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How to Write a Speech Outline

Last Updated: January 26, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 80% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 482,797 times.

A speech outline can increase your confidence and help you keep your place so you sound authoritative and in control. As you write your speech outline, focus on how you'll introduce yourself and your topic, the points you'll cover, and the interests of your audience.

Sample Outline and Writing Help

easiest way to write a speech outline

Crafting Your Introduction

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 1

  • Keep in mind you may be nervous when you start your speech. Include this in your outline so you won't forget.
  • If there's anything about you that relates you to your audience, or to the group that organized the event, you want to include that in your brief greeting as well – especially if you didn't have the benefit of an introduction from someone else.
  • For example, you might say "Good afternoon. I'm Sally Sunshine, and I've been a volunteer with the Springfield Animal Society for five years. I'm honored they've invited me to speak here today about the importance of spaying or neutering your pets."

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 2

  • When choosing your attention-getter, keep your audience in mind. Think about what would grab their attention – not necessarily what you personally find interesting or humorous.
  • If you're not sure whether your attention-getter will work, try practicing it in front of friends or family members who are similar in age and interests to the people who will be in the audience when you give your speech.
  • For example, if you're giving a speech on spaying and neutering pets to a group of suburban families, you might open with a humorous reference to the Disney movie "101 Dalmatians."

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 3

  • Briefly explain the importance of the topic or issue you'll be discussing in your speech.
  • If your speech is an informative one, explain why the information is important or relevant to your audience.
  • For argumentative speeches, explain what might happen if action isn't taken on the issue.
  • For example, you might say "Every year, our local animal shelter has to put down 500 unwanted cats and dogs. If all pets were spayed and neutered, it's estimated this number would decrease to under 100."

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 4

  • If you're giving an argumentative speech, your thesis statement will be a statement of the ultimate point you hope to prove through the information and evidence you lay out in your speech.
  • For example, the thesis statement for a speech arguing that all pet owners should spay or neuter their pets might be "Our entire community would benefit if all pets were spayed or neutered."
  • The thesis statement for a more informative speech will simply summarize the type of information you're going to provide the audience through your speech.
  • For a more scientific speech, your thesis statement will reflect the hypothesis of the scientific study you're presenting in your speech.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 5

  • If you're giving a speech for a class in school, your "credibility" may be as simple as the fact that you took the class and researched the topic.
  • However, if you have a more personalized interest in the topic of your speech, this is a good time to mention that.
  • For an argumentative speech, a personal connection to the subject matter can enhance your credibility. For example, maybe you're giving a speech about local urban housing policy and you became interested in the topic when you learned your family was facing eviction. A personal connection often can mean more to members of your audience than extensive professional experience in the area.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 6

  • There's no hard and fast rule, but speeches typically have three main points. You should list them in your introduction in the order you plan to present them in your speech. The order in which you discuss your points depends on the type of speech you're giving.
  • For example, your speech on spaying or neutering pets might address the benefits to the pet first, then the benefit to the pet's family, then the benefit to the community at large. This starts small and moves outward.
  • For an argumentative speech, you typically want to lead with your strongest argument and work down in order of strength.
  • If you're giving an informative speech based on a historical event, you may want to provide your points chronologically. Other informative speeches may be better served by starting with the broadest point and moving to more narrow points.
  • Ultimately, you want to order your points in a way that feels natural to you and will enable you to easily transition from one point to another.

Building the Body of Your Speech

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 7

  • Your first point will be a top-level entry on your outline, typically noted by a Roman numeral.
  • Beneath that top-level, you will have a number of sub-points which are comments, statistics, or other evidence supporting that point. Depending on how your outline is formatted, these typically will be letters or bullet points.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 8

  • As with the points themselves, with your evidence you typically want to start with the strongest or most important sub-point or piece of evidence and move down. This way, if you start running short on time, you can easily cut the last points without worrying that you're leaving out something important.
  • The type of evidence or sub-points you'll want to include will depend on the type of speech you're giving.
  • Try to avoid pounding your audience with long series of numbers or statistics – they typically won't retain the information. If you have a significant amount of numerical data or statistics, creating an infographic you can project during your presentation may be more useful.
  • Keep in mind that additional personal stories or anecdotes can be particularly effective to get your point across in a speech.
  • For example, if your first point in your speech about spaying or neutering pets is that the procedure benefits the pets themselves, you might point out that pets that are spayed or neutered live longer, are at a decreased risk for certain types of cancer, and are generally more healthy than pets who aren't spayed or neutered.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 9

  • Avoid over-thinking your transition. It really doesn't need to be incredibly sophisticated. If you can't come up with anything specific, using a simple transitional phrase will work fine.
  • For example, you might say "Now that I've discussed how spaying and neutering has a positive effect on your pet's health, I want to move to the effect that spaying and neutering has on your family."
  • Some of the most effective transitions turn on a particular word or phrase, such as the word "effect" in the example above.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 10

  • When choosing your sub-points or the facts that you want to emphasize in your speech, keep your audience in mind as well as the overall point. Think about what's important to them, or what they potentially would find most surprising or most interesting.

Creating Your Closing

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 11

  • This transition doesn't need to be fancy – it doesn't even have to be a whole sentence. You can simply say "In conclusion," and then launch into your summary.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 12

  • You don't need to go into detail here – you're just reinforcing what you've already told your audience.
  • Make sure you don't introduce any new information in your closing summary.
  • For example, you might say "As you've seen, spaying or neutering your pet has substantial benefits not only for you and your pet, but also for the community at large."

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 13

  • If your speech went well, you have fully proven your thesis and demonstrated its importance. This statement should relate back to the summary of your points and present a strong statement.
  • Particularly for brief speeches, you can even combine your summary of points with your thesis statement in a single sentence that wraps up your speech.
  • For example, you might say "Given the benefits to your pet's health, to your family, and to the overall well-being of your community, it is clear that spaying or neutering pets should be a top priority for all pet owners."

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 14

  • You may want to think of a way to bring the entire speech back around to that story you initially told to grab your audience's attention.
  • If you have an argumentative or similar speech, your closing lines typically will include a call to action. Give your audience an example of how important the subject of your speech is, and implore them to act on the information you gave them in a specific way.
  • When making a call to action, make sure you include specific details, such as where to go, who to contact, and when to act.
  • For example, you might say "For the next week, the Springfield Animal Society will be spaying and neutering pets for free at their clinic on 123 Main Street. Call 555-555-5555 to make an appointment for your furry friend today!"

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 15

  • Particularly if your speech was longer or if you went over the time allotted, be sure to tell them that you appreciate their time.
  • As with your initial greeting, including this in your outline ensures you won't forget it in the moment. That doesn't mean you should try to write something verbatim. Rather, you should focus on your thanks being more off-the-cuff and sincere.

Image titled Write a Speech Outline Step 16

  • If you want to establish parameters for the questions, be sure to list these in your outline so you can mention them when you announce that you're open for questions.
  • Anticipate questions that may be asked dependent on your speech topic. Preemptively answer those questions and include them in your outline.
  • You also should note if you only have a specified period of time for questions, or if you're only taking a set number of questions.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Outlines can vary in how formal or informal you make them. You could either make it a full script or use shorthand with highlighted main points. Use the outline that works best for you. Thanks Helpful 11 Not Helpful 0
  • Use a large font that you can easily read by glancing down. Print your outline and place it on a desk, then stand and look down at the paper. If it's too small or you find yourself leaning over to read it, increase the font size. Thanks Helpful 15 Not Helpful 3
  • If you're giving the speech for a class, you may need to turn in an outline of your speech that follows particular content or format requirements. Review your assignment carefully and turn in an outline that follows your instructor's requirements, even if you decide to use a slightly different outline when you give your speech. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0

easiest way to write a speech outline

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Write a Welcome Speech

  • ↑ https://canicollege.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/USEFUL-PHRASES-AND-STRATEGIES-FOR-PRESENTATIONS.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.lamission.edu/learningcenter/docs/asc/worksheets/GeneralWritingResources/Speech%20Outline.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/speech-introductions
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
  • ↑ https://lewisu.edu/writingcenter/pdf/final-developing-a-speech-outline.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/speech-evidence
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/publicspeaking/chapter/10-2-keeping-your-speech-moving/

About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

The best way to write a speech outline is to write the main points of your greeting and introduction in the first section, including your name and what you’ll be talking about. Then, make a second section with bullet points of all the important details you want to mention in the body of your speech. Make sure to include facts and evidence to back your argument up. Finish your outline with a section that summarizes your points concisely. To learn how to keep your audience's attention throughout your speech, keep reading below! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • Speech Crafting →

Preparation: How to write a Speech Outline (with Examples)


You have been chosen to give a speech on a particular topic and you reckon that you’re a good speech writer.

However, without a good speech outline, your speech lacks the proper skeleton to put meat on.

A speech outline is to a speech what a blueprint is to an unconstructed building.

So, how do you develop a good speech outline? First, break it down into small steps as this will make it easier for you to prioritize your ideas and organize them in the right order before you add more details to them.

How to Make an Outline for a Speech

Below are steps that will enable you to write an effective speech outline for your presentation.

You should start by asking yourself:

a) What is the big picture?

Before you begin writing your outline, you should take a step back and think about your speech as a whole.


First, think about the 3 keystones for your presentation or speech, i.e. the audience, your subject matter and of course, you, as the speaker.

Then, write a few notes down about each keystone and how they relate with each other. For instance,

  • With regard to your presentation’s subject matter and the audience, what does the audience know about the subject? Do they find the subject interesting or not at all? Is the subject relevant to them?
  • What do you as the speaker know about the subject in question? What are the reasons behind your presentation? Do you have any expertise on the matter? What new information will you be sharing with your audience?

A good outline will help you engage with your audience in a way that not only captures their attention but enables them to understand the subject matter.

b) What is your objective?

This refers to the goal of your presentation. Here, you should ask yourself, what do you want your audience to do after your presentation is over?


While the objective for most speakers is for their audience to know something, that may not be enough. The best presentations and speeches are those that move people to act.

If you would prefer to make an impact in such a way, then you should ensure that you are as specific as you can be when deciding on your objective in your speech outline.

c) What is your message?

Your message is what holds your presentation or speech together. This is not to mean that you shouldn’t have different parts in your speech, but it does mean that your speech should have one message that you are trying to put across.


Trying to include several different messages in your speech may confuse your audience, which makes it harder for them to understand the main point you are trying to convey. 

To do this, summarize the message of your presentation in one statement. This will not only allow you to understand the message in its entirety but also allow you to explain the message to your audience in a way that is easy to understand.

You can now use the statement you wrote above to help you develop your speech outline. Using the statement to determine whether a certain point supports your main message will ensure that your speech flows and doesn’t include any information not relevant to your subject topic.

d) How is your presentation relevant?

When it comes to a presentation or speech, the audience should always come first. That is why as a speaker, you should always keep your audience in mind when presenting.

If you have already decided on the message you will be conveying to your audience, you should now ask yourself; how is your message relevant to the audience?


If you can’t come up with a reason why your presentation is relevant, then it’s back to the drawing board for you. This could mean that you will be presenting to the wrong audience or you will be giving the wrong presentation.

You can refer back to step (c) then review steps (a) and (b) for clarity.

e) Your speech structure

This is a very important part of your presentation as without it, your speech will have no impact on the audience. Therefore, you should ensure that you include the speech structure in your speech outline.

A structure has 3 basic parts; the introduction, the body and the conclusion. It should be noted though that when working on your speech outline, a common suggestion is to begin with the body before developing both your introduction and conclusion.


Under your speech structure, the introduction is the opening of your speech/presentation. To make a good first impression on your audience, ensure that your introduction is strong.

This doesn’t have to be the usual, “Good morning, my name is YXZ…” Instead, capture your audience’s attention by either telling a story or an interesting fact, recite a quote, ask your audience to recall or imagine something or even ask a rhetorical question!

Related: How to Start a Speech to Engage Your Audience

The body of your presentation represents the bulk of your speech. You should therefore ensure that your main points can be explained in detail and that they have been organized in a logical order that makes your message easy to comprehend.

Similar to your introduction, you should finish on a strong note when it comes to your conclusion. You can do this by linking your conclusion to your introduction, after which you can then echo and summarize your message’s main points.

Different Speech Outline Examples

Below are a few examples of different speech outlines that you can use as a basis to write your own outline. Choosing the right one that works for you may depend on the type of speech you will be giving .

1. Persuasive Speech Outline

Persuasive presentations and speeches usually have a specific purpose in mind; either to urge the audience to take action on something or persuade them to adopt a certain view or opinion of something.


This type of outline allows you, the speaker, to focus on the subject matter point while arguing your case in the most effective and compelling way to your audience.

A persuasive speech outline is made up of these parts:

  • An introduction
  • The conclusion
  • Source Citation

The first three parts are common in most if not all presentations; please refer to step (e) to familiarize yourself with them once more.

A source citation is simply citing the sources for the research and facts that you presented in your speech. Remember you are trying to persuade your audience, so authoritative sources add weight to your argument.

2. Informative Speech Outline

There are different types of informative outlines. These include:

  • The informative speech outline
  • The informative presentation outline
  • The informative essay outline

These outlines are made up of 3 basic parts; the introduction, body and conclusion. For purposes of this article, we will be discussing the informative speech outline.

The central objective of an informative speech is to offer unique, useful and interesting information to your audience. Before choosing your informative speech topic , you should consider your overall objective.  

informative speech

Additionally, there are various types of informative speeches , including:

  • Concept - These are used to discuss abstract ideas like ideas and theories.
  • Process - These are used when describing broad processes.
  • Event - These are used to explain things that may happen, are already happening or those that have happened already.
  • Object - These are used when talking about products, places or people.

In addition to this, there are patterns that can be used to organize your speech outline. These will be chosen depending on your speech type.

Types of these patterns include:

  • Chronological or sequential - This pattern deals with a sequence of events; which could be useful in demonstration speeches or when discussing historical topics
  • Spatial or geographic - Use this pattern when discussing topics that deal with physical spaces
  • Logical - This pattern is suitable for a broad topic that has been broken down into sub-topics.
  • Advantage-disadvantage - This pattern can be used when you will be examining a range of negative and positive aspects of an event or idea

Furthermore, there are 2 possibilities for preparing a speech outline; the speaking and preparation outline.

The speaking outlines make use of phrases and keywords, which helps keep you focused on the subject matter while the preparation outline is used to help you develop your speech and makes use of full sentences.

3. Demonstrative Speech Outline

A demonstrative speech is an instructional speech that teaches the audience something by demonstrating the process.


Here are the basic steps for a demonstrative speech:

  • Ask yourself why you choose this topic and why it is important to the audience
  • Provide an overview
  • Explain the steps involved in your process
  • Talk about variations, other options
  • Ensure you allot time for Q&A
  • Give a brief summary

For a more in-depth guide on writing demonstrative speeches, click here .

Pro-Tip: Write down the specific purpose of your speech and your topic of discussion as you formulate your generic speech outline.

Conclusion: On Speech Outline Formats

As you become better at writing and delivering speeches, you will soon learn that the different outline formats described above aren’t mutually exclusive. Rather, situations often make it necessary to mix different formats.

What are you waiting for? Go out there and grow your confidence as a speech writer and speaker!

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How To Write A Speech Outline

Do you have a speech coming up soon, but don’t know where to start when it comes to writing it? 

Don’t worry. 

The best way to start writing your speech is to first write an outline.

While to some, an outline may seem like an unnecessary extra step — after giving hundreds of speeches in my own career, I can assure you that first creating a speech outline is truly the best way to design a strong presentation that your audience will remember.

Should I Write A Speech Outline?

You might be wondering if you should really bother with a preparation outline. Is a speaking outline worth your time, or can you get through by just keeping your supporting points in mind?

Again, I highly recommend that all speakers create an outline as part of their speechwriting process. This step is an extremely important way to organize your main ideas and all the various elements of your speech in a way that will command your audience’s attention.

Good public speaking teachers will agree that an outline—even if it’s a rough outline—is the easiest way to propel you forward to a final draft of an organized speech that audience members will love.

Here are a few of the biggest benefits of creating an outline before diving straight into your speech.

Gain More Focus

By writing an outline, you’ll be able to center the focus of your speech where it belongs—on your thesis statement and main idea.

Remember, every illustration, example, or piece of information you share in your speech should be relevant to the key message you’re trying to deliver. And by creating an outline, you can ensure that everything relates back to your main point.

Keep Things Organized

Your speech should have an overall organizational pattern so that listeners will be able to follow your thoughts. You want your ideas to be laid out in a logical order that’s easy to track, and for all of the speech elements to correspond.

An outline serves as a structure or foundation for your speech, allowing you to see all of your main points laid out so you can easily rearrange them into an order that makes sense for easy listening.

Create Smoother Transitions

A speaking outline helps you create smoother transitions between the different parts of your speech.

When you know what’s happening before and after a certain section, it will be easy to accurately deliver transitional statements that make sense in context. Instead of seeming like several disjointed ideas, the parts of your speech will naturally flow into each other.

Save Yourself Time

An outline is an organization tool that will save you time and effort when you get ready to write the final draft of your speech. When you’re working off of an outline to write your draft, you can overcome “blank page syndrome.”

It will be much easier to finish the entire speech because the main points and sub-points are already clearly laid out for you.

Your only job is to finish filling everything in.

Preparing to Write A Speech Outline

Now that you know how helpful even the most basic of speech outlines can be in helping you write the best speech, here’s how to write the best outline for your next public speaking project.

How Long Should A Speech Outline Be?

The length of your speech outline will depend on the length of your speech. Are you giving a quick two-minute talk or a longer thirty-minute presentation? The length of your outline will reflect the length of your final speech.

Another factor that will determine the length of your outline is how much information you actually want to include in the outline. For some speakers, bullet points of your main points might be enough. In other cases, you may feel more comfortable with a full-sentence outline that offers a more comprehensive view of your speech topic.

The length of your outline will also depend on the type of outline you’re using at any given moment.

Types of Outlines

Did you know there are several outline types? Each type of outline is intended for a different stage of the speechwriting process. Here, we’re going to walk through:

  • Working outlines
  • Full-sentence outlines
  • Speaking outlines

Working Outline

Think of your working outline as the bare bones of your speech—the scaffolding you’re using as you just start to build your presentation. To create a working outline, you will need:

  • A speech topic
  • An idea for the “hook” in your introduction
  • A thesis statement
  • 3-5 main points (each one should make a primary claim that you support with references)
  • A conclusion

Each of your main points will also have sub-points, but we’ll get to those in a later step.

The benefit of a working outline is that it’s easy to move things around. If you think your main points don’t make sense in a certain order—or that one point needs to be scrapped entirely—it’s no problem to make the needed changes. You won’t be deleting any of your prior hard work because you haven’t really done any work yet.

Once you are confident in this “skeleton outline,” you can move on to the next, where you’ll start filling in more detailed information.

Full-sentence outline

As the name implies, your full-sentence outline contains full sentences. No bullet points or scribbled, “talk about x, y, z here.” Instead, research everything you want to include and write out the information in full sentences.

Why is this important? A full-sentence outline helps ensure that you are:

  • Including all of the information your audience needs to know
  • Organizing the material well
  • Staying within any time constraints you’ve been given

Don’t skip this important step as you plan your speech.

Speaking outline

The final type of outline you’ll need is a speaking outline. When it comes to the level of detail, this outline is somewhere in between your working outline and a full-sentence outline. 

You’ll include the main parts of your speech—the introduction, main points, and conclusion. But you’ll add a little extra detail about each one, too. This might be a quote that you don’t want to misremember or just a few words to jog your memory of an anecdote to share.

When you actually give your speech, this is the outline you will use. It might seem like it makes more sense to use your detailed full-sentence outline up on stage. However, if you use this outline, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of reading your speech—which is not what you want to do. You’ll likely sound much more natural if you use your speaking outline.

How to Write A Speech Outline

We’ve covered the types of outlines you’ll work through as you write your speech. Now, let’s talk more about how you’ll come up with the information to add to each outline type.

Pick A Topic

Before you can begin writing an outline, you have to know what you’re going to be speaking about. In some situations, you may have a topic given to you—especially if you are in a public speaking class and must follow the instructor’s requirements. But in many cases, speakers must come up with their own topic for a speech.

Consider your audience and what kind of educational, humorous, or otherwise valuable information they need to hear. Your topic and message should of course be highly relevant to them. If you don’t know your audience well enough to choose a topic, that’s a problem.

Your audience is your first priority. If possible, however, it’s also helpful to choose a topic that appeals to you. What’s something you’re interested in and/or knowledgeable about? 

It will be much easier to write a speech on a topic you care about rather than one you don’t. If you can come up with a speech topic that appeals to your audience and is interesting to you, that’s the sweet spot for writing and delivering an unforgettable speech.

Write A Thesis Statement

The next step is to ask yourself two important questions:

  • What do you want your audience to take away from your speech?
  • How will you communicate this main message?

The key message of your speech can also be called your “thesis statement.”

Essentially, this is your main point—the most important thing you hope to get across.

You’ll most likely actually say your thesis statement verbatim during your speech. It should come at the end of your introduction. Then, you’ll spend the rest of your talk expanding on this statement, sharing more information that will prove the statement is true.

Consider writing your thesis statement right now—before you begin researching or outlining your speech. If you can refer back to this statement as you get to work, it will be much easier to make sure all of the elements correspond with each other throughout your speech.

An example of a good thesis statement might read like this:

  • Going for a run every day is good for your health.
  • It’s important to start saving for retirement early.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on many small businesses.

The second part of this step is to know how you will communicate your main message . For example, if your key point is that running improves physical health, you might get this across by:

  • Citing scientific studies that proved running is good for your health
  • Sharing your personal experience of going for a run every day

Your goal is for all of your sub-points and supporting material to reflect and support your main point. At the end of the speech, your audience should be appropriately motivated, educated, or convinced that your thesis statement is true.

Once you have a topic for your presentation and a good thesis statement, you can move on to the bulk of the outline.

The first part of your speech is the introduction, which should include a strong “hook” to grab the attention of your audience. There are endless directions you can go to create this hook. Don’t be afraid to get creative! You might try:

  • Telling a joke
  • Sharing an anecdote
  • Using a prop or visual aid
  • Asking a question (rhetorical or otherwise)

These are just a few examples of hooks that can make your audience sit up and take notice.

The rest of your introduction shouldn’t be too long—as a general rule of thumb, you want your introduction to take up about 10% of your entire speech. But there are a few other things you need to say.

Briefly introduce yourself and who you are to communicate why the audience should trust you. Mention why you’re giving this speech. 

Explain that you’re going to cover X main points—you can quickly list them—and include your thesis statement. 

You could also mention how long your speech will be and say what your audience will take away from it (“At the end of our 15 minutes together today, you’ll understand how to write a resume”).

Then smoothly transition into the body of your speech.

Next, you’ll write the body of your speech. This is the bulk of your presentation. It will include your main points and their sub-points. Here’s how this should look:

Your subpoints might be anecdotes, visual aids, or studies. However you decide to support your main points, make them memorable and engaging. Nobody wants to sit and listen to you recite a dry list of facts.

Remember, the amount of detail you include right now will depend on which outline you’re on. Your first outline, or working outline, doesn’t have to include every last little detail. Your goal is to briefly encapsulate all of the most important elements in your speech. 

But beyond that, you don’t need to write down every last detail or example right now. You don’t even have to write full sentences at this point. That will come in your second outline and other future drafts.

Your conclusion should concisely summarize the main points of your speech. You could do this by saying, “To recap as I finish up, today we learned…” and reiterate those primary points.

It’s also good to leave the audience with something to think about and/or discuss. Consider asking them a question that expands on your speech—something they can turn over in their minds the rest of the day. 

Or share one final story or quote that will leave them with lasting inspiration. Bonus points if your conclusion circles back around to your introduction or hook.

In other cases, you may want to end with a call to action. Are you promoting something? Make sure your audience knows what it is, how it will benefit them, and where they can find it. Or, your CTA might be as simple as plugging your Twitter handle and asking listeners to follow you.

Finally, don’t forget to say thank you to your audience for taking the time to listen.

Additional Helpful Speechwriting Tips

Your speech outline is important, but it’s not the only thing that goes into preparing to give a presentation. Take a look at these additional tips I recommend to help your speech succeed.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids are a good way to make sure your audience stays engaged—that they listen closely, and remember what you said. Visual aids serve as an attention-getter for people who may not be listening closely. These aids also ensure that your points are sufficiently supported.

You might choose to incorporate any of the following in your talk:

  • A PowerPoint presentation
  • A chart or graph
  • A whiteboard or blackboard
  • A flip chart
  • A prop that you hold or interact with

Don’t overdo it. Remember, your speech is the main thing you’re presenting. Any visual aids are just that—aids. They’re a side dish, not the main entrée. Select one primary type of aid for your speech.

If you decide to include visual aids, use your speaking outline to make a note of which items you will incorporate where. You may want to place these items on your working outline. They should definitely be on your full-sentence outline.

Keep Your Audience Engaged

As you write and practice your speech, make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your audience engaged the entire time. We’ve already talked about including stories and jokes, using visual aids, or asking questions to vary your talk and make it more interesting.

Your body language is another important component of audience engagement. Your posture should be straight yet relaxed, with shoulders back and feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your body open to the audience.

Make eye contact with different people in the audience. Incorporate hand gestures that emphasize certain points or draw attention to your visual aids.

Don’t be afraid to move around whatever space you have. Movement is especially helpful to indicate a clearer transition from one part of your speech to another. And smile! A simple smile goes a long way to help your audience relax.

Practice Your Speech

When you’re done with speechwriting, it’s time to get in front of the mirror and practice. Pay attention to your body language, gestures, and eye contact. 

Practice working with any visual aids or props you will be using. It’s also helpful to make a plan B—for instance, what will you do if the projector isn’t working and you can’t use your slides?

Ask a friend or family member if you can rehearse your speech for them. When you’re through, ask them questions about which parts held their attention and which ones didn’t.

You should also use your speaking outline and whatever other notes you’ll be using in your speech itself. Get used to referring to this outline as you go. But remember, don’t read anything verbatim (except maybe a quote). Your speaking outline is simply a guide to remind you where you’re going.

Learn to Speak Like A Leader

There’s a lot of work that goes into writing a speech outline. That’s undeniable. But an outline is the best way to organize and plan your presentation. When your speech outline is ready, it will be a breeze to write and then present your actual speech.

If you’re looking for more help learning how to become a strong public speaker, I recommend my free Speak Like A Leader resource. In this handbook, I share power words and phrases that will allow you to get your point across—plus, expert tips and strategies to make you come across more professional in any and every situation.  Download the handbook here and start learning how to give a winning speech.

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest , Linkedin and Youtube .

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  • Preparation , Structure

How to write a speech outline

  • June 12, 2020

What is a speech outline? Think of it as a blueprint for a successful speech or presentation. You wouldn’t start construction on a house or building without a blueprint and you shouldn’t build a speech or presentation without proper preparation. That means having a basic outline.

Blueprint of a speech outline

How do you write a speech outline?

How do you create a good speech outline? Although writing a speech outline might seem daunting at first, if you break the task into small steps, it can be easier than you think. And, when you start to look at the component parts of a speech or presentation, you realize that good speech craft is all about prioritizing your ideas, putting them in the right order and adding supporting detail.

In this post, I set out the steps that I follow when writing an effective outline that will lead to an effective speech or presentation. For the purposes of this post, I will assume that you know the topic and the audience.

The steps to writing a speech outline

Step 1 – big picture.

Before you start writing your outline, it is important to step back and think about some big picture items.

First, think about the three cornerstones to your speech or presentation: the speaker (you); your subject; and your audience. Now, think about the relationships between these three cornerstones and make some notes about each. For example,

Speaker – Subject: What do you know about the subject? Why are you speaking about it? What expertise do you have? What insights can you share with the audience?

Audience – Subject: What does the audience know about the subject? Do they like the subject? Do they not like it? How is the subject relevant for the audience?

Speaker – Audience: What do you know about the people who will attend your presentation? What do they know about you? Do you have any ongoing relationship with them?

The purpose of this step is to get you to step back from the detail and think “big picture” about your speaking engagement.

Step 2 – Objective

What is your objective for the talk? What do you want people to do when have finished speaking?

The objective for your speech

People often tell me that they just want the audience to know something. The most powerful speeches and presentations are the ones that move people to action. If you can get people to take some concrete action, you will have made an impact.

When thinking about what you want the audience to do, be specific. For example, do you want them to increase your department’s budget or invest in your start-up or exercise three times a week? Write out your objective as follows:

“At the end of the presentation, the audience will ___________________ .”

Step 3 – Message

A speech or presentation should have a message, something that holds it together. The French call this le fil rouge – the red thread – that runs through the entirety of the presentation. People often try to pack in several messages but being too informative is not good; the result is often confusing for those listening. Of course, your message can have different parts, but it should have a single, unifying message.

The message of your speech is the red thread that runs through it

Write the message of your speech in a single sentence. It must be a grammatically correct sentence, not a series of points. When you can distill your speech or presentation into a single sentence, the message will be clear in your mind. If you cannot, you need to spend more time thinking about the message. As Albert Einstein said, if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

When developing your speech outline in the steps below, use the message as a gauge for everything that goes into the speech. As you develop your talk, as you think about adding a slide, a statistic, a story, a chart, a graph, etc., ask yourself whether it supports the key message. If it does, it can stay. If it doesn’t, leave it out.

Step 4 – Relevance

A speech or presentation is never about the speaker or her product or service or company. It is always about the audience. When speakers put the audience first , that’s when great things happen.

Now that you have your message, list the reasons why your audience should care about your message. How is your message relevant to them?

You need at least one reason. If you can’t think of any, you have a problem. Either you are giving the wrong speech or you are speaking to the wrong audience. Go back to Step 3 and reconsider your message in light of Steps 1 and 2. Keep doing this until you can list one or more reasons why people should care about what you are saying.

Step 5 – Structure

structure for speech outline

Every speech or presentation needs structure in order for it to have an impact.

There are three basic parts to ever speech or presentation: the opening; the body; and the conclusion. For the purposes of this post, I will discuss them in that order. However, when working on your speech outline, I recommend starting with the body, then working on the opening and finally the conclusion.

(a) Opening

Your opening is the introduction to your presentation. You get one chance to make a good first impression, so you want your opening to be strong. Preparation is key. A strong opening has two parts.

People’s attention is at its highest at the beginning of your presentation so you want to capitalize on it. Speakers who begin in a mundane fashion — “Good morning everyone. I’m happy to be here. My name is So-and-So and today we are going to talk about X” — often miss the opportunity to hook their audience’s attention.

Your speech opening should hook your audience

There is no rule that says you have to begin with “Good morning” or something similar. There is no rule that introducing yourself has to be the first thing you do. And as for being happy, don’t say it. Show it in your smile and enthusiasm.

You can hook your audience’s attention from the outset in different ways. For example:

  • Ask a rhetorical question
  • Ask people to imagine something or recall a time in their lives when something happened
  • Make a bold statement
  • Tell an interesting fact
  • Recite a quote
  • Tell a story

Whatever you choose, be sure that it relates to the topic of your presentation. For your speech outline write down how you will immediately grab the audience’s attention.

(ii) Signpost

Once you have hooked them, you need to let people know where you are going with your presentation. Otherwise, the audience will get frustrated. Have you ever been in the audience and wondered: Where is he going with this? What’s her point? Like I said, it’s frustrating.

Signpost your speech so your audience understands where you are going

You need to signpost your talk. It doesn’t take much but it is a big help for your audience. It is a simple, informative statement of what the talk is about.

For example: “Today I want to share with you three reasons why we should open an office in southeast Asia: lower taxation; a skilled workforce; and market proximity.” Clearly, there is more to know about the proposal, but the sentence is a clear signpost to the audience as to what the presentation will be about.

The body of your presentation is where you develop your message in detail. This part represents the bulk of you presentation, so you need to give it some thought. Here’s how I go about it.

(i) Gather content

You need content for your presentation. Often, you can talk about many points in support of your message. Write them all down. Don’t edit your ideas yet. Write down everything that you could talk about, no matter how insignificant. Try to distill each idea into a word or short phrase.

When you have finished, your preparation should leave you with a sheet full of ideas. You are now ready for the next step.

(ii) Choose the most important points

Leonardo da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Too often, speakers fail to hit the mark because they try to cover too much information. People can only remember so much information. The more you add, the harder it will be for them to remember. Removing information will actually help them.

Of course, the number of points you cover will depend on how much time you have. You can cover more topics in a 30-minute presentation that you can in a 5-minute presentation.

Still, don’t try to talk about everything. What are the main points? Pick what is most important for this audience on this occasion and focus on that. You can always tell the audience that there is more to know but that you are only going to focus on a few ideas.

I know that leaving material out can be difficult, but you have to do it. Think for a moment about the complexity of the projects on which you are currently working. If you were asked to give a 20-minute presentation on any one of those projects, I’d bet that you could only cover a fraction of the detail related to it.

(iii) Order the points

speech structure

Once you know the ideas you are going to discuss, you need to order them in a logical manner that supports your message. Depending on what you are talking about, you have different options. Here are five possible ways to order your content:

  • Chronological (for example, the history of a company or product)
  • Sequential (for example, a process or business plan)
  • Climax (when trying to persuade the audience to do something; points arranged from the least important to the most important, thus building to a climax)
  • Headline (also when trying to persuade the audience to do something but here, the points arranged from the most important to the least important; useful for a small audience of busy, senior, give-me-the-bottom-line-now people)
  • Pros and Cons (when considering options)

Your ideas must be presented in a coherent manner so that they help people understand the reasoning behind your message.

(iv) Add supporting detail

Now that the ideas are in the right order, you want to add supporting detail for each one. Your ideas need to be supported if they are to be convincing.

Your speech outline needs support

Examples of supporting detail include data, charts and graphs, stories, quotes, authoritative sources, visuals, metaphors, demonstrations and more. A good presentation will have a variety of supporting material. That is why this part of the process takes a fair bit of preparation.

For each of your main points, list the things that you will use to support that point. If you are going to use slides as part of the presentation, you can even sketch out a rough idea as to what each slide will contain.

(v) Transitions

Transitions in a presentation do not make up a large part of a presentation, but they are important. Too often, the different points in a presentation blend into each other like the compartments on a train. This makes it more challenging for the audience to follow.

It is important to leave enough space between two ideas so that the audience understands that you are moving onto a new point. Just as you need to signpost what your talk is about in the opening, you also need to signal when you are moving on to a new point in your talk.

A transition can be a simple statement. For example, “The next point is …” or “Another reason in support is …” or “Now that we’ve discussed X, let’s look at Y …”. Any of these will suffice. But a simple statement will allow the audience to shift gears mentally and get ready for the next idea.

On your speech outline, make a note about how each section of the body links to the following section.

(c) Conclusion

You want to finish on a strong note. Too many people waste their conclusions with a weak “Thank you” and exit the stage. You have to resist that urge and maximize your conclusion. You can plan for it in your speech outline.

The conclusion of your speech is important

(i) Transition to conclusion

Plan how you will transition from the final point in the body of your presentation to the conclusion. It should send a clear signal to the audience that you are nearing the end. One way is to link your conclusion to your opening.

(ii) Link to opening

Most people think of a presentation as something that is linear but I like to think of it as something that is  circular . In other words, you link your conclusion to your opening.

speech outline

Thus, for example, if you began with a story, you could finish the story; if you began with a quote, you could come back to the quote; if you told an interesting fact, you could reiterate it (and perhaps add another interesting fact).

Linking your conclusion to the opening is not necessary, but it always adds a nice polish to your presentation and signals to your audience that you are approaching the end. In your speech outline, write down how you might link your conclusion to your opening.

(iii) Repeat and summarize message

Repeating your message as a simple statement will reinforce it in the mind of your audience. Succinctly summarize the different points in support, in the same order in which you presented them in the body of your talk.

(iv) Call to action

As discussed in Step 2 (Objective), the most powerful presentations are the ones that move the audience to take some kind of action. Now is the time to leave the audience with your call to action.

If your call to action is a big one, have a simple first step that they can take. Studies show that if you can get people to take a small step towards a larger goal, the chances of them reaching that goal are greatly increased.

One example of a first step that I have used with a few clients is to have them insert a slide at the end of the deck with a QR code on it. The code links to a website where the audience can learn more about the topic and perhaps download PDF document. It is a simple and effective way to start moving your audience toward your objective.

Final thoughts

When you give a presentation, it is your job to get the audience across the metaphorical bridge that separates them from your idea. How do you do that? It all starts with the preparation of a good speech outline.

How do you write a speech outline? One step at a time.

Write your speech outline one step at a time

Like this article?


Excellent, clear and concise overview — thank you, John! For me, including a clear call to action is my weakest point. I will definitely work on that. (I think it’s very much linked to self-confidence: “Who am I to suggest a call to action to you, audience members?” Is this a gender issue, to some extent, I wonder? I’d love to hear from other women speakers about this point. Or any observations from you as a mentor/coach/trainer, John?)

Thank you very much, Merryl. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I understand your point about the call to action. I know that some women struggle with it, but I also know men who struggle with it as well. There is, as you say, this feeling of “Who am I to tell you what to do?” but then again, who aren’t you to tell me? At the end of the day, I will decide whether to agree with you or not. But if you don’t sound invested, the chances that I will be invested are diminished. In this regard, this post , and the wonderful video in it, about speaking with conviction might help. Good luck with your speeches and presentations!

Excellent. This one a definite keeper! Hugs Mom

Thanks, Mom. Much appreciated.

Delighted to see a mention of the Red Thread here. It’s the backbone of a great talk, but often the hardest thing for people to find (and thus why I wanted to figure out a way to help people find it).

Great suggestions here for how to build a talk from there — thank you.

Thanks a lot John I will use it today for a strategy presentation. 😉

Good luck with the presentation, Michel!

Gems! Love the questions about how much the audience likes the subject – great way to see it from their viewpoint.

Also love your point about getting people to take a small, easy step, to get the ball rolling.

That’s actually the last piece of a 3-part model I use for getting listeners to act:

1. Announce your call-to-action (A) 2. Convince people to own it (C) 3. Transform it into steps (T)

It’s as if you build a bridge between your call-to-action and your listeners’ everyday lives. (See the link for some sample techniques.)

Great post, John. A little longer, but well worth the read!

Thanks, Craig. “ACT” is a great acronym for getting people to … act. I also like the metaphor of a bridge. I often say that your audience is on one side of the river and you want to get them to see things from your side. To do that, you have to build a bridge that allows them to cross over.

Great info, thanks !

Thanks, Hector.

Thank you for sharing that consistent and concise methode on how to outline a speech which is extremeley helpful. I will certainly apply that approach in planning my speeches.

I am glad that you found it helpful, Günther. Thanks for letting me know.

Excellent post: simple, to the point, easy-to-follow, compelling. Like a speech! 🙂

Thank you for summing it up in a neat package, John!

Thank you, Lisa Marie.

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easiest way to write a speech outline

John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.

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TA Leader, Gore and Associates

easiest way to write a speech outline

I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.

CEO, Proton Technologies

easiest way to write a speech outline

John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.

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easiest way to write a speech outline

After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.

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Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization

easiest way to write a speech outline

I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.

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easiest way to write a speech outline

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easiest way to write a speech outline

John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.

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easiest way to write a speech outline

John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"

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easiest way to write a speech outline

Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!

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easiest way to write a speech outline

Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.

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easiest way to write a speech outline

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easiest way to write a speech outline

Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!

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Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International

speech outline template

How to Write a Speech Outline and Up Your Presentation Game

Reading time: about 9 min

Posted by: Marie-Reine Pugh

One reason people find public speaking daunting is they don’t have a simple method to sort their ideas, which can leave them feeling unprepared for the task ahead. Rather than being excited about what they have put together, they think, “Agh, that’ll have to do. I’m out of time.” This feeling, in turn, can have a negative impact on physical and mental energy levels during your talk. If you don’t feel confident, you won’t sound confident, and you’re not likely to impress your audience. If you go in confidently, the audience will be more willing to accept your ideas.

Whether you’re pitching a business idea or delivering a heartfelt wedding speech, you need to consider the perspective of your audience, identify your key message, and decide on the best way to engage your audience from start to finish.

Let’s take a look at how a speech outline works and how you can use Lucidchart to make your own.

Ready to jump right into a speech outline template?

Register for lucidchart to get started., what is a speech outline.

A persuasive speech outline gives you a map of the key ideas of your speech. First, it should ask you to consider your audience’s perspective and the key message you want them to remember from your talk. Then, it should guide you in creating a clear, organized structure for your presentation.

The Vivid Speech Outline in Lucidchart does both. It’s built on neuroscience, which shows that you can avoid anxiety and improve brain performance dramatically when you do the following:

Get information out of our heads and create a simple framework on the page: Humans have a strict limit to the amount of information that they can hold and consider in their mind at any one time. An outline lets your brain focus on one step at a time rather than becoming overwhelmed.

Prioritize, compare, and think deeply during the outline stage, not when overwhelmed by details: The prefrontal cortex, the clarification part of the brain, requires a lot of energy to function. An outline keeps you focused and avoids you hitting “the wall.”

See the relationship between ideas visually: It’s hard to think of new ideas if they don’t connect to existing ideas in some way.

Lucidchart’s Vivid Speech Outline template

Lucidchart has created a template based on Cam’s Vivid Speech Outline to help demystify and speed up the speech writing process.

The Vivid Speech Outline template demonstrates how to write a speech outline through the refinement of two parts: your overall message statement, which is the main point of your presentation, and your chunk structure, which acts as the body and building blocks of your speech. Clarifying your message statement first helps to focus your thinking when you structure your ideas.

Vivid Speech Outline message statement

Step 1: Message statement

The first page of the speech outline is where you define your transferable message. The message statement page asks three important questions:

  • Who are you speaking to? You need to look into the mind of your listeners. What’s their job role, their biases, and their wants and concerns? If you don’t understand your audience’s perspective, you won’t be able to get through to them, no matter how important your ideas may be.  
  • What do you want them to think or do? Do you want them to think something, e.g., “This project will succeed” or “Learning this method will make you better at your job”? Or do you want them to do something, like sign the contract or try the product?  
  • Why would they think or do what you suggest?  Why should your audience sign the contract, try out the product, or believe that the project will succeed? List the reasons, arguments, examples, evidence, etc. (focused on what you know about your audience).

By combining the answers to questions two and three, you will have a draft of your message statement, which you will then transfer to the second page and use as your speech’s conclusion.

Pro tip: The best way to know if this message statement truly encapsulates your point is to test it. Imagine you are finishing your presentation. Think of your imaginary audience and say your message statement out loud. Does it bring your idea to life? Is this the one key message you want your listeners to recall? If not, repeat the process until your message statement feels complete.

Vivid Speech Outline chunk structure

Step 2: Chunk structure

The second page of the template gives you a one-page summary of your entire speech or presentation in brief, narrow pieces called chunks. This allows you to separate the world’s overwhelming details into categories, sections, paragraphs, segments, etc., and think more clearly.

The foundation of your one-page chunk structure is as follows:

1. Presentation title

Create a simple yet captivating title to capture attention and set expectations.

2. Two to four chunks

Make your speech easily digestible by segmenting it into chunks. Depending on what the situation calls for, you can choose two to four chunks or main ideas. You could choose as many segments as you like, but if you include more than four, your talk will start to seem complicated. When announcing the overview of your speech, every audience will be pleased to hear that your talk requires only two, three, or four main ideas to follow.

Inside each main idea or chunk, be sure to include:

A chunk heading: This heading simply states the issue to be discussed.

Details: List the examples, evidence, stories, charts or whatever details that help bring a key point to life beneath the chunk headings.

The key point: People forget most of what they hear, which is why you should state the key point at the end of each chunk. Even if your listeners won’t remember all the details, you hope they will remember the main point for each particular chunk.

For the conclusion, simply transfer over your message statement from the first page. Although you may want to re-test the message statement (from the first page) to see how it flows with the new details you’ve added to your speech outline, you’ve already written your big finish.

Pro tip: Now that you have a completed chunk structure, you can practice your speech from start to finish in less than a minute. Because you have a one-page map of all your important points for this talk in the chunk structure, you can test your message and structure––the yellow shapes (the title, optional introduction, chunk headings, key points, and message statement)––out loud. Most of the time, you won’t need to learn every word of your speech by heart. You just need to make sure you’re clear on the message and structure.

Benefits of the Vivid Speech Outline

The Vivid Speech Outline creates an environment for natural confidence and impact. By creating a persuasive speech outline, you can:

  • Save time and effort by identifying your message and key points as the first step in the writing process.
  • Be more efficient and minimize the mental load by splitting up the outlining and structuring of your speech.
  • Reduce uncertainty and anxiety early in your preparation by considering the tough questions your audience might ask, sticking to the process, and testing the flow your talk.

Use the Vivid Speech Outline to take advantage of these benefits and get a competitive edge.

Using Lucidchart’s Vivid Speech Outline template to create your own presentation

Lucidchart’s template shows you how to write a speech outline that eloquently communicates your innovative message and engages your audience.

Use the Vivid Speech Outline custom shapes to quickly build your message statement and chunk structure pages. Simply drag and drop the custom shapes from the shape repository (or any shape in the toolbox) on the canvas, and fill in the details, chunk headings, or message statement. As you line up your points and supporting details, you’re more likely to notice if some of your ideas don’t quite fit. To make a change, drag and rearrange the shapes any way you want without losing any of the work you’ve already done. As mentioned above, key shapes for the Vivid Speech Outline are also colored to make it easier for you to practice your main ideas.

Lucidchart’s integration with Google Slides makes it easy to export your chunk structure to a slideshow presentation. Preview, edit, and rearrange the already created slides by clicking on the “Slides” icon in the dock to the right of the canvas, and then, with one click, send your finalized chunk structure to Google Slides. You can also select the “Present” option for a quick slide presentation within Lucidchart.

Creating your speech outline in Lucidchart means you also have access to all its sharing and collaboration features. Whether you want to have someone review your speech or you need to work on a presentation as a team, you can email access links to others, invite them to view, comment on, or edit the document, or chat with those with whom you’ve shared the document. Once given access to your document, your whole team can work on it and see each other’s changes in real time.

The beauty of this speech outline is in its simplicity and flexibility. With the help of Lucidchart, you can quickly structure a persuasive speech outline that works for any situation.

About the author

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Marie-Reine Pugh works on finding diagramming solutions as a template specialist at Lucid. With a background in English, she is also fairly obsessed with all kinds of writing and storytelling. She spends her free time perusing books at her local library, watching movies, and baking.

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How to Outline a Speech

 how to outline a speech  (view pdf), introduction.

Your introduction sets the stage for the rest of your speech. As the first thing the audience hears from you, it is also one of the most remembered parts of a speech. It should contain three main elements.

A. Hook: This will grab your audience’s attention and make them interested in your speech. For example, you might ask a question, tell a story, or cite a shocking statistic. Generally, you don’t need to tell the audience your name.

B. Thesis: Just like in a paper, your speech has a thesis. It is what you are here to prove to your audience.

C. Road map: In a speech, you want to signal where you are going to be going and how you’re going to get there; it helps your audience follow you, since they can’t go back and re-read anything like they could in a paper. Your road map previews your main points.

The main section of your speech, where you make your main points. These are what you to laid out in your road map, and this is where transitioning is particularly important. For most speeches, 2-3 main points will give you sufficient content while also being easily followed by the audience. You want to think about the logical order of your points, which would easily flow into one another. 

A. First point: _________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ Transition: ____________________________________________________________________________

B. Second point: _______________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Transition: _____________________________________________________________________________

C. Third point: _________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Transition: _____________________________________________________________________________

Use your conclusion to summarize your main points, but don’t restate them word for word, similar to the conclusion of an essay. There’s a tendency to end speeches by saying “and that’s all I have,” but this is the last impression you’re giving your audience, and it’s an opportunity to drive home why your message is important.

A. Paraphrase your thesis and main points: _____________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________

B. Tell your audience why your message is important: ___________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________

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Format for Writing a Speech: A Basic Template & Outline To Use for Any Occasion

The goal of all forms of communication is to convey a clear message or information that fosters understanding. One of the building blocks to achieving this goal is structuring a speech for clarity and coherence.

Speech format is the structure or template used to create a coherent speech. It includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. Another factor that builds an effective speech is the outline. It serves as a guideline and focuses on a speech’s flow or organization.

The format of speech writing vs. outline might be confusing but think of it like a ladder. The side rails are the format of the speech —it holds the ladder together. Meanwhile, the outline serves as the steps to deliver your message.

Speech writing can be an intimidating task. However, knowing the format for writing a speech and the best speech writing strategies makes it as easy as climbing a ladder.

Speech Writing Format

The speech writing format is the structure of every speech. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction: This part of a speech starts with a brief statement about your topic or purpose. It should be short and straight to the point while catching listeners’ attention. It is because aside from giving an overview, the introduction functions as a hook.

Body: As the meat of the speech, the body is part of a talk where you will present your ideas in detail. The basic guidelines for writing the body are:

  • Highlight the main ideas followed by the supporting details.
  • Use transition words to guide your audience through your speech.
  • Keep the sentences short for ease of pronunciation and delivery.

You can arrange the components of the body chronologically as in writing a narrative speech. Another technique is to write it according to the level of importance and relevance.

Conclusion: This final part of the format of the speech summarizes all the points that you made during your speech. Make sure you briefly restate the key points mentioned earlier in the body. However, more than giving a summary, the conclusion functions to inspire your audience to act and reflect.

Knowing the format of how to write a speech helps you organize your thoughts. It also makes it easy to plan what you want to say and how you would present them.

What is Speech Writing?

Speech writing is the art and process of crafting speeches for public speaking events. As an art, it involves the formation of ideas and creatively packaging them as a message. Meanwhile, it includes the process of researching, planning, outlining, drafting, and editing.

The speech should be well-written and organized to ensure smooth delivery and effective communication. A great speech writer understands how to structure and deliver information effectively. They also know how to connect ideas and use examples to illustrate points.

Writing a speech is a skill every person needs to master as it is part of our daily lives —we communicate with people every day. It’s not something you learn in an hour or two, as it takes practice and time.

You can start honing your English speech-writing skills by reading famous speeches of prominent personalities. Observe how they wrote it and learn their strategies.

Speech in English Language Writing

The foundation of speech in English language writing is grammar. Grammar is the set of rules used to construct meaningful utterances. It helps speakers express themselves clearly and concisely. In addition, it provides us with a framework for organizing thoughts into coherent paragraphs.

Another factor that contributes to speech in the English language is pragmatics. Pragmatics is how speakers use language to send and receive information. It enters the delivery process of speech as the speaker needs to consider how that audience will form meaning with the speaker’s utterances.

Starting to learn how to write speech in English is easy when you take it step by step. Learn the common words and their function or grammar before moving to more complex concepts like knowing phrases and forming sentences and paragraphs.

How to Write a Speech?

Learning how to write a speech after knowing the basic speech format can be tricky. The speech writing process varies for different persons. However, knowing what to place under the introduction, body, and conclusion helps create an effective speech.

1. Introduction

The introduction of speech in English states the overview of the topic and sets out the purpose of the talk. It’s necessary to keep it short. Use 125-150 words to grab the attention of the audience. In the age of technology, where the majority owns mobile phones, you must ensure that you can hook the audience into listening to your speech in just a few seconds.

The format of the speech introduction varies depending on the occasion. On special occasions like weddings, one can use an informal speech introduction. Meanwhile, a formal speech introduction would be proper for events like business conferences, award ceremonies, and graduation programs.

2. The Body

The challenging part of how to write a speech is the body. It is the longest part, where you coherently present ideas. Note that the prescribed word limit per paragraph is 150-200 words.

Write the body of a speech with the smooth flow of delivery in mind. As such, section the body into different main ideas or themes. Remember to include two or three supporting details under each key point. Finally, use transition words to guide your listeners and organize your thoughts.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion is the last part of the format of speech writing. It is crucial when trying to write a perfect speech. Similar to the introduction, the challenge is maintaining the audience’s attention. Accept the possibility that the audience will check cell phones when delivering your talk. So, in your conclusion, craft a powerful statement or pose a question to bring back their attention to you. Most importantly, to make your audience act or reflect on your topic. Having a powerful conclusion makes your speech worth remembering.

How to Write a Speech Format?

Understanding the public speech format is a valuable asset you can add to your skill set. It will help you write better speeches. Additionally, it will make you more confident when speaking in front of an audience. Here are ten tips on how to write a speech format and create an amazing speech:

1. Decide the purpose of your speech

The three main goals of speeches are to inform, persuade, and entertain. Facts are meant to be presented to the audience on informative speeches. Convincing the audience to take action is the aim of a persuasive speech. Lastly, an entertaining speech aims to make people relax, laugh, and smile.

A lecture or speech about music theories and a speech on disaster risk prevention are examples of informative speeches. Conversely, a speech on the importance of a learning management system delivered to respected teachers is a persuasive speech. Stand-up comedies, birthday greeting speeches, and award acceptance speeches are entertaining in nature.

2. Know your audience

Another factor that determines how you write a speech is your audience. You have to adjust your outlining strategy and style with the end goal of connecting to your audience. A formal speech would be proper when delivering a speech with English teachers and college students in the audience. Meanwhile, when giving a speech to your fellow students, you may use an informal tone of speech.

Note that your audience is people from different walks of life. Therefore, your style of speech must relate to various demographics. Craft a public speech format on a topic or speech people would want to hear.

3. Choose a speech topic

After knowing your audience, decide on what to write in a speech. Ensure that the topics you discuss are of interest and would be beneficial to them. For example, if you’re giving a lecture to your class, you can talk about the topic they’ve been studying all semester. If you’re giving a talk at a wedding, you can share a funny anecdote about the bride or groom. When giving a commemorative speech, focus on the accomplishments to pay tribute to a person, group, or institution.

Considering the subject matter in the early planning stage of your speech saves you from revising your draft multiple times.

4. Do the research

The “unskippable” process of writing a speech is research. Remember that your information must be factual, no matter the type of speech you are writing or its purpose. Research is crucial in the speech writing process because it will help you to know what to write in a speech.

Visiting your school library or browsing the internet are great ways to research. Moreover, you can also reach out to your English teacher to help you find resources.

5. Craft the outline

More than knowing the format, mastering how to write a speech writing outline is a valuable asset or skill that helps you stay organized. It is necessary no matter the style of speech you’re going to write.

Break down your main topic into subtopics to create a speech outline. For example, when writing a 5-minute speech about “should art be a part of the school curriculum?” for a school assembly: take the keywords from the topic and define it. What is art? Briefly enumerate forms of art. Next, what is a holistic curriculum? Answer why art plays a crucial role in the holistic curriculum. End your speech with the benefits of art. Finally, create a punchline on why a curriculum is incomplete without art.

6. Start with a hook

In English speech writing, a hook is a statement that draws the audience in and makes them want to listen more. The best hooks are memorable, unexpected, and attention-grabbing.

Speech has time limits. Therefore, it is best to engage people instantly with the first few sentences of your talk. You can use a rhetorical question, powerful quote, or narrative as your hook.

7. Include narratives

Speech writers are story writers. Hence, weaving a narrative into your speech structure is the best way to pique the audience’s interest. You can narrate a personal story or an anecdote.

Stories make your point more memorable. In fact, research has shown that people remember stories better than they do facts. So, to maintain the crowd’s attention, use narratives to relay facts and help them understand your message.

8. Include a call to action

One of the basic guidelines for writing following the format of public speech is the call to action (CTA). A CTA is a statement that tells your audience what they should do next. A good way to work out which call to action will help achieve your goals is to ask yourself “what would I like my audience to do as a result?” It could be as easy as “let’s give the newlyweds a toast” in a wedding speech. Or inspiring people to cut their carbon footprint when delivering a speech about global warming.

9. Conclude your speech

The last structure of a speech you should not forget is the conclusion. Concluding speeches give you the chance to reiterate your message and leave attendees reflecting on it. Summarize your main points and connect them to your call to action to accomplish this. You can end your speech with an engaging question to make your audience reflect on your message.

10. Review your speech

Finally, the last step in how to write a speech writing format or outline is reviewing your output. This process involves editing for grammar consistency, paraphrasing complex sentences, and rearranging topics for better flow and coherence. The final check you perform before delivering your speech is necessary because it helps ensure that your message will be clear and concise.

How to Rehearse a Speech

Delivery brings your speech to life from the paper to the crowd. But to avoid breaking into cold sweats or feeling anxious, practice or rehearsal is essential. A popular trick in public speaking that coaches suggest is to imagine your audience are frogs instead of real persons. This trick works during the rehearsal stage.

Here are five steps when rehearsing a speech:

1. Start by silent reading and assigning or marking pauses in your speech.

Your speech / should look like this / after marking your pauses.//

2. Stand in front of a mirror, read aloud, and practice your pauses and voice modulation.

3. Record your speech to identify where you stumbled.

4. Try speaking without your copy to test your retention.

5. Simulate the event by practicing in front of your friends.

Speech Writing Tips

After learning about speech format and speech outline, here are actionable steps you can do to start honing your speech writing skills:

1. Choose an easy topic to start with.

2. Use a blank speech outline template to guide you as a beginner.

3. Fill out the blank template with the main idea, supporting details, and conclusion of your topic.

4. Read about something that interests you.

5. Lose the blank template and create your own outline to summarize what you read.

6. Create a speech based on your outline.

7. Edit and revise to make it spotless.

8. Write for different types of audiences.

9. Change your style depending on the event (e.g., birthday speech, graduation ceremony).

10. Practice consistently to build your unique speech-writing voice.

The basic format of speech writing is easy to follow: the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction sets up your thesis or argument; the body explains it in detail, and the conclusion summarizes what you’ve said and includes a call to action. This blog is your guide on writing your next amazing speech — from start to finish!

Frequently Asked Questions

The five steps on how to write a speech in English are the following: 1. Know about your topic by identifying main themes or ideas and their supporting details. 2. Create your outline and arrange how you will present your message. 3. Write your first draft following the basic format: introduction, body, and conclusion. 4. Read and rewrite your draft to ensure proper grammar and organization. 5. Use your final output to practice your speech out loud.

There are four types of speech delivery: impromptu, extemporaneous, memorized, and manuscript. An impromptu delivery happens on the spot and makes you think on your feet. Think of when you got called for a class recitation. Another school activity is reporting or presenting in class — that’s an example of extemporaneous speaking. You will have time to research the topic and deliver your speech naturally. As the name suggests, memorized speech is written and remembered by the writer word by word. Lastly, manuscript delivery is a formal speech wherein a speaker reads the material on paper. News anchors, politicians, and other public speakers use this speech delivery method.

Preparation and practice are the two requirements of good speech delivery. The preparation phase includes researching, outlining, drafting, editing, revising, and finalizing processes. Meanwhile, practice is the speaking phase. It is when one reads the manuscript out loud with proper pacing, tone, and pauses.

An outline is the skeleton of your speech. It helps you in organizing the information you want to convey during your speech. The first step of outlining is to know about your topic by researching it. Next, extract and arrange the main ideas, either chronologically or by the level of importance or relevance. Finally, insert supporting details in every main idea you identified. Take an overall review of the outline you created and adjust as necessary.

The format of public speech writing includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. To write the introduction, start with a topic sentence stating what you will talk about in your speech. Don’t forget to include a hook in your introduction. The body of your speech expounds on the main idea of your topic and supports it with relevant examples. For each point, make sure you provide evidence and support for your claims. In addition, add transition words between points to help the listener understand the flow of your speech. Finally, conclude your speech with a summary statement that restates the main idea of your speech and integrates a call to action.

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Grow » thrive, 7 steps to writing a great speech.

These seven steps will help you write a memorable and effective speech.

 Person giving a speech to a group of people.

If you’re preparing for a presentation, the work really begins when you sit down to write your speech. A great speech will engage the audience and can lead to greater personal and professional success. Here are seven steps to writing an effective speech.

Know what your core message is

When preparing to write a speech, you want to start by thinking about the core message you want to share. Your core message should be a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about and one that’s relevant to your audience.

The topic should be delivered in a way that’s easy to understand and concise. Ideally, your audience should be able to explain what the speech was about in just one or two sentences.

Think about your audience

Next, you want to learn as much as possible about your audience because this will inform how you deliver the speech. The language you use and the examples you share will depend on the audience you’re speaking to.

As you learn more about your audience, you want to consider the circumstances that brought them together. Are they gathering for a business conference, or is it for a charity event? How big will the audience be, and how knowledgeable are they about the subject you’re speaking on?

[Read more: How to Give a Great Presentation ]

Do your research

The amount of research you complete will depend on how familiar you are with your topic. But even if it’s a topic you know inside and out, it’s a good idea to do at least some research. This will help you gather new information and come up with unique and fresh ideas.

The amount of research you complete will depend on how familiar you are with your topic. But even if it’s a topic you know inside and out, it’s a good idea to do at least some research.

Come up with an outline

Now it’s time to organize your information and ideas into a detailed outline. Organizing your information will make it easier once it’s time to sit down and write the speech. Your outline should include three main parts:

  • Introduction : The introduction sets the stage for the information you’ll be sharing. It’s a good idea to start with a story that will catch your audience’s attention. From there, you can outline what you’ll be sharing and the conclusion you’ll reach.
  • Body : The body of your speech is where you’ll highlight the overarching points you’re trying to make. But be careful not to throw too much information at your audience — two to three main points are enough.
  • Conclusion : During the conclusion, you’ll summarize your core message and what the audience should take away from the speech. Look for ways to end your speech on a strong note, so the audience understands why this topic matters and how they can take action.

Write a draft

Once you have an outline, you can begin drafting your speech. Don’t try to make your speech perfect during the drafting stage — just try to get your ideas on paper. You can come back to revise and improve your speech later.

Choose a presentation tool

If you’re speaking in a professional setting, you’ll likely want to compliment your speech with a presentation tool like PowerPoint. Using a slide deck is a great way to add a visual element to your speech that will further engage the audience. Using a template can make it easier to develop a well-designed slide deck.

[Read more: 6 Business Presentation Tools for Small Businesses ]

Practice and revise

Great speeches take time to write, so you should plan to practice and revise your speech as needed. You can practice your speech in front of a friend or family member, ask for their feedback, and then adjust your speech accordingly.

As you’re revising, focus on using conversational language and short sentences. Look for any areas that are too general or vague, and try to come up with specific examples that will back up your core message.

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Module 4: Organizing and Outlining

Outlining your speech.

Most speakers and audience members would agree that an organized speech is both easier to present as well as more persuasive. Public speaking teachers especially believe in the power of organizing your speech, which is why they encourage (and often require) that you create an outline for your speech. Outlines , or textual arrangements of all the various elements of a speech, are a very common way of organizing a speech before it is delivered. Most extemporaneous speakers keep their outlines with them during the speech as a way to ensure that they do not leave out any important elements and to keep them on track. Writing an outline is also important to the speechwriting process since doing so forces the speakers to think about the main points and sub-points, the examples they wish to include, and the ways in which these elements correspond to one another. In short, the outline functions both as an organization tool and as a reference for delivering a speech.

Outline Types

Carol Shafto speaking

“Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto Speaks at 2011 Michigan Municipal League Convention” by Michigan Municipal League. CC-BY-ND .

There are two types of outlines. The first outline you will write is called the preparation outline . Also called a working, practice, or rough outline, the preparation outline is used to work through the various components of your speech in an inventive format. Stephen E. Lucas [1] put it simply: “The preparation outline is just what its name implies—an outline that helps you prepare the speech” (p. 248). When writing the preparation outline, you should focus on finalizing the purpose and thesis statements, logically ordering your main points, deciding where supporting material should be included, and refining the overall organizational pattern of your speech. As you write the preparation outline, you may find it necessary to rearrange your points or to add or subtract supporting material. You may also realize that some of your main points are sufficiently supported while others are lacking. The final draft of your preparation outline should include full sentences, making up a complete script of your entire speech. In most cases, however, the preparation outline is reserved for planning purposes only and is translated into a speaking outline before you deliver the speech.

A speaking outline is the outline you will prepare for use when delivering the speech. The speaking outline is much more succinct than the preparation outline and includes brief phrases or words that remind the speakers of the points they need to make, plus supporting material and signposts. [2] The words or phrases used on the speaking outline should briefly encapsulate all of the information needed to prompt the speaker to accurately deliver the speech. Although some cases call for reading a speech verbatim from the full-sentence outline, in most cases speakers will simply refer to their speaking outline for quick reminders and to ensure that they do not omit any important information. Because it uses just words or short phrases, and not full sentences, the speaking outline can easily be transferred to index cards that can be referenced during a speech.

Outline Structure

Because an outline is used to arrange all of the elements of your speech, it makes sense that the outline itself has an organizational hierarchy and a common format. Although there are a variety of outline styles, generally they follow the same pattern. Main ideas are preceded by Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.). Sub-points are preceded by capital letters (A, B, C, etc.), then Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), and finally lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.). Each level of subordination is also differentiated from its predecessor by indenting a few spaces. Indenting makes it easy to find your main points, sub-points, and the supporting points and examples below them. Since there are three sections to your speech— introduction, body, and conclusion— your outline needs to include all of them. Each of these sections is titled and the main points start with Roman numeral I.

Outline Formatting Guide

Title: Organizing Your Public Speech

Topic: Organizing public speeches

Specific Purpose Statement: To inform listeners about the various ways in which they can organize their public speeches.

Thesis Statement: A variety of organizational styles can used to organize public speeches.

Introduction Paragraph that gets the attention of the audience, establishes goodwill with the audience, states the purpose of the speech, and previews the speech and its structure.


I. Main point

A. Sub-point B. Sub-point C. Sub-point

1. Supporting point 2. Supporting point

Conclusion Paragraph that prepares the audience for the end of the speech, presents any final appeals, and summarizes and wraps up the speech.


In addition to these formatting suggestions, there are some additional elements that should be included at the beginning of your outline: the title, topic, specific purpose statement, and thesis statement. These elements are helpful to you, the speechwriter, since they remind you what, specifically, you are trying to accomplish in your speech. They are also helpful to anyone reading and assessing your outline since knowing what you want to accomplish will determine how they perceive the elements included in your outline. Additionally, you should write out the transitional statements that you will use to alert audiences that you are moving from one point to another. These are included in parentheses between main points. At the end of the outlines, you should include bibliographic information for any outside resources you mention during the speech. These should be cited using whatever citations style your professor requires. The textbox entitled “Outline Formatting Guide” provides an example of the appropriate outline format.

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu

Preparation Outline

This chapter contains the preparation and speaking outlines for a short speech the author of this chapter gave about how small organizations can work on issues related to climate change (see appendices). In this example, the title, specific purpose, thesis, and list of visual aids precedes the speech. Depending on your instructor’s requirements, you may need to include these details plus additional information. It is also a good idea to keep these details at the top of your document as you write the speech since they will help keep you on track to developing an organized speech that is in line with your specific purpose and helps prove your thesis. At the end of the chapter, in Appendix A, you can find a full length example of a Preparation (Full Sentence) Outline.

Speaking Outline

In Appendix B, the Preparation Outline is condensed into just a few short key words or phrases that will remind speakers to include all of their main points and supporting information. The introduction and conclusion are not included since they will simply be inserted from the Preparation Outline. It is easy to forget your catchy attention-getter or final thoughts you have prepared for your audience, so it is best to include the full sentence versions even in your speaking outline.

Using the Speaking Outline

Major General John Nichols

“TAG speaks of others first” by Texas Military Forces. CC-BY-ND .

Once you have prepared the outline and are almost ready to give your speech, you should decide how you want to format your outline for presentation. Many speakers like to carry a stack of papers with them when they speak, but others are more comfortable with a smaller stack of index cards with the outline copied onto them. Moreover, speaking instructors often have requirements for how you should format the speaking outline. Whether you decide to use index cards or the printed outline, here are a few tips. First, write large enough so that you do not have to bring the cards or pages close to your eyes to read them. Second, make sure you have the cards/pages in the correct order and bound together in some way so that they do not get out of order. Third, just in case the cards/pages do get out of order (this happens too often!), be sure that you number each in the top right corner so you can quickly and easily get things organized. Fourth, try not to fiddle with the cards/pages when you are speaking. It is best to lay them down if you have a podium or table in front of you. If not, practice reading from them in front of a mirror. You should be able to look down quickly, read the text, and then return to your gaze to the audience.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. – Albert Einstein
  • Lucas, Stephen E. (2004). The art of public speaking (8th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill. ↵
  • Beebe, S. A. & Beebe, S. J. (2003). The public speaking handbook (5th edition). Boston: Pearson. ↵
  • Chapter 8 Outlining Your Speech. Authored by : Joshua Trey Barnett. Provided by : University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN. Located at : http://publicspeakingproject.org/psvirtualtext.html . Project : The Public Speaking Project. License : CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
  • Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto Speaks at 2011 Michigan Municipal League Convention. Authored by : Michigan Municipal League. Located at : https://flic.kr/p/aunJMR . License : CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives
  • TAG speaks of others first. Authored by : Texas Military Forces. Located at : https://www.flickr.com/photos/texasmilitaryforces/5560449970/ . License : CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives

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How to Write an Outline for Speech: Basic Guide

Table of Contents

An outline is a crucial component of the speech-writing process. It ensures that your speech is well-organized and captures your audience’s attention.

This article will explain the necessity of an outline and how to write a outline for speech to deliver a flawless presentation. Let’s dive in!

Importance of an Outline for a Speech

Without an outline, your speech could be confusing or unpolished. But with a written outline, you can deliver a complete and impressive speech.

Here are other important reasons why you should draft an outline for your speech before you start writing it.

1. Sharpen Your Concentration

By outlining your speech, you may ensure that your thesis statement and primary concept receive the attention they deserve.

Remember that every detail of your speech should support the core idea you’re trying to convey. Also, by outlining your work, you can ensure that each section strengthens your overall argument.

2. Maintain a Semblance of Order

Your speech must follow a general structure for your audience to follow what you are saying.

If you want your speech to make sense to an audience and flow smoothly, it’s a good idea to draft an outline beforehand. It allows you to see all of your essential points and rearrange them in a way that makes sense to you.

3. Make the Transitions Easier to Follow

Your speech’s transitions will be more seamless if you use an outline. Knowing the context of what comes before and after a given part can help you deliver smooth transitions between them. Instead of sounding like a collection of unrelated thoughts, your words will flow seamlessly from one to the next.

4. Prevents Time Wastage

You can save yourself a lot of time and stress when you write your speech’s final draft by first creating an outline. Writing a draft with an outline can help you avoid “blank page syndrome.”

The speech’s main themes and subpoints are written for you, making it much simpler to complete.

How to Write a Outline for Speech: Structure & Tips

We have discussed the many speech outlines you might use as a guide while writing your speech. Now, let’s dive into structuring your outline.

man speaking in front of crowd

1. Select a Topic of Interest

You must have a firm grasp on your topic before you can even begin sketching out your talk’s structure. Think about who you’re speaking to and what they can learn from your presentation.

Naturally, you want your subject matter and messaging to be very pertinent to them. Not knowing your audience well enough to select an appropriate topic is problematic.

To whom you’re speaking is of paramount importance. However, it helps if you can write about something that interests you. What is it that you enjoy learning about or doing?

Writing a speech on a topic you’re interested in will be less of a chore than writing one on something you’re not. Finding that sweet spot between what interests you and your audience is the first step in creating a memorable speech.

2. Create a Statement of Thesis

Is there a particular message you want people to walk away with after hearing your speech? How will you get this primary point across?

The thesis statement is the main idea of your speech. It is the crux of your argument, the essence of what you’re trying to convey.

During your speech, you will almost certainly repeat your thesis statement verbatim. It’s best to include it just after you introduce yourself. The remainder of your discussion will build upon this point and provide evidence to show that it is correct.

Before you go into your research or outline for your speech, sit down and write your thesis statement. It will be much simpler to ensure consistency throughout your address if you can refer back to this statement as you start to work.

The aim is to have your details and evidence back up and strengthen that central argument. Your speech’s conclusion should leave listeners feeling inspired, informed, or convinced of the veracity of your thesis.

Your speech should begin with an engaging opening to pique the listeners’ interest. The possibilities for developing this hook are virtually limitless. Be bold and think beyond the box. You could try the following:

  • Shocking Statistics or an alluring quote
  • Exemplifying with anecdotes
  • Posing a query (rhetorical or otherwise)

These are a few kinds of hooks that can get people to pay attention to what you have to say.

The remainder of your introduction should be concise; your introduction should only go on for at most ten percent of your total speech time.

Convey to the audience quickly who you are and why they should listen to you by providing a brief introduction. Provide some context for your speech. Include your thesis statement and a brief explanation that you will be discussing X essential issues. Continually connect your introduction to the meat of your address.

After that, compose the meat of your presentation. This is where you’ll spend most of your talk. As such, it will feature both your primary arguments and any supporting details you care to provide.

Use examples, visuals, or research to support the claims you make. Make sure they are exciting and memorable. Nobody cares to hear you deliver a boring list of information.

You don’t have to jot down every last example or nuance. Do not worry about composing complete sentences.

5. Conclusion

Your speech’s conclusion should offer a brief, memorable summary of its key ideas. It’s preferable to end on a thought-provoking or conversation-starting note with the audience. Consider asking them a follow-up question that gives them something to think about after you’ve finished talking.

You can also leave them with a tale or statement that will stay with them. Extra points if you can refer back to your opening statement or hook in your final paragraph.

In other situations, a call to action could be the best way to wrap things up. Is there a product you’re trying to sell? Specify what it is, how it will help your target audience, and where they can get it. As a call-to-action, you might simply provide your handle and encourage others to follow you. In the end, be sure to express gratitude to everyone who listened to you.

Wrapping Up

Knowing how to write a outline for speech is essential to succeed in public speaking. The more natural your address is, the better your audience will be able to comprehend your message and pay attention to your significant points.

How to Write an Outline for Speech: Basic Guide

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Speech And Debate

Speech Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

How to Write a Speech - Outline With Example

By: Cordon J.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Sep 8, 2020

How to Write a Speech

Giving a speech for a class, event or work can be nerve-wracking. However, writing an effective speech can boost your confidence level.

A speech is an effective medium to communicate your message and speech writing is a skill that has its advantages even if you are a student or a professional.

With careful planning and paying attention to small details, you can write a speech that will inform, persuade, entertain or motivate the people you are writing for.

If this is your first speech. Take all the time you need.

Like other skills, you can learn speech writing too.

Give yourself enough time to write and practice it several times for the best possible results.

How to Write a Speech

On this Page

You have a message that you want people to hear or you are preparing a speech for a particular situation such as a commemorative speech.

No matter what the case, it is important to ensure that the speech is well structured or else you will fail to deliver your effective message. And you don’t want that, do you?

You can also explore our complete guide to  write a commemorative speech . Make sure to give the article a thorough read.

How to Create a Speech Outline?

Want to write a speech your audience will remember? A speech outline is a thing you should start with.

‘How to write a speech outline?’

A speech outline is very important in helping you sound more authoritative and in control. As you write your speech outline you will have to focus on how you will introduce yourself, your topic, and the points that you will be going to cover.

A speech outline will save a lot of your time and will help you organize your thoughts. It will make sure the speech is following a proper structure and format.

Before you start writing your own speech you need to know:

  • WHO you are writing the speech for
  • WHAT the speech will be going to cover
  • HOW long it needs to be e.g if it is a 5-minute speech (then how many words in a 5-minute speech)

These speech tips will help you get on the right track from the start. Here is an example of how you can craft a speech outline.


  • Choose your topic and the main points that your speech will cover. Know your audience and get to know what they are looking for. Pay attention to their needs
  • Define the purpose of the speech and properly organize it


  • A strong statement to grab the reader’s attention
  • Refine the thesis statement
  • State something that establishes credibility
  • Provide your main idea and include some supporting statements.
  • Examples and further details (if needed)
  • Summarize the main points of the speech
  • Closing statement
  • Call to action

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How to Write an Effective Speech?

‘How to write a graduation speech?’

‘How to write a speech for school?’

‘How to write a speech about yourself?’

Get your answers in the below sections.

Just like essays, the speech also follows three sections: Introduction, the main body, and conclusion.

However, unlike essays, a speech must be written to be heard as opposed to just being read. It is important to write a speech in a way that can grab the reader’s attention and helps in painting a mental image.

It is the opening statement of a speech. It is important to know how to start a speech that can grab the attention of the audience.

‘How to write a speech introduction?’

It should include a hook-grabber statement about your topic. It should end with a strong transition from a big idea of the introduction to the main body of the essay. Some great ways to begin your speech are, to begin with, a rhetorical question, a quote, or another strong statement.

Make sure the introduction is not more than one paragraph. This will ensure you do not spend much time on the background before getting to the main idea of the topic.

The introduction is a great chance to make sure your opening is memorable as this is the point when your audience will make up their mind about you.

The Main body

The majority of the speech should be spent presenting your thesis statement and supporting ideas in an organized way.

Avoid rambling as it will immediately lose your audience’s attention. No need to share everything, instead pick some points and stick to them throughout your speech.

Organize your points in a logical manner so they support and build on each other. Add as many points as needed to support the overall message of your speech.

State each point clearly and provide all the required information, facts, statistics, and evidence, to clarify each of your points.

It is a good idea to include your personal experiences to make your speech more interesting and memorable.

Another important thing to be kept in mind is the use of transition. The purpose of adding transition words is to improve the overall flow of the information and help the reader to understand the speech structure. Words like next, then, after, before, at that moment, etc. are the most commonly used transition words to make the whole writing less choppy and more interesting.

The conclusion should restate and summarize all the main points of the speech. Because the audience will most likely remember what they have heard last. Beautifully wrap up the whole speech and give something for the audience to think about.

For an extra element, close your speech by restating the introduction statement so it feels like a complete package.

A good approach to conclude your speech is to introduce a call to action. Encourage your audience to participate in the solution to the problem that you are discussing. Give your audience some direction on how they can participate.

Practice and more practice is key to a great speech so it is important that you read your speech and listen to yourself. When writing, take care of the required length also.

Speech Topics - Engaging Topics to Choose From

You feel relief when your teacher says you are free to choose your speech topic. Feel free to write about anything you want. The problem is students still feel stuck in choosing an effective speech topic. If you are one of them, here is a list of the best speech ideas to help you get through the process.

  • What role do cats play in human’s lives
  • How to improve communication disorders
  • World’s fastest-growing country
  • Today’s world pollution rate
  • How to improve interpersonal skills
  • Are paper books better than e-books
  • Should the death penalty be abolished
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote
  • Should voting be made compulsory
  • Is it better to live together before marriage

These are some of the interesting topics that you can consider. However, if you are still not sure about the topic of your speech, you can explore our article on  informative speech topics  and pick any of your choices.

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Speech Example

Stressing over on how to write a good speech? Speech examples are sure to be your best friend for effective speech writing and its effortless delivery.

Here is a sample speech example to help you get through your own speech writing process. Explore this example and get the answer on how to give a good speech.

Get Professional Help for Your Speech

If you are good at public speaking but lack writing skills or you do not have enough time to follow the mentioned points and write a speech, don't worry.

You can always contact us at 5StarEssays.com.

We have a highly qualified and amazing team of expert writers who can help you if you want to buy speeches online with high-quality content.

Contact our " write my essay " service with your requirements. Our essay writer will provide you with quality material that your audience will remember for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best introduction for a speech.

The best way to open a speech’s introduction is, to begin with, a story. Tell an inspiring story to your audience and connect it with your personal narrative.

What is the first step of speech writing?

The first step of writing a speech is to choose a topic. Choosing a good topic is important to have an engaging and great speech.

What are the five steps in speech writing?

Here are the five steps involved in writing a speech.

  • Choose a topic.
  • Investigate your audience.
  • Built an outline.
  • Rehearse the speech.
  • Revise and finalize.

What are the types of speech delivery?

Here are the types of speech delivery.

  • Extemporaneous

What are the two P’s required for good speech delivery?

The two P’s required for proper speech delivery are Preparation and Practice.

Cordon J.

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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Ace the Presentation

how to outline a speech

How to Outline A Speech – Easy 4-stage Strategy


The art of speech outlining is such that anybody trying to make a public presentation should give strict adherence to. If you came here asking ‘how to outline a speech?’, then rest assured, you will learn how to craft an effective speech outline by the time you finish reading this article.

When you organize your speech into a comprehensive outline, you not only boost your confidence and delivery by doing so but, you also, establish authority in your chosen field of endeavor.

Now, before proceeding to prepare your speech outline, be sure to start with an excellent introduction about yourself and the topic or subject that will form the basis of the discussion, the main points you hope to go over, as well putting the diverse interests of the audience into consideration.

As you write your speech outline, you will need to consider chopping it into various cross-sections from the introduction down to the conclusion.

The introductory part of your presentation will contain a brief intro about yourself, the foundation and theme of your topic, and your work in the field of discussion.

The mid-section part of your presentation will include much of the discussion itself. This will be an opener into the topic, as well as touching on each of the main points in the presentation.

The last part of the speech outline will hold the final notes, the summary as well as a question and answering session, before the final closing remarks

We will do better to illustrate these stages below.

How to Outline a Speech Stage I

1. introduction.

The most common approach is to open the floor with a warm welcome and a brief intro about yourself. Of course, you could use other speech opening techniques , which you can find in this article , but let’s go with the most common now.

You can start by saying “hello,” then going on to state your name and what you do. It will also be useful to find common ground with you, the audience, and the event. For example, if the scope of the entire event centers on your field, it will be wise to point that out in specific terms.

As an expert in your field, you might have been asked to speak at a “Go-green” event. You could start by saying something like along the lines…

“Hello everyone, I’m Nathan Gustav, I’ve spent the last seven years of my career researching the impact of climate change on our environment, and I’m more than pleased that I have been invited to speak on the subject of adopting eco-friendly best practices for a safer and cleaner environment.”

2. Engage Them In Banters That Hover Around The Topic In Question

As a part of the introductory phase, you will have to succinctly relay the essence of your topic, and everything that concerns it. In the case of more engaging topics, you should argue what they stand to gain or lose in the event the right action is not taken at a particular time frame.

Just like in the illustration given earlier, you might explain to them why climate change has become a matter of urgency, and why drastic measures need to be taken to curb the damage, it has caused. All these will lay a foundation of what much of the topic will be mediated upon.

After you might have laid the foundation of the topic, your main aim should be to immediately captivate your audience by telling them a compelling story, or by sharing a joke. You should factor in the audience taste when doing so. You should not feel that since you probably found something amusing or exciting, that they will automatically share in the same spirits.

Where you are not too sure of what a class of audience might appreciate, you can do a test-run with a small group of friends, who have the same enthusiasm as you and your subject to see how well they buy into your story.

3. Lay Out The Core Theme Of The Message .

This would be the mission statement of your presentation, which boldly explains the aims and objectives of your speech. This theme would serve as the template on which you will make your presentation. For an engaging speech, your mission statement will address the goals you hope to achieve from the entire exercise.

In the illustration of climate change, you might go on to explain the various best practices that can be adopted to promote an eco-friendly environment, like recycling, using energy-saving bulbs, or planting a garden.

If you are giving a speech on scientific research, you should lay down the hypothesis of the research in discussion.

4. Establish Authority In Your Work

At this point, you should let your audience in on your wealth of experience. This can be conveyed through stories of your personal experiences or encounters throughout your years of working in the field.

Even when you don’t have formal training in the subject at hand, you can establish authority in that field from an experience you have had or witnessed.

A person who has witnessed a “troubled” loved one commit suicide is better informed to give a speech about handling depression and anxiety amongst youth.

5. Gloss Over The Main Points

By this time, your audience is already familiar with the topic of discussion and why they need to give a listening ear. Then go-ahead to lay out a clear summary of all the key points you hope to discuss.

There are no short cuts to this. You need to be precise about what you want to talk about. The order in which you arrange your points will be dependent on the nature of the topics. Topics that take stock of past events will have to be arranged chronologically.

In reality, you will need to arrange your key points in a manner that looks comfortable to you, so you don’t have a problem moving from point to point.

How to Outline a Speech Stage II

6. the opener into the topic.

Begin with the first point of your topic, which will be a high priority case study in the outline. Under this case study, will be a host of smaller points that will provide supportive evidence to back the main point.

Upon the way and manner, you choose to arrange the outline; they can be represented as bullet points. You should add various arguments and verified information to augment the main point of discussion.

Always begin with strong arguments down to the least. This is because of time constraints. You might not have all the time to table all your points, but you have had just enough time to discuss the most important ones.

7. Roll Over To The Next Point .

When you are done with discussing your first point, you should revert to the main header and find an easy path from which you can roll over to the next point. There need not be any fancy way of transitioning unto the next point. Just find a cool phrase that can work just fine.

You could, for instance, say “You have seen the adverse effects of climate on our environment, now is the time to seek for eco-friendly ways we can all adopt in our various little ways to combat this common problem.” Run this same method along with all points in the outline, and you will turn out just fine.

Remember that when picking small sub-points to speak on, always have the audience’s interest at the back of your mind as much as the general point. Always reason ahead and factor in only what is most relevant to them.

How to Analyze an Audience

How to Analyze an Audience

Do you want to know how to effectively analyze an audience for your public speaking engagements or even work pitches? This skill is crucial in order to ensure that your message resonates with its intended recipient and we will teach you all about how to analyze an audience! To analyze an audience, be aware of…

Why a Speech Outline is Important

Why a Speech Outline is Important

In this blog post, we’ll look at the importance of a speech outline and how it can help you be more persuasive by avoiding potential stumbles before they happen and encouraging active engagement from your audience. So keep reading if you want some tips on how to effectively craft an articulate speech outline! A speech…



How to start a speech with a bang? What makes a great introduction to your speech, and how should you prepare to open your speech like a pro? Today, I will be sharing ten great tips that should prove helpful in your quest to craft that great introduction to your speech. First impressions, they say,…

How to Outline a Speech Stage III

8. final notes.

By now, you should be done with the main body of your presentation. At the point, you need to find a subtle transitional statement to hint to the audience that the presentation is about to come to an end. The statement need not be anything bold or fanciful. All you might need to say is “In summary…” then move on to say what you want.

Conclude by summarizing all the points you have talked about. You can begin by reiterating what you said before in your speech. It is a summary, so you need not go over all of the details again. You should more or less gloss over the main points.

Moreover, never make the mistake of adding any new details to what you have already established in the summary part of your presentation. You would not only be committing a blunder but also obstructing the flow and structure of your message, which ultimately won’t play well with the audience.

9. Reiterate The Core Theme Of The Message

This particular address of your mission statement should be more of a conclusion summary or a fact discovery than its raw form thesis that you made known during the introductory phase of your presentation.

When a speech goes as successfully as expected, you would have proven your hypothesis beyond a reasonable doubt and shown its relevance.

The theme of your message should refer to the summarized version of your points and should hold a strong position. Especially for short presentations, you may choose to join your summarized points together with your mission statement in one sentence to bring your speech to an end.

When giving out a call-to-action, be sure to add your contact information. You can say something like, “The Mayfair Initiative is looking for people to partner with to spread the message of going green. They need people to picket outside a coffee shop, your communal departmental store, or the small bar by the street. All you need do is contact us on such-and-such for more information.”

How to Outline a Speech Stage IV

speech outline - asking questions

10. Make Room For Questions And Answers

At the absolute conclusion will be the time for asking questions. Make sure to clear this up beforehand with the event hosts to know if it will be ok to field questions from the audience after making your presentation.

If you hope to make time to take questions, put this down on your speech outline so that it does not skip your memory at the climax of your speech.

Where you want to field in a couple of questions from the audience, make sure you pen this out in your speech outline so you can make mention of it, letting them know that you are willing to take questions.

Moreover, always expect to field tough questions and engage in counter-arguments about the speech topic. You should already have the answer to such questions before then, having done thorough research and do have them included in the outline.

Also, be quick to note to the audience just how much time and the number of questions you will be willing to take.

11. Thank The Audience And Your Host

Go ahead to appreciate the audience and the event hosts. Showing appreciation to your audience shows that you honor and respect them for taking out their precious time to pay attention to you. Where you were explicitly invited to make an appearance, you should not hesitate to acknowledge the hosts once again for the opportunity.

A word of warning, though, do not make your closing remarks and pleasantries sound too rehearsed. It should come natural and appear very heartfelt.

We can now see why learning how to outline a speech in the right order not only boost your confidence but lets you garner credibility and respect from your audience.

In order to help you deliver engaging, coherent, exciting and memorable presentations, we answered the question ‘how to outline a speech’ with a 4-stage strategy, that should prove useful for your future speeches and help you build rapport and credibility with your audience.

Making sure you give strict adherence to all the four stages, as we have been able to tabulate in the right order will surely stand you out amongst your peers, making you a dominant force in your area of specialization, and people will be more than willing to work with you.

In summary, when you are planning your speech or writing your speech you have so many great things you want to share with the audience, but time and forgetfulness won’t be on your side, so writing a speech outline that is effective and helps you deliver a memorable presentation is critical.


Thank you for reading this far. Find below additional references and resources that will add on to our ‘how to outline a speech’ post. I am sure you will find some additional insights.

Emily Listmann. How to Write a Speech Outline. https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Speech-Outline . Accessed on 07/28/2019.

Andrew DLungan. Speech Preparation #3: Don’t skip the speech outline. http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-preparation-3-outline-examples/ . Accessed on 07/28/2019.

Susan DugDale. Sample Speech Outline. https://www.write-out-loud.com/sample-speech-outline.html . Accessed on 07/28/2019.

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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

easiest way to write a speech outline

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.

easiest way to write a speech outline

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 .

easiest way to write a speech outline

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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easiest way to write a speech outline

Informative Speech

Informative Speech Outline

Cathy A.

Informative Speech Outline - Format & Writing Tips

Published on: Jan 9, 2019

Last updated on: May 26, 2023

informative speech outline

On This Page On This Page

The  informative speech  is intended to inform the audience about a particular topic. It needs to be well-formatted and properly structured. The informative speaker provides detailed knowledge about the particular topic and lets the audience understand the facts.

The general purpose of an informative speech is to educate people about any subject. It can be about anything or any subject. There are different  types of informative speeches , but the specific purpose is the same for all types.

In this guide, you will learn how to write an effective speech outline. And, you’ll get some amazing informative speech outline examples that will inspire you to write a good speech.

The outline for an informative speech is just like an informative essay outline. There are two different ways to outline your speech: one is the complete sentence format, and the other one is the key points format.

In the complete sentence outline, you can write full sentences that help you check the organization and content of the speech. While in the key points format outline, you just note down the key points that help you remind what you should include in your speech.

All types of speeches follow these two types of outlines. You can choose any outline format according to your ease.

Essay Outliner

Outline Your Way to Writing Excellence!

How to Write an Informative Speech Outline -

Writing a good speech is not a difficult task; all you have to do is research and collect credible information. The informative speech should provide complete knowledge on a particular topic.

The purpose of creating an outline before delivering an informative speech is to organize and structure information so that it's presented in a logical manner. This will also ensure you don't stray off-topic or exclude unnecessary details when giving your speech.

You can make a perfect informative outline by following the basic tips and techniques.

The first thing that you need for a speech is a topic. Choose unique and novel  informative speech topics  that can turn into a good speech. Do not choose a common topic that the audience is already familiar with. Instead, pick a fresh topic that the audience has very little knowledge about it.

For Example, you could talk about the history of yoga or how to do a particular form. The more specific you get with your speech topic, the easier and better targeted the audience.

As you are going to deliver a speech, you need to have a complete grip on the topic of your speech. And for that, you need to do thorough research and collect some credible information necessary for the audience to understand the subject of the speech.

Now that you have the required information to make a good speech. The organizational structure helps you maintain the logical flow of your speech. The basic structure of a speech consists of three essential elements.

The introduction is the an essential element of a speech that is intended to grab the audience’s attention. Here are the things that you should include in your introduction:

  • Start with an attention-getter hook statement.
  • Provide basic information about the subject of the speech to let the audience know what you are going to talk about.
  • Present a solid thesis statement that gives the audience a reason to listen to you.
  • What makes you a credible person to talk about the given topic? Explain your credibility in presenting the topic.
  • Overview of the main points of your speech.

The body section allows you to provide details of the particular topic of your speech. Here are the essential elements that you should include in the body section:

  • Discuss the first main points of your speech.
  • Provide examples that help your audience understand the subject and the facts that you have provided.
  • Smoothly transition to the next main point of your speech.

The conclusion held the same importance as the introduction part. The following elements make a strong conclusion:

  • Restate the thesis statement and remind your audience what your speech was about
  • Summarize the main points
  • Develop a creative closure that gives the speech a sense of ending.

Follow these basic steps and write a compelling speech that gives complete knowledge about the topic. Here is a sample outline example that will help you better understand how to craft an informative speech outline.

Informative Speech Outline Format

Sample Informative Speech Outline

Writing a speech might seem a difficult task but if you have sample examples, you can take help from them. Check out the following  informative speech examples  and get the inspiration for writing a solid informative speech.

Informative Speech Outline Example

You love public speaking, but speech writing seems like a boring task. Well, you don’t have to worry anymore because we are here to help.

MyPerfectWords.com  provides good quality  essay writing help . Your speeches are written by professional writers. You can  buy speeches  from us and say goodbye to the boring speech writing process.

Place your  order now  and get high-quality speeches from us at reasonable prices from our  professional writer .

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

People also read

Informative Speech Writing - An Ultimate Guide

Good Informative Speech Topics & Ideas

List of Demonstration Speech Ideas for Students

Good Informative Speech Examples That Will Help

Four Major Types of Informative Speeches - A Complete Guide

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Speech Outline Examples

  • Speech Templates and Examples
  • Speech Outline Examples & Samples

pexels photo 64057 e1517463688314

Writing a Speech Outline

  • It highlights the key logical elements (i.e. what points are being made to logically support the core message?).
  • It highlights the key structural elements (e.g. introduction, body, conclusion, stories, high-level concepts).
  • It links these elements together in a sequence, perhaps allocating very rough timings.
  • It can also map out the transitions between elements, although this may be deferred to a later stage of preparation.

Basic Speech Outlines

1. introduction.

science fiction 2523448

3. Conclusion

pexels photo 207691 e1517463683957

Other Speech Outline Writing Tips

  • The granularity of your outline should be roughly one outline point per minute of speaking time, perhaps less for lengthy presentations.
  • For presentations which are complemented with slides, your outline might include slide concepts, but no finer details.
  • Chronological – e.g. a biographical speech
  • Spatial – e.g. an entertaining travel speech
  • Cause-effect – e.g. speech relating crime rate to drug use
  • Low to high importance – e.g. reasons to exercise
  • Broad vision to specific details – e.g. a management speech outlining new company direction

More Design

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  • id; ?>)" rel="noopener" role="button" tabindex aria-label="postclick">34+ Outline Examples & Samples in Word
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Stop Scripting Your Speeches

  • Joel Schwartzberg

easiest way to write a speech outline

Anyone can read a script. Leaders champion their ideas.

While a speaker’s primary goal is to engage and inspire, many communicators are inclined to write out their speeches because they mistakenly believe their goal is  to be perceived as a fantastic speaker or writer . This mindset has nothing to do with getting your point across or doing your job and sends you down a path of performance (“I want to impress you”), not presentation (“I want to convince you”). Writing a full speech is a process that excludes the audience, whereas delivering a speech with limited notes involves and incorporates the audience into the experience. This concept is critical, because humans are more apt to give attention to speakers who seem to, or actually do, demonstrate a sincere interest in them. Speaking spontaneously, with authentic conviction and awareness, signals that you have  something to say  — a point you feel so strongly about that you’re willing to express it personally and out loud. Anyone can read a script. Leaders champion their ideas.

“Don’t worry,” a coaching client once told me shortly after I saw her rehearse her presentation. “I’ll have it completely written and memorized by next week!”

To my trained ears, she might as well have been saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll make my task pointlessly hard and ensure a distant connection with my audience!”

Like many people, she thought a “good speech” is something you write out word-for-word and read aloud — perhaps even memorize. Some learned this approach in school. Others inferred it from seeing stirring, perfect speeches from politicians, award recipients, and fictional television characters.

If you have a team of speechwriters working for you, you should certainly have them work their magic and then take your position behind glassy teleprompters to serve it up. But that’s not the majority of us. Most of us give presentations more frequently in business meetings, online conferences, and a wide range of small- to mid-size internal and external events. In those typical settings, writing , reading , and certainly memorizing a word-for-word speech is actually one of the most destructive and counterproductive tactics you can take as a presenter.

Below are some of the biggest pitfalls of fully writing, reading, and memorizing speeches, as well as what you should be doing instead to accomplish what should be your main goal — engaging and inspiring your audience.

Writing Focuses on the Wrong Things

While a speaker’s primary goal is to engage and inspire, many communicators are inclined to write out their speeches because they mistakenly believe their goal is to be perceived as a fantastic speaker or writer . This mindset has nothing to do with getting your point across or doing your job, and sends you down a path of performance (“I want to impress you”), not presentation (“I want to convince you”).

In most cases, writing a full speech is also pointlessly time-consuming. For every important concept you raise, you’re crafting many extra lines to set up and contextualize those ideas. These words and transitions should come naturally and sound human, but when read word-for-word, they can come across like the voice on a robocall — friendly but noticeably stilted and artificial.

A presentation audience doesn’t even have time to process — much less remember — specific words and phrases, so time spent conceiving and writing “the perfect words” is largely wasted on them, even if it brings comfort or pride to the speaker.

Finally, writing a full speech is a process that excludes the audience, whereas delivering a speech with limited notes involves and incorporates the audience into the experience. This concept is critical, because humans are more apt to give attention to speakers who seem to, or actually do, demonstrate a sincere interest in them. “The key to delivering a successful speech is showing your audience members that you care about them,” says Steve D. Cohen , an author and professor at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. “If you maintain an audience-centered approach, your listeners will reward you with appreciation.”

Imagine someone recommending a movie to you. Should that person look you in the eye and explain what makes the film compelling, or should they go home, write and edit a review, come back, and then read the finished review to you? Now imagine that person recommending not a movie, but a brilliant new marketing strategy, a breakthrough vaccine delivery system, or a campaign to save the earth. As an interested human being, you want to hear them make that case live and in their own spontaneously-generated words, not read something created apart from you and without you in mind.

Reading Builds a Barrier

Reading a speech word-for-word has its own unique disadvantages. It reduces the amount of eye contact you have with an audience, whether in an in-person meeting or on a Zoom call. Reading also diminishes your ability to speak with personal conviction because, when you read a speech aloud, your mind is not focused on enlightening or inspiring your audience; it’s focused on the task of reading hundreds of carefully chosen words in succession. It isn’t easy to read words and project fervency simultaneously, but when you remove the script, you restore the human connection between the speaker and their audience and enable more emotional transmissions.

In more than 15 years of watching and training speakers, I’ve rarely seen someone read a speech as compellingly as someone who presents a live point. Again, audiences typically zone out when a presenter is reading, because they feel cut out of the process of interpersonal communication.

Even the TED Commandments — a list of do’s and don’ts allegedly given to TED speakers — includes Commandment #9:

Thou shalt not read thy speech. “Probably the worst of all public speaking sins is the temptation to disappear into your notes and read, as opposed to speak, to your audience. If they wanted to be read to, you could’ve just sent them an email with your speech content.”

Speaking spontaneously, with authentic conviction and awareness, signals that you have something to say — a point you feel so strongly about that you’re willing to express it personally and out loud. That sounds powerful, because it is.

Some people insist on writing full speeches to calm their public speaking anxiety. After all, how can you mess up when all you need to do is read 932 words in order, sprinkling in some emphasis and eye contact? But when you focus mostly on getting from the first word to the final 932nd, the whole point of public speaking is reduced to a robotic task.

Sacrificing audience impact to preserve your comfort and security is not a sustainable approach. The best way to overcome public speaking fear is to embrace your purpose, not shrink from it.

Memorization Is Asking for Trouble

When you memorize something, you are still reading — now with the script in your head instead of in your hands — and the slightest memory failure can cause you to lose your place and throw you off. Even small memory lapses and bobbles may reveal to your audience you’re reciting from a script, which can injure your credibility, your authenticity, and their respect for you as an invited presenter.

Why risk forgetting something you memorized or bearing the engagement handicaps of writing and reading when there’s a much easier, quicker, and more effective way to prepare, practice, and present? For me, that better way consists of four basic steps:

Start with an Outline

Your grade school teachers were right: Every good communication starts with an outline — a roadmap that indicates the points you must hit on the way to your destination. The most effective outlines start with a proposition (I’m selling you an idea), followed by points that support that proposition (I’m showing you why the idea is beneficial to you).

The more you practice, the shorter that outline should become as you realize you require fewer and fewer reminders than you thought you needed.

Create Useful Notes

Eventually, your outline becomes so small and concise you can fit it on an index card. That’s your notes. Your notes are your cheat sheet, feeding you major points and essential details you might otherwise forget. I often tell my clients to construct their notes as they would a shopping list, complete with bullets, abbreviations, and no complete sentences.

On a shopping list you don’t write, “Buy three fresh avocados from aisle four in the produce section.” You write “3 avocados.”

In fact, your notes should be so personally coded for your personal use that they read as nonsensical to someone else.

The good thing about having notes versus a script is that, after looking up at your audience, you can look down and easily track where you are and what you need to say next. But if you lose your place between, say, words 439 and 440, it will take a conspicuous amount of time to recover.

Practice Effectively

You already know that practice is important, but it’s crucial to understand the difference between effective and ineffective presentation practice. Ineffective practice is thinking about your speech and mumbling the words, which only helps you know your presentation better. Effective practice is having your mind and mouth work together to convey your speech aloud and in real time. This tactic comes closest to simulating what you’ll be doing when you deliver your speech for real.

You don’t need a person, a mirror, or a camera to practice effectively — just you, your mind, and your mouth, practicing by physically presenting.

Trust Yourself More Than Your Script

You speak without scripts in your workplace all the time: in meetings, job interviews, performance reviews, conference calls, and more. If that’s true, then you spend a lot of time trusting yourself, your experience, and your credibility when you speak spontaneously. Use that understanding to confidently realize you never need a word-for-word script to make compelling points.

When you know your points well, prepare good notes, and practice the right way, you’ll understand that conveying your ideas live and unscripted is easier, less scary, and more effective than you thought.

That leap of faith is also a leap of progress. Anyone can read a script. Leaders champion their ideas.

easiest way to write a speech outline

  • JS Joel Schwartzberg  oversees executive communications for a major national nonprofit, is a professional presentation coach, and is the author of “ Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter ” and “ The Language of Leadership: How to Engage and Inspire Your Team .” You can find him on  LinkedIn  and on Twitter  @TheJoelTruth.

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Speech Outline

How to Craft an Effective Speech Outline? Discuss with Example

  • Eduhelphub,
  • Sep 27, 2020

Whenever you have to give a presentation at your work or deliver a speech for a class or event, a speech outline is necessarily required. Creating an outline helps you in writing an effective speech, which ultimately boosts your confidence level. While writing your speech, always try to sound authoritative and focus on how to introduce the topic before the audience. 

You must pay careful attention to even smaller details that will help in persuading, motivating, and engaging the audience you are writing for. Take enough time to write and practice delivering your speech; this will help you in getting the best results. Before moving forward, let’s know what speech is.

Table of Content

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. What is Speech?
  • 3. How to Write a Speech Outline?
  • 4. Guidelines to Follow for Developing an Effective Speech Outline
  • 5. Some Unique Speech Topics
  • 6.1 A Speech on Environmental Pollution
  • 7. Still feeling stressed over your speech writing?

What is Speech?

If you are new to writing speech, then it is important for you to know what it is.

A speech is basic as well as an effective medium of communication using which you can convey your ideas or message to a wider range of audiences. Generally, a speech is prepared for a particular situation. 

There are different kinds of speech that are delivered on different occasions. Like, a commemorative speech is delivered for commemorating a place or a person; an informative speech for any specific event or class; a demonstration speech for delivering a presentation at your workplace; a persuasive speech outline for persuading the audience of your point of view.

No matter the situation on which you are delivering a speech, a speech outline should be well-structured; otherwise, it would fail to deliver the message. Speech writing is an essentially important skill for both students as well as professionals. To learn and explore how to write an effective speech outline, give this article a thorough read.

How to Write a Speech Outline?

If you wish to develop a speech that seems mesmerizing and memorable to your audience, then the best way to start is with a speech outline. 

Preparing a powerful speech outline is essential as it helps in organizing the elements and the points that you must include in your speech. In the speech outline, you need to introduce the topic that you are going to talk about, introduce yourself, and last but not the least, mention all the points that you are going to cover in the speech.

A speech outline is also useful as it ensures you with the fact that your speech is following a proper format and structure. Moreover, it helps in organizing your thoughts, thus effectively save a lot of your valuable time that you can invest in doing something more important. 

But before you start creating your own speech, it is necessary for you to know about these things:

  • For whom you are preparing the speech for, i.e., your target audience
  • What are the specific points that your speech is going to cover, i.e., the topic in details
  • For how long your speech will be and how many words it is going to cover. (Like, if it’s a 5-minute speech then fit in the words accordingly).

If you follow these speech tactics from the very beginning, then it will help you in keeping with the right track. For preparation strategy, it is important for you to know your audience and their requirements. So, while choosing the topics for your speech, you must pay attention to their needs and accordingly choose the one that interests them.

After doing so, you must demonstrate the purpose of writing the speech and know how to organize it properly.

If you need some more help with the preparation strategy of your speech, then come in contact with our efficient team of experts at Eduhelphub. They are always ready to assist you with any sort of academic assignment help that you need. 

Guidelines to Follow for Developing an Effective Speech Outline

While you are planning to develop a speech, it is important to have a plan to follow. This purpose is fulfilled by the speech outline. It would direct you with where the individual elements should be located in your speech and display its relationship with every other structural detail.

In a nutshell, it can be said that it responds to the questions “at a glance” that are concerned with the content as well as the structure of your speech. So, a speech outline is essential to effective speakers.

To make you more familiar with the process of writing an effective speech outline here our research professionals of EduHelpHub have provided you with a proper guideline on creating a speech outline. Follow these guidelines as stated in this section to develop a powerful one.

  • State the Purpose of the Speech – The specific purpose of your speech should be clearly written; it should be a statement of intent only. You can begin stating the purpose with an infinitive phrase like “to persuade my audience”, “to inform my audience.” You can even narrow down this statement to meet the time constraints.
  • Discuss your Central Idea – The central idea of a speech is equivalent to a thesis statement of an essay. So, basically, here you need to summarize the main points in a single sentence. The central idea should be covered within the introduction of the speech.
  • Label the Important Parts of Your Speech – While writing the speech outline, you must label the introduction, body, and conclusion of your speech. It will not only ensure that it has all parts but also works as a marker that will be useful in locating what you are speaking of.

There is no doubt that the random listings of all the facts over a sheet of paper make it difficult for the speech to accomplish its objectives. If you follow the traditional method then the main points will be identified with a Roman numeral; sub-points will be identified with capital letters whereas the sub-sub points will be identified with Arabic numerals. 

  • Indicate Main Points in the Speech – If you use vague labels in your speech outline, then it will not directly indicate what actually you want to convey to your audience. So, to avoid this happening, you must necessarily state the main as well as subpoints in full sentences. This will help in ensuring that you can develop your ideas fully and act as a guard against the omission of any important information.

The use of transitional words and phrases like “in addition”, “the other part is”, etc. plays a vital role in indicating when the speaker has finished one idea and moved on to the next. 

Internal previews generally indicate when the speaker is moving to the next point. Especially while delivering the long speech which includes a lot of technical information, the speaker finds it essential to pause and reiterate the key points for the audience.

  • Include a Bibliography – Attaching a bibliography at the end of your speech not only reflects your credibility or authenticity as a speaker, but it also focuses upon the effort that you have put forward in researching the topic.

Some Unique Speech Topics

Most of the time, the university professor or school teacher allows you to choose your topic for a speech on your own. If you have been provided with this opportunity, then make the best use of it and feel free to choose a topic which grabs your interest as well as the interest of the readers. There are many topics of various speech types, like demonstration speech ideas , persuasive speech topics , good informative speech topics , impromptu speech topics , and so on.

Get stuck in choosing an effective topic for your speech? Well, no need to worry! Our team of research experts at EduHelpHub is there to help you out. Here we have provided you with some of the best speech ideas on which you can prepare your speech.

  • How you can improve your interpersonal skills
  • What to do for improving communication disorders?
  • Is it good enough to live together before marriage?
  • Are E-books better than traditional paper books?
  • What role is played by the pets in human’s lives?
  • The fast-food industry is legally accountable for obesity
  • Is there an alternative to animal testing?
  • Should genetically modified foods be sold in supermarkets?
  • Sports is not about defeating others but more about pushing yourself to the edge
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

An Example of Speech Writing

For those who are stressed over with the idea of writing a good speech, they can go through this example suggested by our Eduhelphub writer. It will be your best friend as it helps in writing an effective speech and tell you how to deliver it effortlessly before the audience.

So, explore this speech example to resolve all your confusion of speech writing processes and get all your queries resolved.

A Speech on Environmental Pollution

Respected teachers and my dear companions, today I will discuss the subject ‘Environmental Pollution’, which is a major issue that the entire world is confronting today. The gigantic increase in population is undoubtedly one of the main causes that lead to a wide range of pollution and contamination. More individuals on this planet imply more waste material being made. 

Another characteristic feature that led to a rise in population growth is the progress and development in science and innovation. Not only has this made our life agreeable and comfortable but it has also likewise offered to ascend to an assortment of issues that are causing harm to the environment. 

Pollution occurs in different forms. Air contamination is brought about by the smoke from industrial areas, the fumes exhaust from vehicles, and the burning of the trash containing chemical substances. Water contamination occurs when harmful waste materials are arranged off into oceans and streams. Soil contamination is again the consequence of mistaken strategies for a garbage removal. 

Non-biodegradable materials like plastics and radioactive waves coming from electronic objects also pollute the air as well as the soil. Due to modern technological advancement, we have arrived at a phase where the colossal noise brought about by transport and industrial exercises has become hazardous to well being. Despite the fact that it might not be feasible for humanity to wipe out ecological contamination absolutely, the risks can be limited by following specific rules and adopting alternate techniques. We should remember that by ensuring protection to the earth and its environment, we are in a way of securing ourselves.

Still, Feeling Stressed Over Your Speech Writing? Seek Professional Assistance from Us

If you don’t have enough time in going through all the above-stated points or lack in writing skills for your speech, then get in touch with our team of experienced and qualified writers at EduHelpHub . They have been trained in providing you with high-quality content and amazing assignment writing services , that too at budget-friendly rates. So, no need to hamper your budget! Rely upon us and we’ll never give you a chance to regret your decision.

To contact us, visit our website, chat with our customer executives via an online chat facility, discuss your requirements with them, and place your order. 


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    Good public speaking teachers will agree that an outline—even if it's a rough outline—is the easiest way to propel you forward to a final draft of an organized speech that audience members will love. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of creating an outline before diving straight into your speech. Gain More Focus.

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  23. How to Craft an Effective Speech Outline? Discuss with Example

    1. Introduction. 2. What is Speech? 3. How to Write a Speech Outline? 4. Guidelines to Follow for Developing an Effective Speech Outline. 5. Some Unique Speech Topics. 6. An Example of Speech Writing. 6.1 A Speech on Environmental Pollution. 7. Still feeling stressed over your speech writing? What is Speech?