370+ Speech Writing Topics For Students
Discover our guide with great speech writing topics for debate speeches, persuasive speeches, informative speeches, and much more. Get answers below.
Writing and delivering a speech can be nerve-wracking, especially for the first time. Explore our top speech writing topics for college and high school students and get answers to your frequently asked questions about how to choose a speech topic and overcome anxiety surrounding public speaking. For tips on how to write a speech , check out our guide!
How to Prepare For Public Speaking
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College and high school students often find themselves giving a speech for the first time, which can be stressful if you’ve never done public speaking before. Students can prepare ahead of time in several different ways to help set the stage for success – here are just a few:
- Learn the fundamentals of giving a good speech. This includes understanding the elements of a speech, such as the introduction, body, and conclusion. Each section should flow smoothly into the next and build upon the main point. Pay close attention to which words you choose and how your delivery comes across.
- Practice makes perfect. Try to find opportunities to speak in front of an audience in different situations, even if it’s just in front of family, friends, or in front of a mirror. It can also help to record yourself so you can listen back and identify areas that need improvement. The more practice you have, the more confident you’ll feel when it comes time to give your speech.
- Use relaxation techniques before giving your speech. You can start by taking some deep breaths and focusing on exhaling slowly. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body several times until your muscles begin to relax on their own naturally. You can also check out these quick writing topics .
- The dangers of social media.
- How to improve American healthcare.
- The problems with plastic bags.
- How cell phones lessen the quality of life.
- Why criminals need rights.
- If students should be required to study art.
- How the war on drugs harms communities of color.
- If schools should ban certain types of books.
- If statues of slave owners should be removed from public property.
- If more practical subjects should be taught in school instead of algebra.
- If religion causes fighting and wars.
- If outlawing drugs makes them more desirable.
- If taking photographs of children in public should be illegal.
- How making food a reward sets the stage for eating disorders.
- If men should be granted paternity leave when they have or adopt a baby.
- If routine circumcision should be banned in the United States.
- How artificial intelligence stands to change the world.
- How American prisons are a form of modern-day slavery.
- Why the media needs more cultural and racial diversity.
- If restaurants have an obligation to purchase produce from local farmers.
- Global Warming & Climate Change
- Renewable Energy Benefits
- Problems In The American Education System
- Harmful Ingredients In Fast Food
- Animal Testing, Zoos, And Other Forms of Animal Cruelty
- The Difference Between Real Life And Reality Shows
- The Issue Of Indoor Pollution
- Unethical Fast Fashion Practices
- The Benefits Of Journal Writing
- The Dangers Of Texting And Driving
- The Benefits Of Gender-Affirming Care For Trans People
- The History Of Racism In America
- The Dangers Of Hazing In College
- How Natural Disasters Develop With Climate Change
- How To Think Critically When Watching The News
- Homelessness Statistics And Trends In America
- The Use Of Color Psychology In Marketing
- The Physical Effects Of Tattoo Ink
- The Psychological Impacts Of Beauty Pageants
- How Social Media Affects The Brain
- How best to protect endangered animals.
- If having pet birds is ethical.
- If vegetable gardens should replace grass lawns.
- The impact of plastic disposables on the environment.
- The most efficient type of renewable energy.
- How increasing train travel can benefit both people and the environment.
- If zoos should be strictly regulated or banned.
- The impact of fracking on the environment.
- If animal testing should be outlawed.
- If the government needs to allocate more resources to national wildlife preserves.
- The deforestation crisis.
- Air pollution and the impact of poor air quality on human health.
- If people should be allowed to own certain types of exotic animals and keep them as pets.
- How to reduce the presence of microplastics in the ocean.
- How drilling for oil impacts water aquifers and sources of clean, fresh water in America.
- If all grocery stores should stop using plastic bags.
- If parents should be allowed to choose their child’s sex and physical characteristics
- If vaccinations should be mandatory.
- If private corporations have a responsibility to create sustainable products.
- The impact of robots on the environment.
- If cloning animals and humans is moral.
- Whether physician-assisted suicide and compassionate euthanization should be legalized.
- If cigarette smoking should be outlawed.
- If minors should be allowed to purchase birth control without parental permission.
- If sugary drinks should be taxed to discourage overconsumption.
- If America should have a single-payer healthcare system.
- The importance of adequate mental health care for high school students.
- Racial bias in the American healthcare system.
- If women face higher rates of being denied adequate pain control by healthcare providers.
- If cannabis is harmful or helpful for certain medical conditions.
- If fast food restaurants have a responsibility to offer more affordable healthy food options.
- The role of relaxation in physical and mental health.
- If organ donation should be mandatory.
- How to address the obesity epidemic in America.
- If doctors should be paid according to their patient outcomes.
- How to reduce the cost of prescription medications for the average person.
- The benefits of laughing on physical and mental health.
- If breastfeeding should be more normalized in America.
- Sources of indoor air pollution and its impact on physical health.
- If food additives in America are unsafe.
- How technology can improve daily life.
- The consequences of biological warfare.
- How the advancement of robotics will impact the human population.
- If the internet is more dangerous than it is beneficial.
- The role of social media and online bullying in teen suicide.
- Practical applications for 3D printing.
- The future of self-driving cars.
- The differences and similarities between computers and the human brain.
- If colonizing the moon is possible and beneficial or harmful to the human species.
- How cell phones affect the human body.
- If humans can be grown in an artificial womb.
- If text messaging jargon is having a negative impact on human language.
- How technology has changed over the years for the better or worse.
- The impact of cryptocurrency on world economics.
- Using virtual reality to augment mental health treatment.
- The intersection of artificial intelligence and animatronics.
- The future applications of nanotechnology.
- The applications of drones in global military efforts.
- If dependence on technology is a danger to humanity.
- The impacts of Wi-Fi signals on human health.
- Women’s Empowerment
- The Me Too Movement
- Overcoming Peer Pressure
- The Value Of Community Service
- Mental Health And Wellness
- Productivity And Time Management
- How To Own Up To Mistakes And Learn From Them
- The Benefits Of Meditation
- Money Management
- Taking Time For Yourself
- How To Become A Winner
- How To Be A Better Role Model
- Turning Failures Into Successes
- Handling Rejection Gracefully
- How To Work Smarter Instead Of Harder
- Why Time Is More Valuable Than Money
- Setting Effective Goals
- How To Break Bad Habits
- How To Cope When Bad Things Happen
- Thinking And Speaking Positively
- How mental health can affect friendships and other relationships.
- Tips for managing conflicts with friends.
- How to communicate special needs effectively to friends.
- The qualities of a good friend.
- Signs of a toxic friendship and how to get out of one.
- How people from different generations can be friends.
- If sororities and fraternities promote friendships or cause problems.
- How to help a friend who is experiencing thoughts of self-harm.
- What loyalty and dependability mean in a friendship.
- How to hold friends accountable for wrongdoing without destroying the friendship.
- What can be done about bullying that occurs inside a friend group?
- If friends have a responsibility to report dangerous behavior.
- If men and women can be friends.
- If it’s a good idea to develop a friendship with someone before dating them and why.
- The benefits of keeping in touch with your childhood or high school friends.
- If groups of single parents can become friends and raise their children together.
- How friends can help each other succeed in life.
- The challenges of maintaining friendships as a busy adult.
- What gifts would you get your friends if money was no object?
- How to avoid jealousy in a friendship.
- Signs of toxic family dynamics and how to get out of harmful cycles.
- The definition and impact of generational trauma.
- Qualities of a strong and healthy family dynamic.
- How parents can build a loving family and home life.
- Communication tips for family members.
- If families with young children should limit their screen time.
- The benefits of going on family vacations.
- The best ways to balance work and family commitments.
- The importance of staying in touch with family members who are far away.
- How having a family can enrich someone’s life.
- If you should be required to donate a lifesaving organ or blood to a family member.
- If children should be required to take care of elderly parents.
- If the Christian religion promotes misogyny within conservative families.
- If the number of children a couple can have should be regulated by the government.
- If parents should be held accountable for crimes committed by their children.
- If couples should be required to take parenting classes before starting a family.
- How spanking causes brain damage in young children.
- Misconceptions new parents have about raising kids in modern society.
- What it means to go “no contact” with a parent and why adult children choose to leave their families.
- What a “chosen family” is and how people develop familial relationships outside of their blood relatives.
- What Is Good Sportsmanship?
- Professional Sports Salaries
- How Sports Impact Human Psychology
- Sports And Mental Development
- Benefits Of Childhood Sports
- How Sports Teach Morals
- Do International Sports Promote World Peace?
- Why Dance Is A Sport
- Should School Sports Be Mandatory?
- What Competitive Sports Teach About Life
- Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs
- Trans People In Sports
- The Role Of Social Media In Sports
- How Sports Build Social Skills
- How Losing At Sports Teaches Life Lessons
- Are Professional Sports Too Commercialized Now?
- Sports And Virtual Reality
- The Future Of College Sports
- What Players Want Sports Coaches To Know
- Sports And Disabilities
- Violent Video Games
- The Death Penalty
- Human Rights Issues
- Obesity in America
- Mass Shootings In Public Places
- Alcohol Has A Greater Negative Impact On Society Than Cannabis
- The War Against Drugs
- Cellphone Policies In Schools
- Religious Indoctrination Is Child Abuse
- Police & Qualified Immunity
- Regulating Senior Drivers
- Affirmative Action
- Stem Cell Research
- Peaceful Protests
- Contraceptive Regulation
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- Arranged Marriages
- Animal Breeding
- The Adoption Industry
- If America is not a true democracy.
- If corporations should be allowed to donate to political campaigns.
- If celebrities should be able to run for public office.
- If poverty should be a government priority.
- The prevalence of political corruption in America.
- If the voting age should be raised in America.
- If the United States should fund wars between other countries.
- If national voter ID laws would disenfranchise minority voters.
- The definition and prevalence of domestic terrorism in America.
- Why it’s important for young people to vote.
- If far-right influencers promote dangerous ideals.
- If the government should spend less money on the military and wars.
- If Social Security benefits should be preserved for future generations.
- If Americans should get to vote for who serves on the Supreme Court.
- If Congress should have term limits.
- If the Electoral College should be abolished.
- How minorities are represented in Congress.
- If private for-profit prisons should be banned or heavily regulated.
- If the police should be required to operate their body cameras at all times.
- If people imprisoned for marijuana offenses should be let out in states where cannabis is now legal.
- Free Education In America
- Right To Marry
- Racism And Poverty In America
- Food Deserts And Malnutrition
- Substance Abuse And Crime Rates
- The Right To Housing
- Wage Inequality
- Crime Recidivism Reduction
- Child Labor
- Agricultural Integrity
- Taxing Religious Institutions
- Minimum Wage
- Common Sense Gun Control Laws
- Gender And Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Violence In Media
- Paid Maternity And Paternity Leave In America
- What skills do entrepreneurs need to be successful?
- How to motivate and engage employees at work.
- Top indicators of business success.
- How to make money using your passion.
- The importance of good financial planning for businesses.
- How companies can create loyal customers for life.
- Why businesses need to create a powerful brand image in today’s competitive market.
- Tips for people who want to start their own business.
- How to create a home office.
- Why do some companies have high turnover rates?
- If incentivized customer reviews are unethical.
- If businesses should be held responsible for false advertising.
- If businesses should be allowed to lobby people in Congress.
- Ethical marketing practices for new businesses.
- How to balance owning a business and starting a family.
- Women entrepreneurs in America.
- Do companies have a responsibility to help manage inflation?
- The disparity between CEO and employee pay.
- If the existence of billionaires is ethical.
- How businesses can cultivate positive company culture.
- The scariest thing you ever did and how you overcame your fear.
- A difficult decision you had to make and why you made the choice you did.
- Your favorite teacher and what you learned from them.
- Something you learned about yourself that improved your life.
- A regret that you have and what you wish you would have done instead and why.
- Something valuable you broke or lost and how it made you feel.
- Someone you admire in your personal life and what they taught you.
- Your ambitions and why you want to achieve them.
- A family member you looked up to as a child and why.
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done and if you would do it again.
- The type of job you want to hold in the future and why.
- Specific expertise you hold and how it can provide value to your community.
- Charities or social initiatives you support and why.
- What your favorite motivational quote is and why.
- Something that makes you unique and distinguishes you from other people.
- The historical figure you most look up to and why.
- A time you failed at something you tried but learned an important lesson from the experience.
- A close call you had with something and how the situation might have turned out differently.
- Somewhere you would visit in the world and why you would go there.
- Something you learned watching television or listening to the radio that changed your life.
- Graduation Speeches
- Valedictorian Speeches
- Independence Day Speeches
- Wedding Toasts
- Speeches For Beauty Pageants
- Pep Rally Speeches
- Award Acceptance Speeches
- Introduction Speeches
- Presentation Speeches
- Farewell Speeches
- Dedication Speeches
- Commemorative Speeches
- Retirement Speeches
- Welcome Speeches
- Birthday Speeches
- Tribute Speeches
- Keynote Addresses
- Anniversary Speeches
- Bar/Bat Mitzvah Speeches
- If traveling to Hawaii is ethical.
- If it’s dangerous for women to travel internationally alone.
- How travel can be educational.
- If vacations have a positive impact on emotional and psychological health.
- How travel can help prevent burnout.
- The dangers of drinking tap water when traveling to other countries.
- If there should be more travel accommodations for plus-size people.
- How viruses spread on cruise ships.
- Top reasons people travel.
- How to manage travel frustrations like missed flights and canceled reservations.
- What to do if there’s an emergency while traveling.
- Ethical tourism in poor countries.
- How to get to know a country’s customs when traveling.
- The impact of traveling on the economy.
- How American tourism impacts politics.
- The intersection between travel and religion.
- How the COVID-19 pandemic affected the travel industry.
- What travel means to you.
- If young children should be allowed to travel to dangerous places.
- How to navigate currency exchange issues when traveling.
- How COVID-19 impacted public education in America.
- The benefits of e-learning for children of different ages and education levels.
- If corporal punishment should be allowed in schools with or without parental consent.
- If sodas and energy drinks should be allowed in high schools.
- The different types of learning styles and how these play a role in public education.
- The impact of public school on child socialization.
- If schools should abolish homework policies.
- How elementary and middle schools should treat young trans students.
- The role of the Internet in American education today.
- How schools can provide more support to students with learning disabilities.
- If special education in schools is actually beneficial to students who are struggling in class.
- Comparing American schools to educational institutions in other countries.
- If students should be taught sex education in schools and if so, to what degree?
- If high school students should have access to condoms at school.
- If college should be free.
- Why teachers of all grade levels don’t make enough money in America.
- If a student’s grades are an indicator of their intelligence.
- If students should be required to learn etiquette at a certain age.
- If public education institutions should implement school uniform policies.
- If the pressures of school have a negative impact on kids who should be enjoying their childhood.
- The definition of trauma and how it impacts young children.
- How emotional abuse impacts psychological development in children.
- How dissociative disorders work to protect the brain from the impact of severe trauma.
- How reverse psychology works.
- The greatest contribution to modern psychology in history.
- How people with different personality disorders experience the world.
- The psychological relationship between parents and their children.
- The intersection between sleep and psychology.
- The differences between psychology and psychiatry.
- How psychologists benefit society and human development.
- How child psychology differs from adult treatment modalities.
- How psychological treatment has changed over the years.
- If basic psychology should be a required high school or college course.
- How violent movies and television impact human psychology.
- How short and long-term memories form.
- The impact of bullying on child psychological development.
- The psychological impact of childhood neglect.
- If antidepressants are overprescribed.
- The comorbidity of trauma and personality disorders.
- If birth order affects a child’s psychological development.
Looking for more? You might also be interested in our list of the best report writing topics .
- How Trix cereal discriminates against rabbits by making their cereal for kids.
- If plants have feelings and if vegans are committing acts of vegetable cruelty.
- Why the grass might literally be greener on the other side of a fence.
- How to be good at being lazy.
- Why lying well can be considered a talent.
- How being annoying can be considered an art.
- How to fail at a job interview.
- Tell a story about a joke that didn’t go over well.
- Compare Instagram to real life.
- If regifting is an ethical practice.
- Why clothing companies don’t put pockets in women’s clothes.
- Why bad pickup lines work better than traditionally good pickup lines.
- Why a cartoon character should be elected President.
- A practical guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse.
- If internet surfing counts as an aerobic workout.
- Why kids shouldn’t have to clean their rooms.
- The worst business slogans and why.
- The correct way to offend someone.
- How to cheat at the game of Life.
- A list of the worst gifts ever.
If you liked this post, you might also find these essays about being a student helpful.
The three main types of persuasive speeches are value-based, policy-based, and emotional-based. Value-based speeches argue a certain concept based on its merits, while a policy persuasive speech argues for a certain course of action. Emotional-based speeches seek to elicit a certain response from the audience by evoking an emotional reaction.
Some people find that focusing on their breathing helps to calm their nerves, while others find visualization exercises like picturing the audience in their underwear to be a helpful way to diffuse the tension. Others say that simply accepting that they will be nervous and embracing that feeling is the best way to get through it.
Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best inspirational books !
Meet Rachael, the editor at Become a Writer Today. With years of experience in the field, she is passionate about language and dedicated to producing high-quality content that engages and informs readers. When she's not editing or writing, you can find her exploring the great outdoors, finding inspiration for her next project.
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20+ Outstanding Speech Examples for Your Help
Published on: Oct 21, 2018
Last updated on: Nov 2, 2023
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Public speaking can be daunting for students. They often struggle to start, engage the audience, and be memorable. It's a fear of forgetting words or losing the audience's interest.
This leads to anxiety and self-doubt. Students wonder, "Am I boring them? Will they remember what I say? How can I make my speech better?"
The solution lies in speech examples. In this guide, we'll explore these examples to help students create captivating and memorable speeches with confidence.
So, keep reading to find helpful examples!
On This Page On This Page
Talking in front of a bunch of audiences is not as easy as it seems. But, if you have some good content to deliver or share with the audience, the confidence comes naturally.
Before you start writing your speech, it is a good idea that you go through some good speech samples. The samples will help to learn how to start the speech and put information into a proper structure.
Speech Examples for Students
Speech writing is a huge part of academic life. These types of writing help enhance the creative writing skills of students.
Here is an amazing farewell speech sample for students to learn how to write an amazing speech that will captivate the audience.
Below, you will find other downloadable PDF samples.
Speech Examples for Students
Every school and college has a student council. And every year, students elect themselves to be a part of the student council. It is mandatory to impress the student audience to get their votes. And for that, the candidate has to give an impressive speech.
Here are some speech examples pdf for students.
Speech Examples For Public Speaking
Speech Examples About Yourself
Speech Examples Short
Speech Examples For College Students
Speech For Student Council
Speech Examples Introduction
Speech Example For School
Persuasive Speech Examples
The main purpose of a speech is to persuade the audience or convince them of what you say. And when it comes to persuasive speech , the sole purpose of speech becomes more specific.
Persuasive Speech Example
Informative Speech Examples
Informative speeches are intended to inform the audience. These types of speeches are designed to provide a detailed description of the chosen topic.
Below we have provided samples of informative speech for you.
Informative Speech Example
Informative Speech Sample
Entertainment Speech Examples
Entertainment speeches are meant to entertain the audience. These types of speeches are funny, as well as interesting. The given speech samples will help you in writing an entertaining speech.
Entertainment Speech Example
Entertainment Speech Sample
Argumentative Speech Examples
Making a strong argument that is capable of convincing others is always difficult. And, when it comes to making a claim in an argumentative speech, it becomes more difficult.
Check out the argumentative speech sample that demonstrates explicitly how an argumentative speech needs to be written.
Argumentative Speech Example
Demonstration Speech Examples
The demonstrative speeches are intended to demonstrate or describe the speech topic in depth. Get inspired by the demonstrative speech sample given below and write a captivating demonstrative speech.
Demonstration Speech Example
Demonstration Speech Sample
Motivational Speech Examples
Motivational speeches are designed to motivate the audience to do something. Read out the sample motivational speech given below and learn the art of motivational speech writing.
Impromptu Speech Examples
Impromptu speech writing makes you nervous as you are not good at planning and organization?
Check out the sample impromptu speech and learn to make bullet points of your thoughts and plan your speech properly.
Graduation Speech Examples
Are you graduating soon and need to write a graduation farewell speech?
Below is a sample graduation speech for your help.
Wedding Speech Examples
“My best friend’s wedding is next week, and I’m the maid of honor. She asked me to give the maid of honor speech, but I’m not good at expressing emotions. I’m really stressed. I don’t know what to do.”
If you are one of these kinds of people who feel the same way, this sample is for you. Read the example given below and take help from it to write a special maid of honor speech.
Best Man Speech Examples
Father of The Bride Speech Example
Speech Essay Example
A speech essay is a type of essay that you write before writing a proper speech. It helps in organizing thoughts and information.
Here is a sample of speech essays for you to understand the difference between speech format and speech essay format.
Tips to Write a Good Speech
Reading some famous and incredible sample speeches before writing your own speech is really a good idea. The other way to write an impressive speech is to follow the basic tips given by professional writers.
- Audience Analysis: Understand your audience's interests, knowledge, and expectations. Tailor your speech to resonate with them.
- Clear Purpose: Define a clear and concise purpose for your speech. Ensure your audience knows what to expect right from the beginning.
- Engaging Opening: Start with a captivating hook – a story, question, quote, or surprising fact to grab your audience's attention.
- Main Message: Identify and convey your main message or thesis throughout your speech.
- Logical Structure: Organize your speech with a clear structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Transitions: Use smooth transitions to guide your audience through different parts of your speech.
- Conversational Tone: Use simple, conversational language to make your speech accessible to everyone.
- Timing: Respect the allocated time and write the speech accordingly. An overly long or short speech can diminish the audience's engagement.
- Emotional Connection: Use storytelling and relatable examples to evoke emotions and connect with your audience.
- Call to Action (if appropriate): Encourage your audience to take action, change their thinking, or ponder new ideas.
- Practice Natural Pace: Speak at a natural pace, avoiding rushing or speaking too slowly.
So, now you know that effective communication is a powerful tool that allows you to inform, persuade, and inspire your audience. Throughout this blog, we've provided you with numerous examples and invaluable tips to help you craft a compelling speech.
And for those moments when you require a professionally written speech that truly stands out, remember that our team is here to help. We can rescue you from writer's block and deliver an outstanding speech whenever you need it.
With our essay writing service , you can be confident in your ability to communicate your message effectively and leave a lasting impact.
So, don't hesitate – request " write my speech " and buy a speech that will truly captivate your audience.
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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If You Want to Write a Great Speech, Here’s How to Do It
Writing a speech isn’t all that different than writing for other mediums. You need to know your audience, the required length, and the purpose or topic. This is true whether your speech is for a business conference, a wedding, a school project, or any other scenario.
But there’s something about speech writing that’s especially nerve-wracking .
If you write and deliver a speech that doesn’t go over well, you’ll get feedback in real time. The people sitting in front of you could lose interest, start talking, doze off, or even wander out of the room. (Don’t worry, only audiences in movies throw tomatoes).
Of course, a poor speech is not the end of the world. You can give plenty of crummy speeches and live to tell the tale.
But we also know that a great speech is capable of changing the world. Or at least sparking an audience’s imagination, catapulting your business into success, earning an A+ on your assignment, or ensuring that the bride and groom are still friends with you after the wedding.
So if you’re feeling stressed over your impending speech writing duties, fret no more! Today we’re breaking down for you the step-by-step process of exactly how to write a great speech.
Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.
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1 Tips to write (and live) by
Let’s start with the 30,000 foot, big-picture view. These are the tenets that will guide you in your speech writing process (and pretty much anything else you want to write).
- Know the purpose: What are you trying to accomplish with your speech? Educate, inspire, entertain, argue a point? Your goals will dictate the tone and structure, and result in dramatically different speeches.
- Know your audience: Your speech should be tailored for your audience, both in terms of ideas and language. If you’re speaking at a sound healer convention, you won’t need to explain the concept of energetic blocks. And if you’re speaking to an octogenarians-only quilting circle, you probably shouldn’t drop as many F-bombs as you would with your local biker gang.
- Know the length: You don’t want to underwhelm or overwhelm your audience.Ten minutes may be too short for your keynote address, but it’s probably too long for your best man speech. Don’t leave things up to chance. Your writing process will be much easier if you keep your eye on your target length.
- Write, revise, practice, revise, practice…: MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech wasn’t written in a day. Give yourself the time you need to practice your material and work through multiple drafts. Don’t expect to nail everything on the first try.
2 The step-by-step process
Still feeling stressed over how to get started? Here’s how to write your speech from concept to completion.
Step 1: Outline your speech’s structure. What are the main ideas for each section?
Step 2: Flesh out the main ideas in your outline. Don’t worry about finding the perfect words. Just let your creativity flow and get it all out!
Step 3: Edit and polish what you’ve written until you have a cohesive first draft of your speech
Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your speech the more you’ll discover which sections need reworked, which transitions should be improved, and which sentences are hard to say. You’ll also find out how you’re doing on length.
Step 5: Update, practice, and revise your speech until it has a great flow and you feel it’s ready to accomplish its purpose.
3 The universal structure
Getting hung up on Step 1? Here’s a structure you can follow for any type of speech.
Who are you, why are are you giving this speech, what is your main thesis?
The “who” and “why” can be longer or shorter depending on the context. For example, if you’re speaking at a wedding, you’ll want to explain your relationship to the bride and groom and why they mean so much to you. But if you’re presenting to your class at school, you may be able to head straight into your thesis.
If you’re presenting in a business or motivational setting, this is a crucial time to hook your audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. Typically someone else will have already introduced you and your accolades, so use this to your advantage and dive straight in.
“Hi everyone, it’s great to be here! As Kevin just said, I’ve been an urban beet farmer for 30 years, and a couple years back I got this absolutely crazy idea. What if…”
Idea 1, Idea 2, Idea 3…
The majority of your speech should be spent presenting your thesis and supporting material in a simple, organized way.
Whether you’re giving an inspirational talk or a business presentation, rambling is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. Don’t try to share absolutely everything you know on your topic, instead pick a few (two to five) key points to present to your audience.
Stick to one point at a time and finish the thought before you move on to the next. Build in clear, logical transitions from idea to idea.
Want to make your speech memorable? Studies have shown our brains are great at remember stories! As much as is appropriate, make your speech personal and include your own anecdotes and thoughts.
We’re also better at remembering big ideas if they’re condensed into a few memorable words, so do your best to sum up your thesis.
“I have a dream.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
“Make good art.”
What do you want your audience to walk out of the room remembering?
Wrap everything up and drive home your main idea, whether that’s through providing a few (one to three) key takeaways, or telling one last story that perfectly illustrates your point.
Here are some examples of how your outline might look
As a researcher presenting your findings…
Introduction: Explain the key problem or question of your research.
Main message: Describe the research process, then describe your three key findings.
Takeaway: Present your conclusions and their implications, then your next steps for moving forward.
As the maid of honor giving a speech at your best friend’s wedding…
Introduction: Explain who you are and how you met the bride.
Main message: Recount three funny and heartwarming stories about your decades-long friendship with her, plus your first impressions of the groom.
Takeaway: Wrap things up by expounding on how amazing the bride and groom’s love for each other is, how they’re meant to be together, and how you know their love will last a lifetime. …L’chaim!
What are your favorite tips for writing a great speech?
Here’s a tip: Grammarly’s Citation Generator ensures your essays have flawless citations and no plagiarism. Try it for citing speeches in Chicago , MLA , and APA styles.
Speech-writing tips for high school students
by Daniella Dautrich | May 29, 2017 | High school , Teaching Homeschool Writing
Speech-writing Tips for Students
Speech writing offers a rare chance for students to impact an audience in lasting, meaningful ways. Through this kind of written and oral communication, they can learn to convey truth in a world with where morals are blurred and virtues are disappearing. Thus, speech writers combine narrative, descriptive, explanatory, and persuasive skills, arranging a composition to make both logical and emotional appeals . After all, rhetoric (the art of persuasion) should engage the whole person, not just the mind or heart.
Even if your kids will never enroll in a speech and debate club, encourage them to present an original speech in a group setting such as a class, family gathering, or graduation party. These speech-writing tips for students should help them get started!
The Prewriting Stage
When you write a speech, the prewriting stage represents about a third of the entire process.
- Choose a topic you feel strongly about. If you don’t care about the subject matter, neither will your audience.
- Evaluate your potential audience. Will you speak to a mixed group of teenagers or to a room of retirees? What are their values and interests? What kinds of music and cultural references will they relate to?
- Understand your purpose. Are you writing a speech to entertain, inform, or persuade? If you intend to persuade, are you trying to reach a like-minded or neutral audience or an openly hostile group?
- Research and brainstorm. Start gathering your facts and examples, and make a list of possible talking points.
The Writing Stage
Writing the first draft should consume about 20% of your time as a speech writer.
- Develop a “hook.” You need to capture the audience’s attention at the beginning of the speech and motivate them to keep listening. A humorous story or a startling statistic may serve this purpose, depending on the type of speech you’re writing.
- Construct a thesis . Your speech should present a clear message, with each sub-point logically leading to the final conclusion.
- Build a relationship with the audience . Establish your credibility as a speaker by demonstrating your connection to the topic. Did a hobby, a favorite author, or a family experience lead you to choose this subject?
- Organize your ideas . Offer a preview of what’s to come in the introduction, and be sure you follow those points in order.
- Finish with a strong conclusion . When you reach the end of your speech, restate your thesis and tie everything back to your introduction.
The Editing Stage
The editing stage requires another third of your time as a speech writer. As you revise, check for these items:
- Grammar . Poor writing could cause an audience to stop taking you seriously , even if your main message is solid.
- Style. In the writing stage, you focused on substance (what to say); now you can focus on style (how to say it). Without resorting to overdone “ purple prose ,” you can practice writing techniques such as parallelism , repetition, alliteration, and series or lists.
- Time. Read your speech out loud. It shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes.
- Sound. When you read the speech aloud, do you stumble over unnatural words and phrases? Perhaps you need to rewrite with more direct, simple language. Is your flow of thoughts easy to understand? Is your vocabulary appropriate to the audience’s age and education?
- Appeal to the senses. Your speech should engage the imagination—not put people to sleep! Do you use figurative language to help the audience visualize concepts? Include a descriptive passage to help them hear, feel, and touch your topic. Try to include narratives that people will identify with. You don’t need too many details… just enough to make the stories ring true and help you explain your persuasive points or morals.
- Organization. You can arrange your speech chronologically, topically, by comparison/contrast, or in some other way. Just be sure you’re consistent.
- Politeness . Have you used appropriate language throughout? Have you written with respect for yourself and others? The best speeches display compassion and empathy, rather than tear others down.
The Pre-Performance Stage
Once you’ve written and revised your speech, it’s time to practice! Try to memorize it, and watch your speed so you don’t speak too quickly. Practice in front of a mirror so you remember to move naturally, incorporating hand/arm gestures and facial expressions. Experiment with volume, high and low pitch, and pauses (take notes about what works and what doesn’t.)
Finally, have confidence ! Stage fright is part of life, but the greatest performers have learned that passion and honesty set the speaker—and the audience—at ease every time.
Daniella Dautrich studied classical rhetoric at a liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan.
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