to create your own speech opening line which will grip the audience from the outset!

Alright! Let’s dive into the 15 powerful speech openings…

Note: Want to take your communications skills to the next level? Book a complimentary consultation with one of our expert communication coaches. We’ll look under the hood of your hurdles and pick two to three growth opportunities so you can speak with impact!

1. Ric Elias

Opening: “Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. It sounds scary. Well I had a unique seat that day. I was sitting in 1D.”

How to use the power of imagination to open your speech?

Putting your audience in a state of imagination can work extremely well to captivate them for the remainder of your talk.

It really helps to bring your audience in a certain mood that preps them for what’s about to come next. Speakers have used this with high effectiveness by transporting their audience into an imaginary land to help prove their point.

When Ric Elias opened his speech, the detail he used (3000 ft, sound of the engine going clack-clack-clack) made me feel that I too was in the plane. He was trying to make the audience experience what he was feeling – and, at least in my opinion, he did.

When using the imagination opening for speeches, the key is – detail. While we want the audience to wander into imagination, we want them to wander off to the image that we want to create for them. So, detail out your scenario if you’re going to use this technique.

Make your audience feel like they too are in the same circumstance as you were when you were in that particular situation.

2. Barack Obama

Opening: “You can’t say it, but you know it’s true.”

3. Seth MacFarlane

Opening: “There’s nowhere I would rather be on a day like this than around all this electoral equipment.” (It was raining)

How to use humour to open your speech?

When you use humour in a manner that suits your personality, it can set you up for a great speech. Why? Because getting a laugh in the first 30 seconds or so is a great way to quickly get the audience to like you.

And when they like you, they are much more likely to listen to and believe in your ideas.

Obama effortlessly uses his opening line to entice laughter among the audience. He brilliantly used the setting (the context of Trump becoming President) and said a line that completely matched his style of speaking.

Saying a joke without really saying a joke and getting people to laugh requires you to be completely comfortable in your own skin. And that’s not easy for many people (me being one of them).

If the joke doesn’t land as expected, it could lead to a rocky start.

Keep in mind the following when attempting to deliver a funny introduction:

  • Know your audience: Make sure your audience gets the context of the joke (if it’s an inside joke among the members you’re speaking to, that’s even better!). You can read this article we wrote where we give you tips on how you can actually get to know your audience better to ensure maximum impact with your speech openings
  • The joke should suit your natural personality. Don’t make it look forced or it won’t elicit the desired response
  • Test the opening out on a few people who match your real audience. Analyze their response and tweak the joke accordingly if necessary
  • Starting your speech with humour means your setting the tone of your speech. It would make sense to have a few more jokes sprinkled around the rest of the speech as well as the audience might be expecting the same from you

4. Mohammed Qahtani

Opening: Puts a cigarette on his lips, lights a lighter, stops just before lighting the cigarette. Looks at audience, “What?”

5. Darren Tay

Opening: Puts a white pair of briefs over his pants.

How to use props to begin your speech?

The reason props work so well in a talk is because in most cases the audience is not expecting anything more than just talking. So when a speaker pulls out an object that is unusual, everyone’s attention goes right to it.

It makes you wonder why that prop is being used in this particular speech.

The key word here is unusual . To grip the audience’s attention at the beginning of the speech, the prop being used should be something that the audience would never expect. Otherwise, it just becomes something that is common. And common = boring!

What Mohammed Qahtani and Darren Tay did superbly well in their talks was that they used props that nobody expected them to.

By pulling out a cigarette and lighter or a white pair of underwear, the audience can’t help but be gripped by what the speaker is about to do next. And that makes for a powerful speech opening.

6. Simon Sinek

Opening: “How do you explain when things don’t go as we assume? Or better, how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions?”

7. Julian Treasure

Opening: “The human voice. It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the world. Probably the only one that can start a war or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak people don’t listen to them. Why is that? How can we speak powerfully to make change in the world?”

How to use questions to open a speech?

I use this method often. Starting off with a question is the simplest way to start your speech in a manner that immediately engages the audience.

But we should keep our questions compelling as opposed to something that is fairly obvious.

I’ve heard many speakers start their speeches with questions like “How many of us want to be successful?”

No one is going to say ‘no’ to that and frankly, I just feel silly raising my hand at such questions.

Simon Sinek and Jullian Treasure used questions in a manner that really made the audience think and make them curious to find out what the answer to that question is.

What Jullian Treasure did even better was the use of a few statements which built up to his question. This made the question even more compelling and set the theme for what the rest of his talk would be about.

So think of what question you can ask in your speech that will:

  • Set the theme for the remainder of your speech
  • Not be something that is fairly obvious
  • Be compelling enough so that the audience will actually want to know what the answer to that question will be

8. Aaron Beverley

Opening: Long pause (after an absurdly long introduction of a 57-word speech title). “Be honest. You enjoyed that, didn’t you?”

How to use silence for speech openings?

The reason this speech opening stands out is because of the fact that the title itself is 57 words long. The audience was already hilariously intrigued by what was going to come next.

But what’s so gripping here is the way Aaron holds the crowd’s suspense by…doing nothing. For about 10 to 12 seconds he did nothing but stand and look at the audience. Everyone quietened down. He then broke this silence by a humorous remark that brought the audience laughing down again.

When going on to open your speech, besides focusing on building a killer opening sentence, how about just being silent?

It’s important to keep in mind that the point of having a strong opening is so that the audience’s attention is all on you and are intrigued enough to want to listen to the rest of your speech.

Silence is a great way to do that. When you get on the stage, just pause for a few seconds (about 3 to 5 seconds) and just look at the crowd. Let the audience and yourself settle in to the fact that the spotlight is now on you.

I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about starting the speech off with a pure pause that just makes the beginning so much more powerful. It adds credibility to you as a speaker as well, making you look more comfortable and confident on stage. 

If you want to know more about the power of pausing in public speaking , check out this post we wrote. It will give you a deeper insight into the importance of pausing and how you can harness it for your own speeches. You can also check out this video to know more about Pausing for Public Speaking:

9. Dan Pink

Opening: “I need to make a confession at the outset here. Little over 20 years ago, I did something that I regret. Something that I’m not particularly proud of. Something that in many ways I wish no one would ever know but that here I feel kind of obliged to reveal.”

10. Kelly McGonigal

Opening: “I have a confession to make. But first I want you to make a little confession to me.”

How to use a build-up to open your speech?

When there are so many amazing ways to start a speech and grip an audience from the outset, why would you ever choose to begin your speech with a ‘Good morning?’.

That’s what I love about build-ups. They set the mood for something awesome that’s about to come in that the audience will feel like they just have to know about.

Instead of starting a speech as it is, see if you can add some build-up to your beginning itself. For instance, in Kelly McGonigal’s speech, she could have started off with the question of stress itself (which she eventually moves on to in her speech). It’s not a bad way to start the speech.

But by adding the statement of “I have a confession to make” and then not revealing the confession for a little bit, the audience is gripped to know what she’s about to do next and find out what indeed is her confession.

11. Tim Urban

Opening: “So in college, I was a government major. Which means that I had to write a lot of papers. Now when a normal student writes a paper, they might spread the work out a little like this.”

12. Scott Dinsmore

Opening: “8 years ago, I got the worst career advice of my life.”

How to use storytelling as a speech opening?

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.” Steve Jobs

Storytelling is the foundation of good speeches. Starting your speech with a story is a great way to grip the audience’s attention. It makes them yearn to want to know how the rest of the story is going to pan out.

Tim Urban starts off his speech with a story dating back to his college days. His use of slides is masterful and something we all can learn from. But while his story sounds simple, it does the job of intriguing the audience to want to know more.

As soon as I heard the opening lines, I thought to myself “If normal students write their paper in a certain manner, how does Tim write his papers?”

Combine such a simple yet intriguing opening with comedic slides, and you’ve got yourself a pretty gripping speech.

Scott Dismore’s statement has a similar impact. However, just a side note, Scott Dismore actually started his speech with “Wow, what an honour.”

I would advise to not start your talk with something such as that. It’s way too common and does not do the job an opening must, which is to grip your audience and set the tone for what’s coming.

13. Larry Smith

Opening: “I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you’re going to fail to have a great career.”

14. Jane McGonigal

Opening: “You will live 7.5 minutes longer than you would have otherwise, just because you watched this talk.”

How to use provocative statements to start your speech?

Making a provocative statement creates a keen desire among the audience to want to know more about what you have to say. It immediately brings everyone into attention.

Larry Smith did just that by making his opening statement surprising, lightly humorous, and above all – fearful. These elements lead to an opening statement which creates so much curiosity among the audience that they need to know how your speech pans out.

This one time, I remember seeing a speaker start a speech with, “Last week, my best friend committed suicide.” The entire crowd was gripped. Everyone could feel the tension in the room.

They were just waiting for the speaker to continue to know where this speech will go.

That’s what a hard-hitting statement does, it intrigues your audience so much that they can’t wait to hear more! Just a tip, if you do start off with a provocative, hard-hitting statement, make sure you pause for a moment after saying it.

Silence after an impactful statement will allow your message to really sink in with the audience.

Related article: 5 Ways to Grab Your Audience’s Attention When You’re Losing it!

15. Ramona J Smith

Opening: In a boxing stance, “Life would sometimes feel like a fight. The punches, jabs and hooks will come in the form of challenges, obstacles and failures. Yet if you stay in the ring and learn from those past fights, at the end of each round, you’ll be still standing.”

How to use your full body to grip the audience at the beginning of your speech?

In a talk, the audience is expecting you to do just that – talk. But when you enter the stage and start putting your full body into use in a way that the audience does not expect, it grabs their attention.

Body language is critical when it comes to public speaking. Hand gestures, stage movement, facial expressions are all things that need to be paid attention to while you’re speaking on stage. But that’s not I’m talking about here.

Here, I’m referring to a unique use of the body that grips the audience, like how Ramona did. By using her body to get into a boxing stance, imitating punches, jabs and hooks with her arms while talking – that’s what got the audience’s attention.

The reason I say this is so powerful is because if you take Ramona’s speech and remove the body usage from her opening, the entire magic of the opening falls flat.

While the content is definitely strong, without those movements, she would not have captured the audience’s attention as beautifully as she did with the use of her body.

So if you have a speech opening that seems slightly dull, see if you can add some body movement to it.

If your speech starts with a story of someone running, actually act out the running. If your speech starts with a story of someone reading, actually act out the reading.

It will make your speech opening that much more impactful.

Related article: 5 Body Language Tips to Command the Stage

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Final Words

So there it is! 15 speech openings from some of my favourite speeches. Hopefully, these will act as a guide for you to create your own opening which is super impactful and sets you off on the path to becoming a powerful public speaker!

But remember, while a speech opening is super important, it’s just part of an overall structure.

If you’re serious about not just creating a great speech opening but to improve your public speaking at an overall level, I would highly recommend you to check out this course: Acumen Presents: Chris Anderson on Public Speaking on Udemy. Not only does it have specific lectures on starting and ending a speech, but it also offers an in-depth guide into all the nuances of public speaking. 

Being the founder of TED Talks, Chris Anderson provides numerous examples of the best TED speakers to give us a very practical way of overcoming stage fear and delivering a speech that people will remember. His course has helped me personally and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to learn public speaking. 

No one is ever “done” learning public speaking. It’s a continuous process and you can always get better. Keep learning, keep conquering and keep being awesome!

Lastly, if you want to know how you should NOT open your speech, we’ve got a video for you:

Hrideep Barot

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  • Earth and space


Speech Writing: Introduction with Examples

What is a speech.

  • A speech is a formal address delivered to an audience.
  • It always has a purpose. It aims to convey the purpose with logically connected ideas.
  • Speech writing is a method of telling a thought or message to a reader using correct punctuation and expressions.

While writing a speech we should concentrate on the three ‘ C’ s.

Your speech should be clear, concise, and consistent .

  • Clear: The speech should be simple and easy to understand.
  • Concise: It should not be too long. Generally, the word limit is 150-200 words. But it may vary.
  • Consistent: The speech should be logically in order.

Let’s see the format of speech writing.

It contains two parts.

Title: Give a good title to the topic while writing a speech.


Content: The content section is divided into 3 subparts.

  • Introduction


Start greeting the audience with the phrases like:

  • Respected Sir/Ma’am
  • Dear students
  • Good morning, everyone

Share your personal introduction in one or two lines.

Then write in brief what is the theme of the speech.

  • Explain the topic in detail.
  • Be clear and specific about your thoughts.
  • We can use 3 techniques while writing a speech.

Advantage & Disadvantage

Cause & Effect

Problem & Solution

Let’s learn them in detail.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Tell the advantages and disadvantages of the thing.
  • Example: If the topic is ‘online education’, you can write its benefits and side effects.

Cause & Effect:

  • Write why it is happening or the cause of the thing given in the speech.
  • What is its effect on society?
  • Example: If the topic is ‘ pollution ’, you can write its cause and effect on the earth.

Problem & Solution:

  • Discuss the problem and write the proper solution to it.
  • Write the need for that thing in your daily life.


  • Conclude the speech by giving an overall view or summary.
  • Add the specific action you want the audience to do right away.

Some important things you must keep in mind while writing a speech.

  • Figure out the primary point of the speech.
  • Identify the audience who will listen to the speech.
  • Give proper support and structure to the speech.
  • Make sure to use correct punctuation while writing.

Sample of Speech:

Good morning respected principal sir, all the teachers, and my dear friends.

Today we have gathered here to celebrate the Teachers’ Day.

First, I would like to wish all my respected teachers a very happy Teachers’ Day. Thank you for being

our backbone and support. Teachers play a big role in building the character of students. They give

us knowledge and help in achieving our dreams. They are our guiding spirits and role models.

Teachers help in building the character of students. Teachers plays an important role in the education

of students, society, and country.

On behalf of all students, I would like to thank all the teachers for their tireless efforts they make to give us knowledge and shape our future.

Another Example of Speech :

Write a speech on “Importance of Education” which you will deliver in your school.

Good morning respected teachers and my dear friends.

      I am Linda studying from grade 3.

The topic of my speech is ‘Importance of Education’. I would let you know all about the value of education and its contribution to our lives.

      Education helps us to remove doubt and fear of challenges in our lives. We can say it is a tool that keeps us happy and give courage to fight in difficult situations. We need education to make ourselves confident and to be aware of equality. It makes us self -dependent. Education shape us for the future challenges in life. It helps you to earn money to fulfill the basic need of life.

If we are not properly educated, we may face challenges in some situations. Education is not about gaining knowledge only; it means learning the ways to be happy and social life.

      My dear friends, education is like a healthy food that nourishes us both internally and externally. It gives us confidence by developing our personality. We should help others as well as ourselves to be educated and contribute to the development of the society.

      Thank you!!!

Speech Writing

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How to Write—And Deliver—The Perfect Wedding Speech

By Shelby Wax

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

If one of your nearest and dearest is tying the knot, it’s possible you may be asked to give a speech during the wedding festivities. And while having an opportunity to share your love and memories at a major milestone event is an honor, there’s no denying that it’s a big ask—especially if public speaking isn’t your forté. A wedding speech presents a unique challenge: There’s no set formula for how the speech should play out, but it often requires sentimentality, a touch of humor, and the good sense to know when to wrap it up.

Are you a member of the wedding party that wants to (or has been asked to) give a toast at an upcoming celebration? Read ahead to learn how to write and prepare for your big moment.

Who Gives a Wedding Speech?

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First off, it’s important to make sure that the couple definitely wants you to give a toast at their celebrations. Traditionally, the maid of honor, best man, and parents of the couple will give a speech at the wedding. However, the couple should explicitly ask these guests well in advance to give a speech so they have plenty of time to prepare. They may also choose additional wedding party members to give toasts at the reception or pre-wedding parties; but if the couple has not asked you to give a speech, do not prepare one. Speeches are carefully placed into a wedding timeline so the day will stay on schedule, and an additional five minutes could cut into strategically timed moments of the celebration.

The to-be-weds also have the right to curate the day as they wish, and occasionally at a rehearsal dinner or welcome party, the couple may open the floor to additional toasts. But if this doesn’t happen, grabbing the mic unexpectedly for an off-the-cuff speech (especially after a few glasses of wine) will not be appreciated.

How to Write a Wedding Speech

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

If you are asked to give a toast, it’s important that you don’t just wing it. “First, recognize that speechwriting is a creative process,” shares Allison Shapira, founder and CEO of Global Public Speaking . “Give yourself plenty of time to be creative (i.e. not the night before, when you already have so much to stress about). Wait for your most creative time of the day, and turn off any distractions. Spend some unrushed time thinking about your relationship to the couple, and what you’d like to say.”

While there’s no exact template to follow, there is a good basic formula to adhere to. “The framework I recommend for a wedding speech is: story, message, blessing,” she shares. “Tell a heartwarming story, share the message or value behind that story, and then offer a blessing or wish for the couple based on that message.”

“Typically, we advise our speakers to try to bring the audience on a journey where you initially try to make them laugh, then get to the real depth of the speech and earn some tears, then bring the whole speech full circle with a deep insight or story about the couple that ends with a funny final punch,” shares Steven Greitzer, CEO and founder of Provenance , an AI company that specializes in helping write personalized wedding vows, ceremonies, and toasts. “It’s important to have a good balance of humor and sentimentality because, if it’s a full roast, it can feel like you’re just doing a standup comedy show for your own benefit and it could lack substance. Or, if it’s too overly emotional, it can get heavy and perhaps a bit too somber for a wedding celebration.”

When choosing a story, Shapira recommends reading the room. “It should obviously be good-natured, without making anyone look bad. And, it all depends on the family dynamics,” she says. “What one family considers good-natured, another family could consider scathing. Choose someone in the audience whom you think could give you some helpful feedback, and practice the speech with them in advance.”

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

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By Elise Taylor

Greitzer adds that it's important that both members of the couple are highlighted in the speech. “Great anecdotes showcase who each person was before meeting, their synergy together, and their individual and collective growth,” he shares. If you don’t know one member of the couple very well, don’t be afraid to get creative. “One of the best speeches I’ve seen was from a bridesmaid who hadn’t really been able to spend too much time with her best friend’s fiance because of the pandemic,” Greitzer shares. “She creatively read texts she found in her phone that gave her a hilarious timeline of her friend falling in love.”

If you’re still not sure where to begin, consider giving an AI platform a try to help you form your toast. “The Provenance tools guide speakers to create unique, and personal ceremonies, vows, and toasts without the stress. It’s a partner in your brainstorming process; a way to help you verbalize what you were trying to say—but faster,” explains Greitzer. “Instead of being some outdated, mad-libs-style template, the expert-curated prompts inspire special stories and insights, ultimately weaving your responses together into a custom, editable first draft.”

A final writing tip from Shapira? “I definitely recommend creating an outline but do not recommend writing the speech out word for word. When we script the entire speech, it sounds too formal,” says the public speaking expert. “I recommend first brainstorming the content, rearranging it into a logical structure, then drafting a general outline which you can bring with you to the event. While it may look better to simply give the speech ‘from the heart,’ the stress involved in trying to memorize your speech is simply not worth it.”

How to Deliver a Wedding Speech

Writing a wedding speech is half the battle—next comes your performance. It’s important that your toast has a good flow, feels natural, and doesn’t drag on. Here’s where the idiom “practice makes perfect” rings true. Shapira advises giving yourself a few weeks of rehearsal to make your speech feel authentic and fluid. Her recommendations? “Read your speech out loud and make sure it stays within the time you have allotted. Read it to someone else and get their feedback. Record it and watch it back. We use a tool called AMPLIFY to get AI-based feedback.” She adds, “Don’t memorize the speech, but do read it out loud and make sure it sounds like your voice.”

The ideal length of a toast is between two to four minutes, which translates to around 500 to 1000 words on a page. Still, Greitzer notes, “The perfect length for the wedding toast complies with whatever length the couple wants it to be. Many guests don’t realize that long speeches can impact the whole evening’s timeline and affect the caterer, DJ, and so much more.”

This image may contain Human Person Electronics Phone Mobile Phone Cell Phone Dance Pose and Leisure Activities

While it’s now common to see toasts being read off a phone, both experts agree that it’s much better to print out your speech. “Reading off of a phone comes with the risk of distractions from notifications, a weird backlight that can affect the color of your face in photos, finicky technical difficulties, and having that annoying sound interference with the mic,” says Greitzer. (You also should make sure your speech is legible with a large font and wide spacing so you can easily find your place.)

The final hurdle of giving a wedding toast is getting over your nerves. “Find a quiet place right beforehand to center yourself (perhaps the bathroom or a corner of the room), pause and breathe, and remind yourself why you care about the couple,” recommends Shapira. She also adds—perhaps unsurprisingly—that it’s best to hold back on alcohol consumption ahead of the toast. “No one expects a perfect or professional speech; they want a unique, authentic message. The speech isn’t about you—it’s about the couple. Once you reframe the fact that the center of attention isn’t on you, you can relax.”

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

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Writing About Yourself Isn’t Inherently Selfish

For Édouard Louis, revisiting the past is an act of survival.

shadow of a figure in a doorway

In 2015, the Nobel Prize–winning novelist J. M. Coetzee published a book called The Good Story that he co-authored with a clinical psychologist named Arabella Kurtz. The book is essentially a conversation between Coetzee and Kurtz about the origins and social function of storytelling. It is also a searching, erudite treatise about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.

Near the beginning of their exchange, Coetzee expounds on the distinctive way, as he sees it, that writers perceive the story of their life:

To think of a life-story as a compendium of memories which one is free to interpret in the present according to the demands (and desires) of the present seems to me characteristic of a writer’s way of thinking. I would contrast this with the way many people see their life-story: as a history that is forever fixed (‘you can’t change the past’).

Coetzee’s words echoed as I read Édouard Louis’ latest book, Change . Louis emerged on the literary scene in France in 2014 with his debut novel, The End of Eddy . In that book, Louis fictionalizes the story of his bruising childhood in Hallencourt, a working-class town in northern France. As a child, Louis is defined by his difference—he is queer and ambitious in a community whose denizens are locked in a vicious zone of poverty and deprivation. Louis is mocked relentlessly and cast aside by his peers and family members; he resolves to escape as soon as he can.

speech in a writing

The End of Eddy was a sensation—it had sold more than 300,000 copies in France by the time it appeared in the United States, in 2017, and was eventually translated into 20 languages. Louis’ next book, History of Violence , describes in heartbreaking detail a rape that its protagonist—another avatar for the writer—endured. Afterward, Louis published Who Killed My Father , a penetrating, nonlinear tale about his relationship with his father, and A Woman’s Battles and Transformations , a similarly structured book about his mother. And now comes Change , which traverses much of the same territory as his prior books.

Read: When writing about your children is a form of betrayal

Thus far, Louis has dedicated his literary career to describing, reliving, and reimagining various events in his life. At first, it may seem that he’s circling the same sequence of incidents because he is attempting to engage with memory in the way that, per Coetzee, most people do—so that he can “fix [his] life-story, by repeating over and over … one or other preferred interpretation of it.” But a close reading of Change and Louis’ prior work suggests an alternative objective. Louis is interpreting his memories according to the demands of his present; he is redrafting the story of his life to make sense of where he finds himself in the current moment. In so doing, Louis is teaching his readers how they might benefit from arranging—and possibly even revising—their memories in ways that might help them cope with, and better understand, their contemporary experiences.

In the first of two prologues to Change , Louis explains his relationship with writing and memory:

I’m twenty-six years and a few months old; most people would say that my life is ahead of me, that nothing has started yet, but for a long time now I’ve been living with the feeling that I’ve lived too much; I imagine that’s why the need to write is so deep, to fix the past in writing and, I suppose, to get rid of it, or maybe, conversely, the past is so anchored in me now that I’m forced to talk about it, at every moment, on every occasion, maybe it has won out, and by believing I’m getting rid of it I’m only bolstering its existence and its ascendancy over my life, maybe I’m trapped—I don’t know.

Louis is unsure why he is fixated on his past, so he ventures into his memories to look for answers, and as a result he rehearses many of the narrative beats that are familiar to his ardent readers. He writes about the extreme poverty his family endured, the violence that he experienced and witnessed, the racism that suffused his community, and his frightening personal experiences with homophobia. Then he provides a potted history of his life after he escapes his provincial town, including the various jobs he held (“I’d … worked in a bakery, as a caretaker, a bookseller, a waiter, an usher”). Afterward, he attends elite universities and publishes books about his life. Eventually, he arrives at an impasse. He grows weary of his success and fame; he desires to start “all over again,” and he begins to write Change to remember how he surmounted past challenges.

To this end, Louis includes in Change a sequence of “fictional conversations,” first with his father, and then with his former best friend, Elena. The ostensible purpose of these conversations, which are generally one-sided (for the most part, we’re privy only to Louis’ perspective), is to explain his choices and the trajectory of his life to the people who have shaped him in profound ways. Yet he soon recognizes a pattern of behavior: First, Louis tries desperately to change himself—aesthetically, intellectually, morally, and so on—so that he might achieve his most prized goals. Then, inevitably, he abandons the people he loves most.

Louis’ relationship with Elena is the most resonant example of this trend. He first meets her at his lycée in Amiens—a nearby city where he moved to enroll in a school with a theater program— after another student urges him to goad her with a vulgar comment. Louis obliges but is immediately ashamed; he later apologizes. They soon become inseparable, and Louis begins to model his life on hers. He trains himself to adopt her middle-class speech patterns and accepts her instructions on how he should dress and comport himself. One evening, Louis attends a talk by a visiting professor who, having grown up impoverished, now lives in Paris and is regarded as one of the leading intellectuals in France. Louis subsequently realizes that life in Amiens is no match for his ambition. He decides that he must move to Paris, and slowly extracts himself from his relationship with Elena.

Read: A redacted past slowly emerges

The distance afforded by time enables Louis to notice how this sequence of events rhymes with past relationships in which he formed an intense connection with someone, only to discard them at the first sign of a better opportunity. Indeed, Louis has structured Change to surface these connections at the expense of other possible tales that might be teased from his recollections. For Louis, memories are not fixed, whole entities—they are merely the building blocks of the stories we construct about ourselves. Louis also demonstrates how pliable these memories can be: At one point, he explains to his father, “When I realized that my only option was to escape, I looked for every possible way out.” In a footnote at the bottom of the page, however, he offers a concession: “In my first book I explained how I did everything I could not to run away, not to be different. Both stories are true, they simply tell two sides of the same phenomenon, the same life.”

In Louis’ writing, a single memory can yield multiple interpretations, because most important moments in life are accompanied by a range of (often contradictory) feelings. Memories contain multiple truths, each of which is available to be exploited depending on how it might be useful in the present. For Louis, the act of writing Change is an opportunity to bring these truths into conversation, and to choose the version that will enable him to persist.

Millennials and Gen Zers (Louis himself is a Millennial) are sometimes derided for being self-obsessed. This assessment dovetails with a common criticism of autobiographical fiction, which holds that such work is inherently solipsistic. Louis’ oeuvre, and Change in particular, offers a pointed response by demonstrating the value of writing about one’s personal experiences. By the end of the book, Louis has achieved a deeper understanding of himself, entirely facilitated by his narrative reorganization of his past. In his characteristically inimitable manner, Louis seems to be asking his readers to consider the radical notion that their memories are theirs to use as they please.

​When you buy a book using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.

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El Salvador President Nayib Bukele receives a warm welcome at CPAC

Eyder Peralta headshot

Eyder Peralta

El Salvador's leader arrived at the annual Maryland meeting of U.S. conservatives. He encouraged the next president to do "whatever it takes" to overcome the "dark forces" trying to take over the U.S.


The president of El Salvador has been heavily criticized by human rights groups and pro-democracy advocates, but Nayib Bukele has become an inspiration for many Latin American politicians who admire his tough approach to crime. Last night in Maryland, Bukele got a primetime spot at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual gathering of U.S. conservatives. And he made a few new fans, as NPR's Eyder Peralta reports.


UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Bukele, Bukele, Bukele.

EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: As Nayib Bukele entered a conference hall in Maryland, supporters made what has become a recurring comparison. Chants of Bukele morphed into chants of Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.

PERALTA: But Bukele is no Trump. He's much younger at 42. He's trim, impeccably dressed.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the president of El Salvador.

PERALTA: And he jumped on stage not as a 77-year-old man facing multiple criminal charges and a hotly contested election but as a man who just won the presidency with more than 80% of the vote, a man who is in complete control of his country. Bukele presented himself as a prophet.

PRESIDENT NAYIB BUKELE: The people of El Salvador have woken up, and so can you.

PERALTA: Bukele came to power in 2019. Shortly thereafter, the country suspended many basic constitutional guarantees. Bukele then launched a massive assault on gangs, jailing some 70,000 people. Human rights groups accused him of gross violations, but the murder rate plummeted. His popularity skyrocketed. He joked that he had become the world's coolest dictator, and in his speech, he detailed a playbook.

BUKELE: We didn't tolerate being told what to do. In doing so, we did the unthinkable. We transformed El Salvador from the most dangerous country in the world to the safest in the Western hemisphere.

PERALTA: Jorge Cuellar, who studies El Salvador at Dartmouth, says on the surface, Bukele may not seem like the kind of leader who would make a good ally for American conservatives. In his early political career, he called himself a socialist. But Cuellar says Bukele, a lot like Trump, never really let ideology define him.

JORGE CUELLAR: Bukele is not a socialist. He's an opportunist.

PERALTA: Like Trump, Cueller says, Bukele ran on a drain-the-swamp platform, on a promise to change a political system that Salvadorans thought was broken. So his message resonated.

CUELLAR: Because it latched on to that dissatisfaction, the sentiment of hopelessness, of political inefficacy.

PERALTA: When he became president, Bukele bulldozed. He stacked the courts with loyalist judges. He defied the constitution and ran for a second term. And he made the opposition - the press, independent agencies and human rights groups - enemies of change.

CUELLAR: You know, Bukele is doing what, in some ways, the MAGA Republicans wanted Trump to do.

PERALTA: Indeed, says Cuellar, in that speech at CPAC, Bukele presented himself as the, quote, "evolution of the Trumpian formula," a president who got past the democratic guardrails to bring a quick change to his country.

CUELLAR: He makes Trump look old. He makes Trump look confused and tired.

PERALTA: And after the speech, the attendees we spoke to were impressed. Steve Merczynski, who makes MAGA hammocks and scarves, likes that Bukele put El Salvador first.

STEVE MERCZYNSKI: I just like that he's a guy who did what needed to be done to stop the biggest problem in his country, which was crime.

PERALTA: And if the U.S. keeps going the way it's going, he says, it may just need a Nayib Bukele of its own. Eyder Peralta, NPR News, Mexico City.


Copyright © 2024 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

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Trump's claims of a migrant crime wave are not supported by national data

Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — When Donald Trump speaks at the southern border in Texas on Thursday, you can expect to hear him talk about “migrant crime,” a category he has coined and defined as a terrifying binge of criminal activity committed by undocumented immigrants spreading across the country.

“You know, in New York, what’s happening with crime is it’s through the roof, and it’s called ‘migrant,’” the former president said at a rally in Michigan earlier this month. “They beat up police officers. You’ve seen that they go in, they stab people, hurt people, shoot people. It’s a whole new form, and they have gangs now that are making our gangs look like small potatoes.”

Trump has undoubtedly tapped into the rising anger over crimes allegedly committed by undocumented migrants that have gained national attention — most recently, the killing of college student Laken Riley in Georgia last week, after which an undocumented migrant from Venezuela was arrested and charged with her murder, and the much-reported fight between New York police officers and a group of migrant teens.

According to a recent Pew  poll , 57% of Americans said that a large number of migrants seeking to enter the country leads to more crime. Republicans (85%) overwhelmingly say the migrant surge leads to increased crime in the U.S. A far smaller share of Democrats (31%) say the same. The poll found that 63% of Democrats say it does not have much of an impact.

But despite the former president’s campaign rhetoric, expert analysis and available data from major-city police departments show that despite several horrifying high-profile incidents, there is no evidence of a migrant-driven crime wave in the United States.

That won’t change the way Trump talks about immigrants in his bid to return to the White House, as he argues that President Joe Biden’s immigration policies are making Americans less safe. Trump says voters should hold Biden personally responsible for every crime committed by an undocumented immigrant.

An NBC News review of available 2024 crime data from the cities targeted by Texas’ “Operation Lone Star,” which buses or flies migrants from the border to major cities in the interior — shows overall crime levels dropping in those cities that have received the most migrants.

Overall crime is down year over year in  Philadelphia ,  Chicago , Denver ,  New York  and Los Angeles. Crime has risen in  Washington, D.C ., but local officials do not attribute the spike to migrants.

“This is a public perception problem. It’s always based upon these kinds of flashpoint events where an immigrant commits a crime,” explains Graham Ousey, a professor at the College of William & Mary and the co-author of “Immigration and Crime: Taking Stock.” “There’s no evidence for there being any relationship between somebody’s immigrant status and their involvement in crime.”

Ousey notes the emotional toll these incidents have taken and how they can inform public perception, saying, “They can be really egregious acts of criminality that really draw lots of attention that involve somebody who happens to be an immigrant. And if you have leaders, political leaders who are really pushing that narrative, I think that would have the tendency to sort of push up the myth.”

“At least a couple of recent studies show that undocumented immigrants are also not more likely to be involved in crime,” Ousey says — in part because of caution about their immigration status. “The individual-level studies actually show that they’re less involved than native-born citizens or second-generation immigrants.”

Another misconception often cited by critics is that crime is more prevalent in “sanctuary cities.” But a Department of Justice report found that “there was no evidence that the percentage of unauthorized or authorized immigrant population at the city level impacted shifts in the homicide rates and no evidence that immigration is connected to robbery at the city level.”

Trump’s campaign claims without evidence that those statistics obscure the problem.

“Democrat cities purposefully do not document when crimes are committed by illegal immigrants, because they don’t want American citizens to know the truth about the dangerous impact Joe Biden’s open border is having on their communities,” Karoline Leavitt, Trump campaign press secretary, said in a statement. “Nevertheless, Americans know migrant crime is a serious and growing threat; and the murder, rape, or abuse of one innocent citizen at the hands of an illegal immigrant is one too many.”

Trump has been pushing the argument that immigrants bring crime since launching his first campaign in 2015, often featuring at his rallies the family members of those who were killed by undocumented immigrants who had been drinking and driving. And his arguments are not new — opponents of immigration have long tried to make the case that migrants bring crime.

National crime data, especially pertaining to undocumented immigrants, is notoriously incomplete. The national data comes in piecemeal and can only be evaluated holistically when the annual data is released.

The data is incomplete on how many crimes each year are committed by migrants, primarily because most local police don’t record immigration status when they make arrests. But the studies that have been done on this, most recently by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, show that in Texas, where police do record immigration status, migrants commit fewer crimes per capita.

In December 2020, researchers studying Texas crime statistics found that “contrary to public perception, we observe considerably lower felony arrest rates among undocumented immigrants compared to legal immigrants and native-born U.S. citizens and find no evidence that undocumented criminality has increased in recent years.”

Olympia Sonnier is a field producer for NBC News. 

speech in a writing

Garrett Haake is NBC News' Senior Capitol Hill Correspondent. He also covers the Trump campaign.


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    Step 3: Edit and polish what you've written until you have a cohesive first draft of your speech. Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your speech the more you'll discover which sections need reworked, which transitions should be improved, and which sentences are hard to say. You'll also find out how you're doing ...

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    Second Part: Describes a possible solution or set of solutions. Third Part: Summarizes how the solutions will solve the problem. 3. Write in the same tone as you speak. One of the most important public speaking tips is to remember that you are writing something that you will be speaking out loud for people to hear.

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    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.

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    Step 7: The introduction. Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction. The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end.

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    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 ...

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    Example 1. 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.

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    5. Use concrete details and visual aids. Use concrete details to support your points. Brief stories, interesting examples, or factual data can help to engage your audience and convey the truth of your purpose. Consider using visual aids to further support your speech. Images can be powerful and engaging.

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    Tips on Speech writing - Here are a few valuable tips for you to attempt the class 12 English writing skills - speech writing question in a better way-. 1. Make sure you use language which is suitable for the audience you are addressing. Usage of complex vocabulary for addressing children is not advisable. 2.

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    Writing the Speech. #12 Write your speech outline first. #13 Write Your Speech Introduction Last. #14 Use personal stories and humor in your speech. #14 Use repetition when writing your speech. #15 Remember that your audience is not you. #16 Don't patronize or talk down to your audience. #17 Choose jargon carefully.

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    Analyze their response and tweak the joke accordingly if necessary. Starting your speech with humour means your setting the tone of your speech. It would make sense to have a few more jokes sprinkled around the rest of the speech as well as the audience might be expecting the same from you. 4. Mohammed Qahtani.

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    A speech is a formal address delivered to an audience. It always has a purpose. It aims to convey the purpose with logically connected ideas. Speech writing is a method of telling a thought or message to a reader using correct punctuation and expressions. While writing a speech we should concentrate on the three 'C's.

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