• Games, topic printables & more
  • The 4 main speech types
  • Example speeches
  • Commemorative
  • Declamation
  • Demonstration
  • Informative
  • Introduction
  • Student Council
  • Speech topics
  • Poems to read aloud
  • How to write a speech
  • Using props/visual aids
  • Acute anxiety help
  • Breathing exercises
  • Letting go - free e-course
  • Using self-hypnosis
  • Delivery overview
  • 4 modes of delivery
  • How to make cue cards
  • How to read a speech
  • 9 vocal aspects
  • Vocal variety
  • Diction/articulation
  • Pronunciation
  • Speaking rate
  • How to use pauses
  • Eye contact
  • Body language
  • Voice image
  • Voice health
  • Public speaking activities and games
  • About me/contact

How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  

- 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

essay writing on speech

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.

essay writing on speech

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 .

essay writing on speech

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.)
  • Your RESEARCH
  • 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.

Yellow banner. Text: You're most welcome to use this content in your online learning program. Please make it a do follow link.

  • Return to top

speaking out loud 

Subscribe for  FREE weekly alerts about what's new For more see  speaking out loud  

Susan Dugdale - write-out-loud.com - Contact

Top 10 popular pages

  • Welcome speech
  • Demonstration speech topics
  • Impromptu speech topic cards
  • Thank you quotes
  • Impromptu public speaking topics
  • Farewell speeches
  • Phrases for welcome speeches
  • Student council speeches
  • Free sample eulogies

From fear to fun in 28 ways

A complete one stop resource to scuttle fear in the best of all possible ways - with laughter.

Public speaking games ebook cover - write-out-loud.com

Useful pages

  • Search this site
  • About me & Contact
  • Blogging Aloud
  • Free e-course
  • Privacy policy

©Copyright 2006-24 www.write-out-loud.com

Designed and built by Clickstream Designs

essay writing on speech

Learn more

How it works

Transform your enterprise with the scalable mindsets, skills, & behavior change that drive performance.

Explore how BetterUp connects to your core business systems.

We pair AI with the latest in human-centered coaching to drive powerful, lasting learning and behavior change.

Build leaders that accelerate team performance and engagement.

Unlock performance potential at scale with AI-powered curated growth journeys.

Build resilience, well-being and agility to drive performance across your entire enterprise.

Transform your business, starting with your sales leaders.

Unlock business impact from the top with executive coaching.

Foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.

Accelerate the performance and potential of your agencies and employees.

See how innovative organizations use BetterUp to build a thriving workforce.

Discover how BetterUp measurably impacts key business outcomes for organizations like yours.

A demo is the first step to transforming your business. Meet with us to develop a plan for attaining your goals.

Request a demo

  • What is coaching?

Learn how 1:1 coaching works, who its for, and if it's right for you.

Accelerate your personal and professional growth with the expert guidance of a BetterUp Coach.

Types of Coaching

Navigate career transitions, accelerate your professional growth, and achieve your career goals with expert coaching.

Enhance your communication skills for better personal and professional relationships, with tailored coaching that focuses on your needs.

Find balance, resilience, and well-being in all areas of your life with holistic coaching designed to empower you.

Discover your perfect match : Take our 5-minute assessment and let us pair you with one of our top Coaches tailored just for you.

Find your Coach

Research, expert insights, and resources to develop courageous leaders within your organization.

Best practices, research, and tools to fuel individual and business growth.

View on-demand BetterUp events and learn about upcoming live discussions.

The latest insights and ideas for building a high-performing workplace.

  • BetterUp Briefing

The online magazine that helps you understand tomorrow's workforce trends, today.

Innovative research featured in peer-reviewed journals, press, and more.

Founded in 2022 to deepen the understanding of the intersection of well-being, purpose, and performance

We're on a mission to help everyone live with clarity, purpose, and passion.

Join us and create impactful change.

Read the buzz about BetterUp.

Meet the leadership that's passionate about empowering your workforce.

Find your Coach

For Business

For Individuals

How to write a speech that your audience remembers

Confident-woman-giving-a-conference-with-a-digital-presentation-how-to-give-a-speech

Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.

Man-holding-microphone-at-panel-while-talking--how-to-give-a-speech

How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.

People-clapping-after-coworker-gave-a-speech-how-to-give-a-speech

How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.

Woman-at-home-doing-research-in-her-laptop-how-to-give-a-speech

Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.

Man-holding-microphone-while-speaking-in-public-how-to-give-a-speech

5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Elevate your communication skills

Unlock the power of clear and persuasive communication. Our coaches can guide you to build strong relationships and succeed in both personal and professional life.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

6 presentation skills and how to improve them

How to write an impactful cover letter for a career change, 10+ interpersonal skills at work and ways to develop them, how to be more persuasive: 6 tips for convincing others, self-management skills for a messy world, a guide on how to find the right mentor for your career, asking for a raise: tips to get what you’re worth, what are analytical skills examples and how to level up, learn types of gestures and their meanings to improve your communication, similar articles, how to write an executive summary in 10 steps, the importance of good speech: 5 tips to be more articulate, how to pitch ideas: 8 tips to captivate any audience, how to give a good presentation that captivates any audience, anxious about meetings learn how to run a meeting with these 10 tips, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, how to write a memo: 8 steps with examples, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

3100 E 5th Street, Suite 350 Austin, TX 78702

  • Platform Overview
  • Integrations
  • Powered by AI
  • BetterUp Lead
  • BetterUp Manage™
  • BetterUp Care™
  • Sales Performance
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Case Studies
  • Why BetterUp?
  • About Coaching
  • Find your Coach
  • Career Coaching
  • Communication Coaching
  • Life Coaching
  • News and Press
  • Leadership Team
  • Become a BetterUp Coach
  • BetterUp Labs
  • Center for Purpose & Performance
  • Leadership Training
  • Business Coaching
  • Contact Support
  • Contact Sales
  • Privacy Policy
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Trust & Security
  • Cookie Preferences

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.

Preparation

  • 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

Introduction

  • 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

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

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.

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

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.

Was This Blog Helpful?

Keep reading.

  • Informative Speech Topics - Interesting Ideas By Experts

How to Write a Speech

  • Commemorative Speech: Guide to Craft an Engaging Speech

How to Write a Speech

  • Persuasive Speech Topics - 150+ Topics for Students

How to Write a Speech

  • 50+ Demonstration Speech Ideas for Your Next Great Speech

How to Write a Speech

  • Impromptu Speech Topics - 150+ Interesting Ideas

How to Write a Speech

  • Debate Topics (2024) - Top 200+ Compelling Topics

How to Write a Speech

  • 100+ Motivational Speech Topics for an Inspirational Speech

How to Write a Speech

  • Extemporaneous Speech - How to Write One Successfully?

How to Write a Speech

  • Graduation Speech - Write Your Best Graduation Speech

How to Write a Speech

People Also Read

  • writing a book review
  • essay format
  • autobiography vs memoir
  • how to write a literature review
  • dissertation writing

Burdened With Assignments?

Bottom Slider

Advertisement

  • Homework Services: Essay Topics Generator

© 2024 - All rights reserved

Facebook Social Icon

Become a Writer Today

How To Write A Speech That Inspires You Audience: 13 Steps

Learn how to write a speech that will effectively reach your audience.

A good speech is a powerful tool. Effective speeches make people powerful, whether in the hands of a world leader trying to get people to believe their ideology or in the mouth of a teacher trying to inspire students. A well-written speech can lift the hearts of a nation in times of war, inspire people to action when complacency is commonplace, honor someone who has died, and even change a nation’s mind on a particular topic, which, in turn, can change history.

Excellent speech writing is a skill that you must learn. While public speaking may come naturally to some people, the sentence structure and nuances of a powerful speech are something you must learn if you are going to gain the audience’s attention.

So how can you learn how to write a speech? The writing process is a little different than the process you’d use to write a paper or essay, so here is a guide that can help.

Materials Needed

Step 1: define your purpose, step 2: determine your audience, step 3: start your research, step 4: choose the right length, step 5: create an outline, step 6: craft the introduction, step 7: write the body, step 8: use transitions, step 9: conclude your speech, step 10: add some spice, step 11. implement spoken language, step 12: edit your speech, step 13: read it out.

  • Research materials
  • Audience demographic information

Before you can write a speech, you must know the purpose of your speech. You can deliver many types of speeches, and the purpose will determine which one you are giving. While there may be more than these, here are some common types of speeches:

  • Informative speech: An informative speech strives to educate the audience on a topic or message. This is the type of speech a teacher gives when delivering a lecture. “ First World Problems ” by Sarah Kwon is an excellent example of an informative speech.
  • Entertaining speech: This speech strives to amuse the audience. These are typically short speeches with funny, personal stories woven in. A wedding guest giving a speech at a wedding may be an example of this type of speech.
  • Demonstrative speech: This speech demonstrates how to do something to the audience. A company showing how to use a product is delivering this type of speech.
  • Persuasive speech: This speech aims to persuade the audience of your particular opinion. Political speeches are commonly persuasive. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “ I Have a Dream ” speech is an example of a persuasive speech, as it called the government to make changes that protected civil and economic rights.
  • Oratorical speech: An oratory is a formal speech at an event like a funeral or graduation. The goal is to express an opinion and inspire the audience, but not necessarily to persuade.
  • Motivational speech: These speeches inspire people to take action, such as to improve themselves or to feel better and happier. For example, a coach may deliver this kind of speech to his players during halftime to inspire them to win the game. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address is an excellent example of a motivational speech.
  • Eulogy: A Eulogy is a funeral speech. This speech is given to the mourners at someone’s funeral and talks about the excellent character rates of the person who died. “ Eulogy for Rosa Parks ” is a famous example of this type of speech given by Oprah Winfrey in 2015.
  • Explanatory speech: This final speech type describes a situation or item. These speeches often have step-by-step instructions on how to do a particular thing.

Your audience members are an essential part of the speech writing process. Consider taking notes about your audience before you start writing your speech. You can even make a fake audience member you are writing toward as you prepare your speech. Even though they do not directly impact what you talk about, they should impact how you talk about it. Therefore, you must write your speech to reach that particular audience.

For example, if you are writing a speech for an audience that does not agree with you, you will need to bring more facts and figures to persuade them of your opinion. On the other hand, if you are writing a speech for an audience already on your side, you must encourage them to hold the line. To get to know your audience, consider factors like:

  • Income level
  • Pain points
  • Questions they might ask

Before you outline or write your speech, you must know some facts about the big idea or speech topic. So perform some research, and take notes. See if you can find any new or surprising information in your research. If it was new and surprising, it also might be to your audience members. You can use this research to make the essential points of your piece.

Finally, know the required length of your speech. Speeches usually have time limits, not word count limits. You will need to know the desired length before you can start writing the speech, or you will end up with a speech that is too long or too short. The length of your speech will vary depending on where you are giving it and who your audience is.

Generally, a 20-minute speech is standard when delivering a speech to adults in a professional or academic setting. However, if you are a student who is preparing a speech for a classroom, you may be limited to three to five minutes. Sometimes speakers will get booked to take on a 60-minute session, but if you talk for 60 minutes, you will lose the attention of some of your audience members.

Remember, some of the most famous speeches in history are very short. President Abraham Lincoln’s “ Gettysburg Address ” was less than 300 words long and took less than two minutes to deliver. President Franklin Roosevelt’s “ Day of Infamy ” speech lasted less than 10 minutes. However, knowing your speech’s length can be challenging after you prepare it. Generally, a double-spaced page of writing will take about 90 seconds to speak. Thus, a 20-minute speech will take about 13 typed, double-spaced pages if you type out your entire speech.

Consider using a words-to-minutes calculator to determine how long your speech likely is. Remember that the average English speaker speaks 140 words a minute. You may get up to 170 words a minute if you speak fast. If your speech is slow, it may be as little as 110 words a minute.

How to write a speech: Create an outline

Now you are ready to start writing. Before you write a speech, you must create an outline. Some public speakers will speak from an outline alone, while others will write their speech word-for-word. Both strategies can lead to a successful speech, but both also start with an outline. Your speech’s outline will follow this template:

  • Introduction: Introduces your main idea and hooks the reader’s attention.
  • Body: Covers two to three main points with transitions.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the speech’s points and drive home your main message.

As you fill in these areas, answer these questions: Who? What? Why? and How? This will ensure you cover all the essential elements your listeners need to hear to understand your topic. Next, make your outline as detailed as you can. Organize your research into points and subpoints. The more detail on your outline, the easier it will be to write the speech and deliver it confidently.

As you prepare your speech, your introduction is where you should spend the most time and think. You only have moments to capture your audience’s attention or see them zone out in front of you. However, if you do it right, you will cause them to turn to you for more information on the topic. In other words, the introduction to a speech may be the most memorable part, so it deserves your attention. Therefore, you must have three main parts:

  • Hook: The hook is a rhetorical question, funny story, personal anecdote, or shocking statistic that grabs the listener’s attention and shows them why your speech is worth listening to.
  • Thesis: This is your main idea or clear point.
  • Road map: You will want to preview your speech outline in the introduction.

Here is an example of a good introduction for a persuasive speech from Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk about children and food:

“Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead from the food that they eat.”

This shocking statistic gets the audience’s attention immediately. In his speech, Oliver details why America’s food choices are so poor, how it affects them, and how we can teach children to do better.

Here is an example of an informative speech about pollution and what can be done about it. This introduction follows the template perfectly.

“I want you to close your eyes for a minute and picture a beautiful oceanfront. The sound of the waves crashing on the sand while seagulls fly overhead. Do you have it? Now I am going to say one word that will destroy that image: Pollution. What changed in your mental picture? Do you now see sea turtles with bottles on their head or piles of debris washing on shore? Marine pollution is a massive problem because plastic does not decompose. Not only does it use up many resources to create, but it rarely gets disposed of properly. We must protect our natural areas, like that beautiful beach. Today I am going to show you how destructive the effects of plastic can be, how it is managing our natural resources, and what steps we can take to improve the situation.”

Now you are ready to write the body of your speech. Draw from your research and flesh out the points stated in your introduction. As you create your body, use short sentences. People can’t listen as long as they can read, so short and sweet sentences are most effective. Continuing the theme of the marine pollution speech, consider this body paragraph.

“You might be thinking plastic isn’t a big deal. Let’s think for a minute that you’re at the beach drinking bottled water. According to “The Problem with Plastic,” an article by Hannah Elisbury, one out of every six plastic water bottles ends up in recycling. The rest become landfill fodder. Worse, many get dropped in nature. Perhaps you are packing up at the end of your beach trip and forget to grab your bottle. Maybe your kid is buried in the sand. Now it’s adding pollutants to the water. That water becomes part of the drinking water supply. It also becomes part of the fish you eat at your favorite seafood restaurant. Just one bottle has big consequences.”

As you write the body, don’t stress making every word perfect. You will revise it later. The main goal is to get your ideas on paper or screen. This body paragraph is effective for two reasons. First, the audience members likely use water bottles, which resonates with them. Second, she uses a resource and names it, which gives your work authority.

It would be best to use transitions to move from each speech section. This keeps the audience engaged and interested. In addition, the transitions should naturally merge into the next section of the speech without abruptness. To transition between points or ideas, use transition words. Some examples include:

  • Coupled with
  • Following this
  • Additionally
  • Comparatively
  • Correspondingly
  • Identically
  • In contrast
  • For example

You can also use sequence words, like first, second, third, etc., to give the idea of transition from one thought to the next. Make sure your speech has several transition words to drive it through to completion and to keep the audience engaged.

In his speech “ Their Finest Hour ,” Winston Churchill uses transitions well. Here is an excerpt from his conclusion:

“ But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Therefore, let us brace ourselves to our duties and bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

Notice that he uses “therefore,” “so,” and “but.” Each of these transition words effectively moves the speech along.

Your conclusion needs to restate your thesis but differently. It should personalize the speech to the audience, restate your main points and state any key takeaways. Finally, it should leave the audience with a thought to ponder.

Here are some practical ways to end a speech:

  • Use a story
  • Read a poem
  • State an inspirational quote
  • Summarize the main points
  • Deliver a call to action

Here are some examples of fantastic conclusions:

  • Here is an excellent example of a concluding statement for an inspirational graduation speech: “As you graduate, you will face great challenges, but you will also have great opportunities. By embracing all that you have learned here, you will meet them head-on. The best is yet to come!”
  • A CEO that is trying to inspire his workforce might conclude a speech like this: “While the past year had challenges and difficulties, I saw you work through them and come out ahead. As we move into the next year, I am confident we will continue to excel. Let’s join hands, and together this can be the best year in company history!”
  • In “T he Speech to Go to the Moon, ” President Kennedy concluded this way: “ Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there. Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.” Many speechwriters say something like “in conclusion” or “that’s all I have for you today.” This is not necessary. Saying “in conclusion” could cause your audience to stop listening as they anticipate the end of the speech, and stating that you have said all you need to say is just unnecessary.

Now that you have the basic structure, you’re ready to add some spice to your speech. Remember, you aren’t reading a research essay. Instead, you are making an exciting and engaging spoken presentation. Here are some ideas:

  • Consider giving your speech some rhythm. For example, change the wording, so it has a pace and cadence.
  • Work to remove a passive voice from your sentences where possible. Active speaking is more powerful than passive.
  • Use rhetorical questions throughout because they make the listener stop and think for a moment about what you are saying.
  • Weave some quotes into your speech. Pulling famous words from other people will make your speech more interesting.
  • Where possible, use personal stories. This helps your audience engage with you as the speaker while keeping the speech interesting.

You may not use all of these ideas in your speech, but find some that will work for the type of speech you plan to give. They will make it more exciting and help keep listeners engaged in what you are saying.

Writing a speech is not like writing a paper. While you want to sound educated with proper grammar , you need to write in the way you speak. For many people, this is much different from the way they write. Not only will you use short sentences, but you will also use:

  • Familiar vocabulary: This is not the time to start adding scientific terminology to the mix or jargon for your industry that the audience won’t understand. Use familiar vocabulary.
  • Transitions: Already discussed, but spoken language uses many transition words. Your speech should, too.
  • Personal pronouns: “You” and “I” are acceptable in a speech but not in academic writing.
  • Colloquialisms: Colloquialisms are perfectly acceptable in a speech, provided the audience would readily understand them.
  • Contractions: We use contractions when we speak, so we also use them in speeches, while some writing platforms and assignments do not allow them.
  • Repetition: Repeating words and phrases makes them memorable. This helps emphasize the main ideas and works well in speeches.

Now you are ready to edit your speech. Remember, spoken language is acceptable, but grammar errors may not be ideal. As you edit, pay attention to the length of sentences. Shorten any long ones. Also, watch for those transition words. Add them in if you need to. Remember, a well-written speech takes time. Put in the effort to revise and improve it, and you will be rewarded with an effective speech that is easy to deliver. If you still need help, our guide to grammar and syntax explains more.

Now that you have written your speech, you are ready to read it. Read it out loud at your average speaking speed, and time yourself. This will tell you if you are within your allotted time limit. However, reading it has another benefit. When you read the piece, you can determine if it flows smoothly. You may catch grammar issues or poor transitions that you can change. Look for places where the speech may be hard to speak and adjust those sentences to make them more accessible.

After you update the speech, practice it again. Reading it, revising it, rereading it, and repeating it will help you create a speech that flows well. This process will also help you become familiar with the speech so you can deliver it confidently when your speaking engagement comes.

Looking for inspiration? Read our round-up of argumentative essays !

essay writing on speech

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

View all posts

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.

What’s different about a speech?

Writing for public speaking isn’t so different from other types of writing. You want to engage your audience’s attention, convey your ideas in a logical manner and use reliable evidence to support your point. But the conditions for public speaking favor some writing qualities over others. When you write a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to comprehend the information as you read it, so your speech must be well-organized and easily understood. In addition, the content of the speech and your delivery must fit the audience.

What’s your purpose?

People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a different perspective; protest speeches in the Pit recommend actions the audience can take.

As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want the audience to learn or do?
  • If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
  • If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
  • How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?

Audience analysis

If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are (or who you’re pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you can make your speech interesting and useful.

As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:

  • What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
  • Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new ideas?
  • Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
  • What level of detail will be effective for them?
  • What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
  • What might offend or alienate them?

For more help, see our handout on audience .

Creating an effective introduction

Get their attention, otherwise known as “the hook”.

Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic. Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience’s attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the audience, or enlisting audience participation.

Establish context and/or motive

Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this audience. You may also want to connect the material to related or larger issues as well, especially those that may be important to your audience.

Get to the point

Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don’t spend as much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

For more help, see our handout on introductions .

Making your speech easy to understand

Repeat crucial points and buzzwords.

Especially in longer speeches, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the main points you’ve made. For example, you could link an earlier main point or key term as you transition into or wrap up a new point. You could also address the relationship between earlier points and new points through discussion within a body paragraph. Using buzzwords or key terms throughout your paper is also a good idea. If your thesis says you’re going to expose unethical behavior of medical insurance companies, make sure the use of “ethics” recurs instead of switching to “immoral” or simply “wrong.” Repetition of key terms makes it easier for your audience to take in and connect information.

Incorporate previews and summaries into the speech

For example:

“I’m here today to talk to you about three issues that threaten our educational system: First, … Second, … Third,”

“I’ve talked to you today about such and such.”

These kinds of verbal cues permit the people in the audience to put together the pieces of your speech without thinking too hard, so they can spend more time paying attention to its content.

Use especially strong transitions

This will help your listeners see how new information relates to what they’ve heard so far. If you set up a counterargument in one paragraph so you can demolish it in the next, begin the demolition by saying something like,

“But this argument makes no sense when you consider that . . . .”

If you’re providing additional information to support your main point, you could say,

“Another fact that supports my main point is . . . .”

Helping your audience listen

Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures.

Don’t get too complicated when you’re asking an audience to remember everything you say. Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

Too complicated:

The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGillicuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well.

Easier to understand:

Orville Z. McGillicuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.

Limit pronoun use

Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what “it,” “they,” or “this” refers to. Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.

Pronoun problem:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.

Why the last sentence is unclear: “This” what? The government’s failure? Reality TV? Human nature?

More specific:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot continue.

Keeping audience interest

Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos.

When arguing a point, using ethos, pathos, and logos can help convince your audience to believe you and make your argument stronger. Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

Use statistics and quotations sparingly

Include only the most striking factual material to support your perspective, things that would likely stick in the listeners’ minds long after you’ve finished speaking. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

Watch your tone

Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don’t be condescending either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, or brandishing a potentially offensive prop (say, autopsy photos) will only make the audience tune you out.

Creating an effective conclusion

Restate your main points, but don’t repeat them.

“I asked earlier why we should care about the rain forest. Now I hope it’s clear that . . .” “Remember how Mrs. Smith couldn’t afford her prescriptions? Under our plan, . . .”

Call to action

Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic. For example, although your audience may not be able to affect foreign policy directly, they can vote or work for candidates whose foreign policy views they support. Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives not only creates a connection with your audience, but also reiterates the importance of your topic to them in particular or “the bigger picture.”

Practicing for effective presentation

Once you’ve completed a draft, read your speech to a friend or in front of a mirror. When you’ve finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • Which pieces of information are clearest?
  • Where did I connect with the audience?
  • Where might listeners lose the thread of my argument or description?
  • Where might listeners become bored?
  • Where did I have trouble speaking clearly and/or emphatically?
  • Did I stay within my time limit?

Other resources

  • Toastmasters International is a nonprofit group that provides communication and leadership training.
  • Allyn & Bacon Publishing’s Essence of Public Speaking Series is an extensive treatment of speech writing and delivery, including books on using humor, motivating your audience, word choice and presentation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Boone, Louis E., David L. Kurtz, and Judy R. Block. 1997. Contemporary Business Communication . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ehrlich, Henry. 1994. Writing Effective Speeches . New York: Marlowe.

Lamb, Sandra E. 1998. How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write . Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

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

Make a Gift

  • Features for Creative Writers
  • Features for Work
  • Features for Higher Education
  • Features for Teachers
  • Features for Non-Native Speakers
  • Learn Blog Grammar Guide Community Events FAQ
  • Grammar Guide

How to Write a Speech: Top Tips

Ashleigh Ferguson headshot

Ashleigh Ferguson

how to write a speech

Table of Contents

9 engaging speech writing tips, what are the different speech types , how to find help writing a speech.

A great speech is impactful and engaging. It should eloquently and clearly express your ideas.

Whatever the topic, a good speech should showcase your authority on a topic and demonstrate excellent communication and leadership skills.

Many people don't know how to write a speech, so the process seems daunting. But there are a few best practices and tips that can make the writing process easier.

In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices to help you write an effective speech that engages and captures your audience.

Public speaking can be nerve-racking. However, having a well-written speech can decrease some of that anxiety.

Even if you’ve never written a speech before, there are still best practices you can follow. 

An engaging speech should be clear, to the point, and follow a logical order. But how do you ensure your speech follows these criteria? Follow these nine engaging speech writing tips.

speech writing tips

Know Your Audience

Analyze your target audience to improve the effectiveness of your speech because different audiences will have different expectations. 

Consider your audience’s age, level of understanding, attitudes, and what they expect to take away from your speech, then tailor your message accordingly. 

For example, if your audience members are teenagers, it’s unlikely that references to the ’70s will be effective.

Start With a Clear Purpose

Decide on the main point of your speech, and make sure all your content supports that point. Choose a topic that fits the following criteria:

A topic that is relevant to your audience

A topic you’re excited about

A topic you have reasonable knowledge about

Organize Your Ideas 

Use a speech outline to organize your thoughts and ideas logically. 

Identify the introduction, body, and conclusion of your speech to help you stay focused and make your speech easier to follow.

Use Strong, Clear Language

Choose your words carefully, and use simple language that is easy to understand. Avoid jargon or technical terms that your audience may not be familiar with. 

Again, your word choice will depend on your audience. For example, you’ll want to steer clear of slang when speaking to an older, conservative crowd.

Use Transitions

Speech transitions are words and phrases that allow you to move smoothly from one point to another. Use transitional words and phrases like “besides” to help your audience follow your thought process and understand how your points are connected.

Add Variety to Speech

A speech that is monotonous or lacks variety may cause your audience to lose interest. 

Including a variety of elements in your speech, such as anecdotes, examples, and visual aids, can help keep your audience engaged and interested. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice your speech out loud to ensure it flows well and you’re comfortable with the material. Read your speech in front of the mirror or before someone you trust to give you critical feedback. Note the points for improvement, and incorporate them into how you deliver your speech.

End With a Strong Conclusion

How would you like to leave your audience members: inspired, informed, or mesmerized? Aim to end your speech on a high note. Summarize your main points, and leave your audience with a memorable takeaway.

Edit and Revise

Proofread and revise your speech to ensure it’s well written and error free. Use a grammar checker, such as ProWritingAid, to correct any grammar issues. You’ll also get suggestions on how to improve your sentence structures and transitions.

How to Write a Good Speech Introduction

speech introduction tips

The introduction can make or break your speech. It’s where you grab your audience’s attention to keep them engaged and state the purpose of your speech. 

An introduction also gives you the opportunity to establish your credibility. You should aim to give your audience a reason to listen to the rest of the speech rather than tuning out.

Here are some tips on how to create a positive first impression.

Start With a Hook

Begin your introduction with a hook that will grab your audience’s attention and make them want to listen. There are several options for a hook:

A statistic

A personal anecdote

Reference to a current or historical event

When thinking of an attention grabber, consider how appropriate and relevant it is to your audience and the purpose of the speech. For example, if you’re giving a speech to an older audience, you can make a historical reference that they can easily relate to.

speech hook ideas

Provide Context

Provide context by giving your audience some background information about the topic of your speech. This will help them understand the importance of what you are talking about and why they should care.

State Your Thesis

Clearly and concisely state the main point or purpose of your speech. Your thesis should be easy to follow and clearly outline the main argument and your stance. This will give your audience a clear understanding of what they can expect to learn from your presentation.

Preview Your Main Points

Give your audience a sense of the structure of your speech by briefly outlining the key points or arguments you will be making. They’ll know what to expect, and your speech will be easier to follow. 

Keep It Short

Your introduction should be concise and to the point, so don’t spend too much time on it. It’s important to keep your speech brief, and avoid including unnecessary or unrelated information. 

The goal is to engage and interest your audience, not bore them, so aim for a few well-chosen words rather than a lengthy introduction. Aim for your introduction to be about 10-15% of the total length of your speech.

4 types of speeches

A speech is just like any other piece of writing. You’ll need to identify your purpose, audience, and intention and then write accordingly. There are many types of speeches, and each type has its own expectations.

Let’s look at some of the most popular speeches and how to write them.

How to Write a Short Speech

Short speeches may be the most tedious to write because of how condensed and concise the information has to be. However, if you ever have to give a farewell, birthday tribute, or just a quick welcome, there are still some tips available to make your speech great.

Start by identifying your topic, title, and the purpose of your speech, which will set the foundation of your outline. Then, determine the main points of your speech; keep it short with two to three points. Remember, a short speech is typically less than ten minutes long, so keep your points concise and to the point.

Since you have limited time to make the most impact, incorporate powerful words or other engaging elements. For example, you could throw out a thought-provoking question or anecdote, which will grab your audience’s attention and keep them engaged.

Finally, once you’ve written your speech, review it for brevity and clarity. 

essay writing on speech

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

How to Write a Presentation Speech

A presentation speech is used to inform, persuade, explain, or demonstrate a particular topic.

Presentation speeches are well structured and follow a logical flow. They have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Use transition words and phrases to help your speech flow smoothly and prevent it from appearing disjointed.

You can use ProWritingAid to organize your speech and make it even clearer. ProWritingAid’s transition report will show you whether you’re using transitions effectively in your speech.

How to Write a Debate Speech

A debate is a formal argument on a particular topic. Debate speeches are persuasive since the aim is to convince the audience to agree with a stance.

Like most other speeches, a debate speech also follows the introduction, body, conclusion outline. This format helps the audience follow the speaker’s point in a linear and logical way.

When writing your introduction, clarify your stance so it’s clear to the audience. Anyone reading or listening to your speech shouldn’t have any doubt about your position on the topic. Take some time to prepare a solid opener, which can be an interesting fact, a personal story, or even a powerful quote.

The introduction also gives you the opportunity to explain terms your audience will need to understand throughout the speech. You should also provide an overview of your main points, but don’t spend long divulging too much.

Each body paragraph should cover a main point, whether that’s a key idea or a main claim, and each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence. The topic sentence is an initial sentence that summarizes the idea being presented. 

Your conclusion should be a simple and clear reiteration of the points you made in the thesis statement and body paragraphs. Add an attention-grabbing element to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Remember to use strong and emotive language throughout your speech, which makes it more likely for your audience to feel emotionally connected to your stance.

Always use transition words and phrases to maintain a logical flow between your arguments. Finally, edit and proofread your work for any potential grammar, punctuation, or spelling mistakes.

How to Write an Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is a brief speech that’s used to pitch a product, service, expertise, or credentials.

You have 30–60 seconds to persuade someone to act how you’d like: the same time as a quick elevator ride.

An effective elevator speech should contain an introduction, a clear value proposition, and a strong conclusion. 

elevator speech definition

Your introduction should be polite and clear. Briefly explain who you are, what you do, and what you are offering. For example, if you’re pitching your expertise, condense your background into two sentences. Include things that will make your audience remember you.

End your speech with what you want to achieve. What are you trying to accomplish with this speech? Perhaps it’s a job opportunity, a follow-up meeting, or an internship.

Once you’ve written your speech, be sure to revise it for brevity. Then practice and record yourself to ensure you don’t go over the time limit.

Writing a good speech takes time, but these tips are a good start to improving your speech-writing process. If you encounter writer’s block, look up popular speeches for inspiration. Ask someone you trust to give you feedback once you’ve written your speech.

Finally, while ProWritingAid can’t write your speech for you, it can help you write in a cohesive and logical manner. It highlights any grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues. It also shows you suggestions on how to improve your sentence structure, transition, pacing, and readability, so your next speech can be impactful and memorable.

Ashleigh Ferguson is a Copywriter on the ProWritingAid Team. With an affinity for learning new things, you can always count on her to know some random fact. She’s a self-proclaimed ‘Fix-it Felix’ and a newly minted ‘candle lady’.

Get started with ProWritingAid

Drop us a line or let's stay in touch via :

How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

  • Homework Tips
  • Learning Styles & Skills
  • Study Methods
  • Time Management
  • Private School
  • College Admissions
  • College Life
  • Graduate School
  • Business School
  • Distance Learning
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

The purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you.

You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your argument as a solution to a problem. Your first job as a speaker is to convince your audience that a particular problem is important to them, and then you must convince them that you have the solution to make things better.

Note: You don't have to address a real problem. Any need can work as the problem. For example, you could consider the lack of a pet, the need to wash one's hands, or the need to pick a particular sport to play as the "problem."

As an example, let's imagine that you have chosen "Getting Up Early" as your persuasion topic. Your goal will be to persuade classmates to get themselves out of bed an hour earlier every morning. In this instance, the problem could be summed up as "morning chaos."

A standard speech format has an introduction with a great hook statement, three main points, and a summary. Your persuasive speech will be a tailored version of this format.

Before you write the text of your speech, you should sketch an outline that includes your hook statement and three main points.

Writing the Text

The introduction of your speech must be compelling because your audience will make up their minds within a few minutes whether or not they are interested in your topic.

Before you write the full body you should come up with a greeting. Your greeting can be as simple as "Good morning everyone. My name is Frank."

After your greeting, you will offer a hook to capture attention. A hook sentence for the "morning chaos" speech could be a question:

  • How many times have you been late for school?
  • Does your day begin with shouts and arguments?
  • Have you ever missed the bus?

Or your hook could be a statistic or surprising statement:

  • More than 50 percent of high school students skip breakfast because they just don't have time to eat.
  • Tardy kids drop out of school more often than punctual kids.

Once you have the attention of your audience, follow through to define the topic/problem and introduce your solution. Here's an example of what you might have so far:

Good afternoon, class. Some of you know me, but some of you may not. My name is Frank Godfrey, and I have a question for you. Does your day begin with shouts and arguments? Do you go to school in a bad mood because you've been yelled at, or because you argued with your parent? The chaos you experience in the morning can bring you down and affect your performance at school.

Add the solution:

You can improve your mood and your school performance by adding more time to your morning schedule. You can accomplish this by setting your alarm clock to go off one hour earlier.

Your next task will be to write the body, which will contain the three main points you've come up with to argue your position. Each point will be followed by supporting evidence or anecdotes, and each body paragraph will need to end with a transition statement that leads to the next segment. Here is a sample of three main statements:

  • Bad moods caused by morning chaos will affect your workday performance.
  • If you skip breakfast to buy time, you're making a harmful health decision.
  • (Ending on a cheerful note) You'll enjoy a boost to your self-esteem when you reduce the morning chaos.

After you write three body paragraphs with strong transition statements that make your speech flow, you are ready to work on your summary.

Your summary will re-emphasize your argument and restate your points in slightly different language. This can be a little tricky. You don't want to sound repetitive but will need to repeat what you have said. Find a way to reword the same main points.

Finally, you must make sure to write a clear final sentence or passage to keep yourself from stammering at the end or fading off in an awkward moment. A few examples of graceful exits:

  • We all like to sleep. It's hard to get up some mornings, but rest assured that the reward is well worth the effort.
  • If you follow these guidelines and make the effort to get up a little bit earlier every day, you'll reap rewards in your home life and on your report card.

Tips for Writing Your Speech

  • Don't be confrontational in your argument. You don't need to put down the other side; just convince your audience that your position is correct by using positive assertions.
  • Use simple statistics. Don't overwhelm your audience with confusing numbers.
  • Don't complicate your speech by going outside the standard "three points" format. While it might seem simplistic, it is a tried and true method for presenting to an audience who is listening as opposed to reading.
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • 5 Tips on How to Write a Speech Essay
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • Writing an Opinion Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • Ethos, Logos, Pathos for Persuasion
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • Audience Analysis in Speech and Composition
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • 100 Persuasive Essay Topics
  • How to Write a Graduation Speech as Valedictorian

Logo for KU Libraries Open Textbooks

Speechwriting

8 Purpose and Thesis

Speechwriting Essentials

In this chapter . . .

As discussed in the chapter on Speaking Occasion , speechwriting begins with careful analysis of the speech occasion and its given circumstances, leading to the choice of an appropriate topic. As with essay writing, the early work of speechwriting follows familiar steps: brainstorming, research, pre-writing, thesis, and so on.

This chapter focuses on techniques that are unique to speechwriting. As a spoken form, speeches must be clear  about the purpose and main idea or “takeaway.” Planned redundancy means that you will be repeating these elements several times over during the speech.

Furthermore, finding purpose and thesis are essential whether you’re preparing an outline for extemporaneous delivery or a completely written manuscript for presentation. When you know your topic, your general and specific purpose, and your thesis or central idea, you have all the elements you need to write a speech that is focused, clear, and audience friendly.

Recognizing the General Purpose

Speeches have traditionally been grouped into one of three categories according to their primary purpose: 1) to inform, 2) to persuade, or 3) to inspire, honor, or entertain. These broad goals are commonly known as the  general purpose of a speech . Earlier, you learned about the actor’s tool of intention or objectives. The general purpose is like a super-objective; it defines the broadest goal of a speech. These three purposes are not necessarily exclusive to the others. A speech designed to be persuasive can also be informative and entertaining. However, a speech should have one primary goal. That is its general purpose.

Why is it helpful to talk about speeches in such broad terms? Being perfectly clear about what you want your speech to do or make happen for your audience will keep you focused. You can make a clearer distinction between whether you want your audience to leave your speech knowing more (to inform), or  ready to take action (to persuade), or feeling something (to inspire)

It’s okay to use synonyms for these broad categories. Here are some of them:

  • To inform could be to explain, to demonstrate, to describe, to teach.
  • To persuade could be to convince, to argue, to motivate, to prove.
  • To inspire might be to honor, or entertain, to celebrate, to mourn.

In summary, the first question you must ask yourself when starting to prepare a speech is, “Is the primary purpose of my speech to inform, to persuade, or to inspire?”

Articulating Specific Purpose

A specific purpose statement builds upon your general purpose and makes it specific (as the name suggests). For example, if you have been invited to give a speech about how to do something, your general purpose is “to inform.”  Choosing a topic appropriate to that general purpose, you decide to speak about how to protect a personal from cyberattacks. Now you are on your way to identifying a specific purpose.

A good specific purpose statement has three elements: goal, target audience, and content.

If you think about the above as a kind of recipe, then the first two “ingredients” — your goal and your audience — should be simple. Words describing the target audience should be as specific as possible. Instead of “my peers,” you could say, for example, “students in their senior year at my university.”

The third ingredient in this recipe is content, or what we call the topic of your speech. This is where things get a bit difficult. You want your content to be specific and something that you can express succinctly in a sentence. Here are some common problems that speakers make in defining the content, and the fix:

Now you know the “recipe” for a specific purpose statement. It’s made up of  T o, plus an active W ord, a specific  A udience, and clearly stated  C ontent. Remember this formula: T + W + A + C.

A: for a group of new students

C: the term “plagiarism”

Here are some further examples a good specific purpose statement:

  • To explain to a group of first-year students how to join a school organization.
  • To persuade the members of the Greek society to take a spring break trip in Daytona Beach.
  • To motivate my classmates in English 101 to participate in a study abroad program.
  • To convince first-year students that they need at least seven hours of sleep per night to do well in their studies.
  • To inspire my Church community about the accomplishments of our pastor.

The General and Specific Purpose Statements are writing tools in the sense that they help you, as a speechwriter, clarify your ideas.

Creating a Thesis Statement

Once you are clear about your general purpose and specific purpose, you can turn your attention to crafting a thesis statement. A thesis is the central idea in an essay or a speech. In speechwriting, the thesis or central idea explains the message of the content. It’s the speech’s “takeaway.” A good thesis statement will also reveal and clarify the ideas or assertions you’ll be addressing in your speech (your main points). Consider this example:

General Purpose: To persuade. Specific Purpose: To motivate my classmates in English 101 to participate in a study abroad program. Thesis: A semester-long study abroad experience produces lifelong benefits by teaching you about another culture, developing your language skills, and enhancing your future career prospects.

The difference between a specific purpose statement and a thesis statement is clear in this example. The thesis provides the takeaway (the lifelong benefits of study abroad). It also points to the assertions that will be addressed in the speech. Like the specific purpose statement, the thesis statement is a writing tool. You’ll incorporate it into your speech, usually as part of the introduction and conclusion.

All good expository, rhetorical, and even narrative writing contains a thesis. Many students and even experienced writers struggle with formulating a thesis. We struggle when we attempt to “come up with something” before doing the necessary research and reflection. A thesis only becomes clear through the thinking and writing process. As you develop your speech content, keep asking yourself: What is important here? If the audience can remember only one thing about this topic, what do I want them to remember?

Example #2: General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To demonstrate to my audience the correct method for cleaning a computer keyboard. Central Idea: Your computer keyboard needs regular cleaning to function well, and you can achieve that in four easy steps.
Example # 3 General Purpose: To Inform Specific Purpose: To describe how makeup is done for the TV show The Walking Dead . Central Idea: The wildly popular zombie show The Walking Dead achieves incredibly scary and believable makeup effects, and in the next few minutes I will tell you who does it, what they use, and how they do it.

Notice in the examples above that neither the specific purpose nor the central idea ever exceeds one sentence. If your central idea consists of more than one sentence, then you are probably including too much information.

Problems to Avoid

The first problem many students have in writing their specific purpose statement has already been mentioned: specific purpose statements sometimes try to cover far too much and are too broad. For example:

“To explain to my classmates the history of ballet.”

Aside from the fact that this subject may be difficult for everyone in your audience to relate to, it’s enough for a three-hour lecture, maybe even a whole course. You’ll probably find that your first attempt at a specific purpose statement will need refining. These examples are much more specific and much more manageable given the limited amount of time you’ll have.

  • To explain to my classmates how ballet came to be performed and studied in the U.S.
  • To explain to my classmates the difference between Russian and French ballet.
  • To explain to my classmates how ballet originated as an art form in the Renaissance.
  • To explain to my classmates the origin of the ballet dancers’ clothing.

The second problem happens when the “communication verb” in the specific purpose does not match the content; for example, persuasive content is paired with “to inform” or “to explain.” Can you find the errors in the following purpose statements?

  • To inform my audience why capital punishment is unconstitutional. (This is persuasive. It can’t be informative since it’s taking a side)
  • To persuade my audience about the three types of individual retirement accounts. (Even though the purpose statement says “persuade,” it isn’t persuading the audience of anything. It is informative.)
  • To inform my classmates that Universal Studios is a better theme park than Six Flags over Georgia. (This is clearly an opinion; hence it is a persuasive speech and not merely informative)

The third problem exists when the content part of the specific purpose statement has two parts. One specific purpose is enough. These examples cover two different topics.

  • To explain to my audience how to swing a golf club and choose the best golf shoes.
  • To persuade my classmates to be involved in the Special Olympics and vote to fund better classes for the intellectually disabled.

To fix this problem of combined or hybrid purposes, you’ll need to select one of the topics in these examples and speak on that one alone.

The fourth problem with both specific purpose and central idea statements is related to formatting. There are some general guidelines that need to be followed in terms of how you write out these elements of your speech:

  • Don’t write either statement as a question.
  • Always use complete sentences for central idea statements and infinitive phrases (beginning with “to”) for the specific purpose statement.
  • Use concrete language (“I admire Beyoncé for being a talented performer and businesswoman”) and avoid subjective or slang terms (“My speech is about why I think Beyoncé is the bomb”) or jargon and acronyms (“PLA is better than CBE for adult learners.”)

There are also problems to avoid in writing the central idea statement. As mentioned above, remember that:

  • The specific purpose and central idea statements are not the same thing, although they are related.
  • The central idea statement should be clear and not complicated or wordy; it should “stand out” to the audience. As you practice delivery, you should emphasize it with your voice.
  • The central idea statement should not be the first thing you say but should follow the steps of a good introduction as outlined in the next chapters.

You should be aware that all aspects of your speech are constantly going to change as you move toward the moment of giving your speech. The exact wording of your central idea may change, and you can experiment with different versions for effectiveness. However, your specific purpose statement should not change unless there is a good reason to do so. There are many aspects to consider in the seemingly simple task of writing a specific purpose statement and its companion, the central idea statement. Writing good ones at the beginning will save you some trouble later in the speech preparation process.

Public Speaking as Performance Copyright © 2023 by Mechele Leon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

My Speech Class

Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

Speech and Essay Samples

Don’t know where to start? Get inspired by our  FREE speech and essay examples .

Use them to get the creative juices flowing . Don’t copy any of these examples! Since these speeches are available for anyone to download, you can never be sure that another student has not used them, and that they will pass plagiarism evaluation tools, such as Turnitin or Plagscan.

Whether you find a sample that is on your given topic or a closely related discussion, all of the speeches can help you get organized and focused.

Review multiple speeches to learn:

  • How the presenter laid out the talking points and the number of points used
  • What references and statistics they used to solidify their arguments
  • How long the speech was for a given topic
  • How the topic was introduced and summarized
  • How the speaker engaged and interacted with the audience

By using these speech examples as an outline, you’ll have a fully formed presentation in no time ! We also have this page with gun control speech examples , in case you’d like to see different examples on the same topic.

Persuasive Speeches

  • Birth Control Persuasive Speech
  • We should stand up for our gun rights
  • The truth about gun control
  • The controversy over gun control
  • Speech against stricter gun control
  • It’s up to society to solve gun problems
  • Guns don’t kill people
  • Does banning firearms help prevent homicides
  • Criminals will be criminals
  • What to do about Deadbeat Parents
  • Why state aid applicants need to be drug tested
  • Subculture is Mainstream
  • Eating Healthy
  • Teachers should be paid more
  • Digital Piracy
  • Minimum Wage
  • Drug Testing for State Aid
  • Drug testing welfare
  • Why snakes make good pets
  • Why you need to quit drinking soda
  • Why Everyone Should Learn to Play an Instrument
  • Why Android is better then IOS 2
  • Why Android is better then IOS 1
  • Video Games Do Not Cause Violence
  • Soda and Obesity
  • Plastic Surgery 2
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle
  • Human development depends primarily on environmental factors
  • Donating Blood
  • Birth Control Persuasive Speech Example with Outline
  • Social Media Persuasive Speech Example with Outline
  • Texting and Driving Persuasive Speech Example with Outline
  • Persuasive Speech on Sleep
  • Persuasive Speech about Bullying
  • Persuasive Speech on Organ Donation

Informative Speeches

  • Guns and gun control - Texas
  • Gun violence and control
  • Gun control on campuses
  • Wind Energy
  • About Serial Killers
  • Eating Disorder
  • Robin Williams 2
  • Dream Types
  • Separation of Powers of the Federal Government
  • Memory Loss
  • Internet Black Market
  • Blood Donation
  • Alcohol in Winter
  • About Guitar
  • Social Media Informative Speech Example with Outline
  • Texting and Driving Informative Speech Example with Outline
  • Informative Speech on Sleep
  • Informative Speech about Bullying
  • Free Organ Donation Informative Speech
  • Free Informative Speech on Caffeine and Its Effects
  • Five Side Effects of Global Warming
  • Global Warming Is Real

Reach out to us for sponsorship opportunities

Vivamus integer non suscipit taciti mus etiam at primis tempor sagittis euismod libero facilisi.

© 2024 My Speech Class

Speech Writing

Speech Examples

Barbara P

20+ Outstanding Speech Examples for Your Help

speech examples

People also read

The 10 Key Steps for Perfect Speech Writing

Understanding the Speech Format - Detailed Guide & Examples

How to Start A Speech - 13 Interesting Ideas & Examples

Common Types of Speeches that Every Speechwriter Should Know

Good Impromptu Speech Topics for Students

Entertaining Speech Topics for Your Next Debate

How to Write a Special Occasion Speech: Types, Tips, and Examples

Introduction Speech - A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

How to Write the Best Acceptance Speech for Your Audience?

Presentation Speech - An Ultimate Writing Guide

Commemorative Speech - Writing Guide, Outline & Examples

Farewell Speech - Writing Tips & Examples

How to Write an Extemporaneous Speech? A Step-by-Step Guide

Crafting the Perfect Graduation Speech: A Guide with Examples

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!

Arrow Down

  • 1. Speech Examples 
  • 2. Tips to Write a Good Speech

Speech Examples 

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 professional essay writing service , you can be confident in your ability to communicate your message effectively and leave a lasting impact. 

So, don't hesitate – place order now and buy speech that will truly captivate your audience.

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Barbara P

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.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Keep reading

speech writing

Talk to our experts

1800-120-456-456

  • Essay and Speeches

ffImage

Essay and Speech Examples, Essay Writing Notes, English Speech and Essay Topics

You can learn all about essay writing and English speech with the key points and explanations provided here. There are basic rules for a presenter to lay out the points while either talking or writing. You just need to understand the elements of expression, argume nt, references and some language rules to produce a good essay and correct form of speeches .

Read the entire article to understand the ways for writing the best essays and also learn about the use of English speech. We have provided some speech examples for you to comprehend the rules of language along with some good essay topics for practising.

Essay Writing

Essay writing holds a major place in a student’s academic life. It teaches a student to express their opinio ns and offer a valid perspective. This validation is refined with the use of some certain standard essay writing techniques . Learn all about them by reading the listed points below:

Types of Essays:

1. Descriptive Essays: This type of essay paints a picture of the scene to the reader. Here, the writer should supposedly appeal to make the reader feel, smell, hear and see the things that they are describing. This essay is very detailed in nature, allowing the reader to experience the scene. Writers can use this essay genre to create a piece of text which is extremely stimulating.

2. Narrative Essays : A narrative essay creates a plot for the readers by introducing the characters, settings and leading to a climax then conclusion. This essay follows a traditional reading type- the format of a beginning, middle and the end of a scene. This essay is meant to be very interactive and it engages the reader to listen to the facts that the writer has to say and successfully convince the reader.

3. Expository Essays: This type of essay is most used in school writing classes to help students express their ideas concisely. This style of writing is used to freely express an opinion. This essay follows the format of an introductory paragraph, discussion paragraphs and then the conclusion. This essay should include evidence and references to support the opinion that is expressed. The writer here provides the reader with a final thought by the conclusion to make an impact on the reader’s perspective.

4. Persuasive Essays: As the name suggests, this type of essay attempts to persuade the reader to agree with the writer’s point of view. It is about stating your opinion, laying down some facts and convincing the reader to consider the writer's perspective. In this essay, the entire focus should be on proving the opinion as correct. Writer should be clear and considerate while writing the essay.

5. Argumentative Essays: This type of essay is majorly written on a controversial topic or an issue and the writer attempts to provide certain evidence to support his argument. This kind of essay is similar to persuasive writing style but argumentative essays require a tremendous amount of research and all the different viewpoints are considered rather than just the writer’s. The conclusion of this essay is persuasive; however, the argument is supported with plenty of evidence.

Essay Writing Format

The following format is considered as the common writing style to write every type of essay.

Introduction  

Introducing the topic/setting/scene/argument

Laying down of the major discussion points

A concise paragraph

Points put forward/narration of the scene

Main discussion which includes putting forward the opinions/expressions/evidences

Maintaining the flow of description/narration/argument.

Restating all the points in a very short and concise manner.

Giving the final conclusionary point.

Stating the call of action or opinion.

Essay Topics

You can practise essay writing on the below listed topics:

Pollution due to urbanisation

Education Essay

Social Media Essay

Wonder of Science

Newspaper and it’s current value

Children’s day

Republic Day

Contribution of technology in education

Abraham Licoln

Subhash Chandra Bose

Swami Vivekananda

Rabindranath Tagore

My Aim in Life

Father's Day Essay

Save Earth Essay

Environmental Pollution

Natural disasters

Essay Topics for College Students

Academic interest

Social consciousness 

Self-introspection 

Globalisation 

Political air on college students

Education system

Points to Remember When Writing an Essay 

There are some techniques to write a beautiful essay which is stimulating yet understandable. Read the following points to enhance your essay writing skills:

Analyse the topic carefully and decide the content matter which centralises that topic.

Students tend to deviate from the topic when they get engaged in writing a longer essay; to avoid this from happening, you should practise writing small paragraphs on the suggested topics above mentioned then gradually increase the length of paragraphs.

Introduce the setting or the argument first then define your argument.

Use reasoning to support your point of view such as giving real life examples or proven facts.

You can also support your argument by referring to reasonable perspectives.

Organise your essay as a coherent piece of writing. You should keep all the points linked with each other and present them chronologically as mentioned in the essay writing format.

Write clearly, don’t attempt too hard to use difficult words or phrases between your lines. You can add a quote once or twice.

A speech is a verbal presentation that is meant to prove a certain point. Speeches are delivered with the goal of convincing the audience to buy into your idea or to attract attention to your discussion. Making a speech or even writing one can sound a bit intimidating but with the right techniques and plenty of content knowledge, anyone can write a speech.

Here, you can learn about the structure of speech, know about a sample of speech, its elements and aspects. You are advised to take note of the further below mentioned points and get an idea about how to write a brilliant speech. We have provided the accurate format of speech along with speech examples for students to learn.

Types of Speech

Learn about various types of speeches:

Demonstrative : this type of speech provides information on a subject and educates the audience about a topic. Here, the context is focused on demonstrating a way of doing a particular thing.

For example- A company gives the instructions to use their product along with demonstrating how the product works, this is a demonstrative speech.

Informative : Informative speech uses facts, reasonable arguments and statistics to support the assertions made. This type of speech is used to discuss social or economic issues. Informative speeches are used to inform the audience and not necessarily persuade or convince them.

Persuasive : Persuasive speech delivers the information along with evidence to persuade the audience and receive their support. The best example of persuasive speech is the work of a lawyer. When a lawyer delivers a speech, the facts and statistics are mentioned along with the stance of argument. This is the way persuasive speech works. This type of speech is also used to impact the emotions of the audience through the speaker/writer’s feelings.

Entertaining: This type of speech amuses the audience and it is less formal than traditional speech. Entertaining speech communicates through feelings rather than facts. They include humour or emotional elements and are often heard in birthday parties and weddings.

Speech Examples (Topics to Practise)

Should there be age restrictions on video games?

Are self-driving cars a good idea?

Allowing social media at school

Online interaction becoming a threat

Electric cars- an idea

Effect of television

Personal password security

Does social media broaden our viewpoints?

Importance of fitness

Value of time

Are dreams worth it?

Pursuit of happiness

Meaning of life

Importance of culture in our urban lives

India’s education system

Literacy rate of india 

Strategies to build a good educational platform

Is online education leading our country?

How will recycling secure our future?

How can school teach practical life skills?

Tips for Speech Research 

To write a good speech, the research behind the content should be accurate and vast. Here are some tips to help you enhance your writing and research skills for a making a speech:

Gather information about your topic by asking questions to the people around you, get to know the practical information first about the topic with the help of common opinions in your area.

Move on the theoretical knowledge, read some articles or content pages available online regarding the topic. You can also refer to books for acquiring information at a vast scale.

Frame your argument or opinion according to the facts you gathered, do not deviate from the reasonability of a point of view. In the case of entertaining speech, you can collect materials from the society you live in and create an entertaining speech.

While writing your speech, make sure to keep the content coherent and clear.

While delivering your speech, make sure to pay attention to your body language and enunciations. You can engage the audience by asking questions and replying to them as a part of your speech performance.

This was a brief discussion on essay writing and speeches. You can learn about the types of speech, essays, find topics to write short English essays on and practise writing with the help of essay topics and speech topics provided here. The tips to create the best piece of text are provided here to assist students in producing excellent essays and speeches.

arrow-right

FAQs on Essay and Speeches

1. How do you write an essay?

When you are about to write an essay, keep the question in mind while you gather relevant information. Focus on collecting data first and then frame it in the format of the essay. You can follow the traditional format of beginning, middle and end or some other format as well of your choice. Imagine the place or the emotion you are writing about and attempt to use such words so that the reader experiences the validity of your argument. Integrate your facts, evidence and information carefully while you write.

2. How to start an essay?

Some common ways to start an essay are:

Picking a tone for your essay by stating the argument as the first thing.

Asking a question.

Sharing a shocking fact.

Sharing an amusing fact.

Dramatise your introduction of the topic.

3. How long is a good essay?

In school, you are expected to deliver a short essay that contains 4 to 5 paragraphs. However, essay length varies on the level of studies.

Essay length guidelines:

High school essay: 300-1000 words

Undergraduate essay : 1500-5000 words

4. What is the best topic for speech?

In contemporary society, the best topic to deliver a speech on would be education. The issue of mobile phones, uniforms, co-education and the country's education system is discussed on a large scale.There are plenty of topics under the education category, you can choose from a wide range of topics for making a speech.

5. What is a good speech?

A speech that is delivered slowly and in the usual tone so that the audience is able to understand clearly is considered a good speech. One important feature of a good speech is that it is not entirely biassed and neglectful of some important facts. A good speech always includes ubiquitous facts and stays focused and driven on the main theme of the topic.

6. What are some good short speeches?

These are a few examples of good short speeches: 

Abraham Lincoln’s “The Gettysburg Address”

Neil Armstrong’s Speech on The Moon

Winston Churchill’s “Never Give in”

Baz Luhrmann and Mary Schmich- “Everybody’s Free”

essay writing on speech

25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today

Here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.

essay writing on speech

Verification Code

An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify

essay writing on speech

Thanks for your comment !

Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.

essay writing on speech

Speech Writing

dulingo

  • Updated on  
  • Jan 16, 2024

Speech Writing

The power of good, inspiring, motivating, and thought-provoking speeches can never be overlooked. If we retrospect, a good speech has not only won people’s hearts but also has been a verbal tool to conquer nations. For centuries, many leaders have used this instrument to charm audiences with their powerful speeches. Apart from vocalizing your speech perfectly, the words you choose in a speech carry immense weight, and practising speech writing begins with our school life. Speech writing is an important part of the English syllabus for Class 12th, Class 11th, and Class 8th to 10th. This blog brings you the Speech Writing format, samples, examples, tips, and tricks!

This Blog Includes:

What is speech writing, speech in english language writing, how do you begin an english-language speech, introduction, how to write a speech, speech writing samples, example of a great speech, english speech topics, practice time.

Must Read: Story Writing Format for Class 9 & 10

Speech writing is the art of using proper grammar and expression to convey a thought or message to a reader. Speech writing isn’t all that distinct from other types of narrative writing. However, students should be aware of certain distinct punctuation and writing style techniques. While writing the ideal speech might be challenging, sticking to the appropriate speech writing structure will ensure that you never fall short.

“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”- Alexander Gregg

The English language includes eight parts of speech i.e. nouns , pronouns , verbs , adjectives 410 , adverbs , prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

  • Noun- A noun is a word that describes anything, such as an animal, a person, a place, or an emotion. Nouns are the building blocks for most sentences.
  • Pronoun – Pronouns are words that can be used in place of nouns. They are used so that we don’t have to repeat words. This makes our writing and speaking much more natural.
  • Verb – A verb is a term that implies activity or ‘doing.’ These are very vital for your children’s grammar studies, as a sentence cannot be complete without a verb.
  • Adjective – An adjective is a term that describes something. An adjective is frequently used before a noun to add extra information or description.
  • Prepositions- A preposition is a term that expresses the location or timing of something in relation to something else.
  • Conjunction- Because every language has its own set of conjunctions, English conjunctions differ from those found in other languages. They’re typically used as a connecting word between two statements, concepts, or ideas.
  • Interjections- Interjections are words that are used to describe a strong emotion or a sudden feeling.

Relevant Read: Speech on the Importance of English

The way you start your English speech can set the tone for the remainder of it. This semester, there are a variety of options for you to begin presentations in your classes. For example, try some of these engaging speech in English language starters.

  • Rhetorical questions : A rhetorical question is a figure of speech that uses a question to convey a point rather than asking for a response. The answer to a rhetorical question may be clear, yet the questioner asks it to emphasize the point. Rhetorical questions may be a good method for students to start their English speeches. This method of introducing your material might be appealing to the viewers and encourage them to consider how they personally relate to your issue.
  • Statistics: When making an instructive or persuasive speech in an English class, statistics can help to strengthen the speaker’s authority and understanding of the subject. To get your point over quickly and create an emotional response, try using an unexpected statistic or fact that will resonate with the audience.
  • Set up an imaginary scene: Create an imaginary situation in your audience’s thoughts if you want to persuade them to agree with you with your speech. This method of starting your speech assists each member of the audience in visualizing a fantastic scenario that you wish to see come true.

Relevant Read: Reported Speech Rules With Exercises

Format of Speech Writing

Here is the format of Speech Writing:

  • Introduction : Greet the audience, tell them about yourself and further introduce the topic.
  • Body : Present the topic in an elaborate way, explaining its key features, pros and cons, if any and the like.
  • Conclusion : Summary of your speech, wrap up the topic and leave your audience with a compelling reminder to think about!

Let’s further understand each element of the format of Speech Writing in further detail:

After the greetings, the Introduction has to be attention-getting. Quickly get people’s attention. The goal of a speech is to engage the audience and persuade them to think or act in your favour. The introduction must effectively include: 

  • A brief preview of your topic. 
  • Define the outlines of your speech. (For example, I’ll be talking about…First..Second…Third)
  • Begin with a story, quote, fact, joke, or observation in the room. It shouldn’t be longer than 3-4 lines. (For Example: “Mahatma Gandhi said once…”, or “This topic reminds me of an incident/story…”)

This part is also important because that’s when your audience decides if the speech is worth their time. Keep your introduction factual, interesting, and convincing.

It is the most important part of any speech. You should provide a number of reasons and arguments to convince the audience to agree with you.

Handling objections is an important aspect of speech composition. There is no time for questions or concerns since a speech is a monologue. Any concerns that may occur during the speech will be addressed by a powerful speech. As a result, you’ll be able to respond to questions as they come in from the crowd. To make speech simpler you can prepare a flow chart of the details in a systematic way.

For example: If your speech is about waste management; distribute information and arrange it according to subparagraphs for your reference. It could include:

  • What is Waste Management?
  • Major techniques used to manage waste
  • Advantages of Waste Management  
  • Importance of Waste Management 

The conclusion should be something that the audience takes with them. It could be a reminder, a collective call to action, a summary of your speech, or a story. For example: “It is upon us to choose the fate of our home, the earth by choosing to begin waste management at our personal spaces.”

After concluding, add a few lines of gratitude to the audience for their time.

For example: “Thank you for being a wonderful audience and lending me your time. Hope this speech gave you something to take away.”

speech writing format

Practice Your Speech Writing with these English Speech topics for students !

A good speech is well-timed, informative, and thought-provoking. Here are the tips for writing a good school speech:

Speech Sandwich of Public Speaking

The introduction and conclusion must be crisp. People psychologically follow the primacy effect (tendency to remember the first part of the list/speech) and recency effect (tendency to recall the last part of the list/speech). 

Use Concrete Facts

Make sure you thoroughly research your topic. Including facts appeals to the audience and makes your speech stronger. How much waste is managed? Give names of organisations and provide numerical data in one line.

Use Rhetorical Strategies and Humour

Include one or two open-ended or thought-provoking questions.  For Example: “Would we want our future generation to face trouble due to global warming?” Also, make good use of humour and convenient jokes that engages your audience and keeps them listening.

Check Out: Message Writing

Know your Audience and Plan Accordingly

This is essential before writing your speech. To whom is it directed? The categorised audience on the basis of –

  • Knowledge of the Topic (familiar or unfamiliar)

Use the information to formulate the speech accordingly, use information that they will understand, and a sentence that they can retain.

Timing Yourself is Important

An important aspect of your speech is to time yourself.  Don’t write a speech that exceeds your word limit. Here’s how can decide the right timing for your speech writing:

  • A one-minute speech roughly requires around 130-150 words
  • A two-minute speech requires roughly around 250-300 words

Recommended Read: Letter Writing

Speech Writing Examples

Here are some examples to help you understand how to write a good speech. Read these to prepare for your next speech:

Write a speech to be delivered in the school assembly as Rahul/ Rubaina of Delhi Public School emphasises the importance of cleanliness, implying that the level of cleanliness represents the character of its residents. (150-200 words)

“Cleanliness is next to godliness,” said the great John Wesley. Hello, respected principal, instructors, and good friends. Today, I, Rahul/Rubaina, stand in front of you all to emphasise the significance of cleanliness.

Cleanliness is the condition or attribute of being or remaining clean. Everyone must learn about cleaning, hygiene, sanitation, and the different diseases that are produced by unsanitary circumstances. It is essential for physical well-being and the maintenance of a healthy atmosphere at home and at school. A filthy atmosphere invites a large number of mosquitos to grow and spread dangerous diseases. On the other side, poor personal cleanliness causes a variety of skin disorders as well as lowered immunity.

Habits formed at a young age become ingrained in one’s personality. Even if we teach our children to wash their hands before and after meals, brush their teeth and bathe on a regular basis, we are unconcerned about keeping public places clean. On October 2, 2014, the Indian Prime Minister began the “Swachh Bharat” programme to offer sanitation amenities to every family, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and safe and appropriate drinking water supplies. Teachers and children in schools are actively participating in the ‘Clean India Campaign’ with zeal and excitement.

Good health ensures a healthy mind, which leads to better overall productivity, higher living standards, and economic development. It will improve India’s international standing. As a result, a clean environment is a green environment with fewer illnesses. Thus, cleanliness is defined as a symbol of mental purity.

Thank you very much.

Relevant Read: Speech on Corruption

You are Sahil/Sanya, the school’s Head Girl/Head Boy. You are greatly troubled by the increasing instances of aggressive behaviour among your students. You decide to speak about it during the morning assembly. Create a speech about “School Discipline.” (150 – 200 words)

INDISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS,

It has been reported that the frequency of fights and incidences of bullying in our school has increased dramatically in the previous several months. Good morning to everyone present. Today, I, Sahil/Sanya, your head boy/girl, am here to shed light on the serious topic of “Increased Indiscipline in Schools.”

It has come to light that instructor disobedience, bullying, confrontations with students, truancy, and insults are becoming more widespread. Furthermore, there have been reports of parents noticing a shift in their children’s attitudes. As a result, many children are suffering emotionally, psychologically, and physically. The impact of this mindset on children at a young age is devastating and irreversible.

Not to mention the harm done to the school’s property. Theft of chalk, scribbling on desks, walls and lavatory doors, destruction of CCTV cameras and so forth. We are merely depriving ourselves of the comforts granted to us by doing so.

Following numerous meetings, it was determined that the main reasons for the problem were a lack of sufficient guidance, excessive use of social media, and peer pressure. The council is working to make things better. Everyone is required to take life skills classes. Counselling, motivating, and instilling friendly ideals will be part of the curriculum. Seminars for parents and students will be held on a regular basis.

A counsellor is being made available to help you all discuss your sentiments, grudges, and personal problems. We are doing everything we can and expect you to do the same.

So, let us work together to create an environment in which we encourage, motivate, assist, and be nice to one another because we are good and civilised humans capable of a great deal of love.

Relevant Read: How to Write a Speech on Discipline?

The current increase in incidences of violent student misbehaviour is cause for alarm for everyone. Students who learn how to manage their anger can help to alleviate the situation. Write a 150-200-word speech about the topic to be delivered at the school’s morning assembly. (10)

HOW TO CONTROL ANGER

Honourable Principal, Respected Teachers, and Dear Friends, I’d like to share a few “Ways to Manage Anger” with you today.

The growing intolerance among the younger generation, which is resulting in violence against teachers, is cause for severe concern. The guru-shishya parampara is losing its lustre. Aggressive behaviour in students can be provoked by a variety of factors, including self-defence, stressful circumstance, over-stimulation, or a lack of adult supervision.

It has become imperative to address the situation. Life skills workshops will be included in the curriculum. Teachers should be trained to deal with such stubborn and confrontational behaviours. Meditation and deep breathing are very beneficial and should be practised every morning. Students should be taught to count to ten before reacting angrily. Sessions on anger control and its importance must also be held.

Remember that Anger is one letter away from danger. It becomes much more crucial to be able to control one’s rage. It’s never too late to start, as a wise man once said.

“Every minute you stay angry, you lose sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

Relevant Read: English Speech Topics for Students

Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’ is one of his most famous speeches. Its impact has lasted through generations. The speech is written by utilising the techniques above. Here are some examples:

“still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination” – emotive Language

“In a sense, we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check” – personalising the speech

“to stand up for freedom together” – a call to action.

Importantly, this is an example of how the listener comes first while drafting a speech. The language chosen appeals to a specific sort of audience and was widely utilised in 1963 when the speech was delivered.

  • The Best Day of My Life
  • Social Media: Bane or Boon?
  • Pros and Cons of Online Learning
  • Benefits of Yoga
  • If I had a Superpower
  • I wish I were ______
  • Environment Conservation
  • Women Should Rule the World!
  • The Best Lesson I Have Learned
  • Paperbacks vs E-books
  • How to Tackle a Bad Habit?
  • My Favorite Pastime/Hobby
  • Understanding Feminism
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Is it real or not?
  • Importance of Reading
  • Importance of Books in Our Life
  • My Favorite Fictional Character
  • Introverts vs Extroverts
  • Lessons to Learn from Sports
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Also Read: How to Ace IELTS Writing Section?

Ans. Speech writing is the process of communicating a notion or message to a reader by employing proper punctuation and expression. Speech writing is similar to other types of narrative writing. However, students should be aware of some different punctuation and writing structure techniques.

Ans. Before beginning with the speech, choose an important topic. Create an outline; rehearse your speech, and adjust the outline based on comments from the rehearsal. This five-step strategy for speech planning serves as the foundation for both lessons and learning activities.

Ans. Writing down a speech is vital since it helps you better comprehend the issue, organises your thoughts, prevents errors in your speech, allows you to get more comfortable with it, and improves its overall quality.

Speech writing and public speaking are effective and influential. Hope this blog helped you know the various tips for writing the speech people would want to hear. If you need help in making the right career choices at any phase of your academic and professional journey, our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you. Sign up for a free session now!

' src=

Team Leverage Edu

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Contact no. *

14 comments

This site has been very helpful to me

Wow i have gained more knowledge

lt’s a nice One and l have loved it

Thank you for your feedback! Happy that you loved it.

Thank you for your feedback!

Very educating.

thanks for your valuable feedback

This is indeed very helpful

Thanks for your valuable feedback!

I have learned alot thank you

Hi, Thanks for your feedback!

Wow so reliable, thanks.

browse success stories

Leaving already?

8 Universities with higher ROI than IITs and IIMs

Grab this one-time opportunity to download this ebook

Connect With Us

25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. take the first step today..

essay writing on speech

Resend OTP in

essay writing on speech

Need help with?

Study abroad.

UK, Canada, US & More

IELTS, GRE, GMAT & More

Scholarship, Loans & Forex

Country Preference

New Zealand

Which English test are you planning to take?

Which academic test are you planning to take.

Not Sure yet

When are you planning to take the exam?

Already booked my exam slot

Within 2 Months

Want to learn about the test

Which Degree do you wish to pursue?

When do you want to start studying abroad.

September 2024

January 2025

What is your budget to study abroad?

essay writing on speech

How would you describe this article ?

Please rate this article

We would like to hear more.

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

Speech Vs. Essay

How to Determine the Tone of an Essay

How to Determine the Tone of an Essay

Writing a speech and writing an essay are two different experiences. While both the speech writer and the essay writer communicate information to a live audience or reading audience, the steps the writers go through to create the final version require varying methods, such as the choice of diction and dramatic effect.

Speech writing requires that a writer communicates a specific theme or topic to an audience. She uses a tone in her writing that produces an emotional effect on the audience. A presidential speech, for example, often uses a particular diction, full of patriotic, hopeful, grave or uplifting tones. While an essay also relies on tone for dramatic effect, the essay writer has less of a demand to please all members of her audience than the speech writer. For example, if you write a personal essay about a life-changing trip, you do not need for every person to admire your essay and the tone in which you compose it --- it is more written to make a point than to win over an audience. In general, a speech appeals to a specific audience in a certain place and time, while an essay communicates with a general audience.

Each essay format --- narrative, expository or personal --- follows a basic structure. It usually includes an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs and a conclusion that synthesizes the information. A speech also has a particular format, with an introduction, examples and a conclusion, but the speech writer will often restate a point at the end of each section of the speech to ensure the audience is "with" him or her. Because the essayist understands that the writer can reread the last paragraph, or reread the entire essay again, he does not need to reiterate statements. Rather, an essay's structure relies on smooth transitions to the next theme.

Giving a Speech

The speech writer "performs" or delivers his speech in a way that gives his ideas, or themes, a particular meaning. For example, Martin Luther King wrote his "Dream" speech in the first-person "I" voice to produce an emotional impact on his listeners. In essay writing, a writer connects with her audience, whether live or on the page, without trying to win them over with her delivery.

A politician connects with an audience with words, gestures and eye contact.

Reading an Essay

An essay presenter only needs to look up from his paper every few minutes, while a person delivering a speech must deliver by memorization, only occasionally glancing at the page or screen. While an individual can read an essay either in an impassioned and enthusiastic or a sad and grave tone, the audience, in general, is more interested in hearing the quality of writing and information than the delivery, as they are for a speech.

Related Articles

How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay

How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay

How to Establish Credibility in an Informative Speech

How to Establish Credibility in an Informative Speech

How to Write a Critical Analysis of a Speech

How to Write a Critical Analysis of a Speech

How to Analyze Expository Writing

How to Analyze Expository Writing

How to Set Up a Rhetorical Analysis

How to Set Up a Rhetorical Analysis

How to Write an Essay in Conversation Style

How to Write an Essay in Conversation Style

How to Write a Speech About Someone I Admire

How to Write a Speech About Someone I Admire

How to Write a Speech Essay

How to Write a Speech Essay

  • Scholastic; Speechwriting With Karen Finney and Lou Giansante
  • Inc.; Writing and Organizing a Winning Speech;Patricia Fripp; October 2000
  • The University of Hong Kong Centre for Applied English Studies; Characteristics of Different Types of Essays
  • Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Essay Structure; Elizabeth Abrams; 2000

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.

  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

Free printable Mother's Day questionnaire 💐!

40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It

Nike

The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

You Might Also Like

Persuasive Essay Topics: Should we allow little kids to play competitive sports?

101 Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

Use your words to sway the reader. Continue Reading

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. 5335 Gate Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.

The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives. The Purdue OWL offers global support through online reference materials and services.

A Message From the Assistant Director of Content Development 

The Purdue OWL® is committed to supporting  students, instructors, and writers by offering a wide range of resources that are developed and revised with them in mind. To do this, the OWL team is always exploring possibilties for a better design, allowing accessibility and user experience to guide our process. As the OWL undergoes some changes, we welcome your feedback and suggestions by email at any time.

Please don't hesitate to contact us via our contact page  if you have any questions or comments.

All the best,

Social Media

Facebook twitter.

Find anything you save across the site in your account

Illustration of a missile made from words.

In the campus protests over the war in Gaza, language and rhetoric are—as they have always been when it comes to Israel and Palestine—weapons of mass destruction.

By Zadie Smith

A philosophy without a politics is common enough. Aesthetes, ethicists, novelists—all may be easily critiqued and found wanting on this basis. But there is also the danger of a politics without a philosophy. A politics unmoored, unprincipled, which holds as its most fundamental commitment its own perpetuation. A Realpolitik that believes itself too subtle—or too pragmatic—to deal with such ethical platitudes as thou shalt not kill. Or: rape is a crime, everywhere and always. But sometimes ethical philosophy reënters the arena, as is happening right now on college campuses all over America. I understand the ethics underpinning the protests to be based on two widely recognized principles:

There is an ethical duty to express solidarity with the weak in any situation that involves oppressive power.

If the machinery of oppressive power is to be trained on the weak, then there is a duty to stop the gears by any means necessary.

The first principle sometimes takes the “weak” to mean “whoever has the least power,” and sometimes “whoever suffers most,” but most often a combination of both. The second principle, meanwhile, may be used to defend revolutionary violence, although this interpretation has just as often been repudiated by pacifistic radicals, among whom two of the most famous are, of course, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr . In the pacifist’s interpretation, the body that we must place between the gears is not that of our enemy but our own. In doing this, we may pay the ultimate price with our actual bodies, in the non-metaphorical sense. More usually, the risk is to our livelihoods, our reputations, our futures. Before these most recent campus protests began, we had an example of this kind of action in the climate movement. For several years now, many people have been protesting the economic and political machinery that perpetuates climate change, by blocking roads, throwing paint, interrupting plays, and committing many other arrestable offenses that can appear ridiculous to skeptics (or, at the very least, performative), but which in truth represent a level of personal sacrifice unimaginable to many of us.

I experienced this not long ago while participating in an XR climate rally in London. When it came to the point in the proceedings where I was asked by my fellow-protesters whether I’d be willing to commit an arrestable offense—one that would likely lead to a conviction and thus make travelling to the United States difficult or even impossible—I’m ashamed to say that I declined that offer. Turns out, I could not give up my relationship with New York City for the future of the planet. I’d just about managed to stop buying plastic bottles (except when very thirsty) and was trying to fly less. But never to see New York again? What pitiful ethical creatures we are (I am)! Falling at the first hurdle! Anyone who finds themselves rolling their eyes at any young person willing to put their own future into jeopardy for an ethical principle should ask themselves where the limits of their own commitments lie—also whether they’ve bought a plastic bottle or booked a flight recently. A humbling inquiry.

It is difficult to look at the recent Columbia University protests in particular without being reminded of the campus protests of the nineteen-sixties and seventies, some of which happened on the very same lawns. At that time, a cynical political class was forced to observe the spectacle of its own privileged youth standing in solidarity with the weakest historical actors of the moment, a group that included, but was not restricted to, African Americans and the Vietnamese. By placing such people within their ethical zone of interest, young Americans risked both their own academic and personal futures and—in the infamous case of Kent State—their lives. I imagine that the students at Columbia—and protesters on other campuses—fully intend this echo, and, in their unequivocal demand for both a ceasefire and financial divestment from this terrible war, to a certain extent they have achieved it.

But, when I open newspapers and see students dismissing the idea that some of their fellow-students feel, at this particular moment, unsafe on campus, or arguing that such a feeling is simply not worth attending to, given the magnitude of what is occurring in Gaza, I find such sentiments cynical and unworthy of this movement. For it may well be—within the ethical zone of interest that is a campus, which was not so long ago defined as a safe space, delineated by the boundary of a generation’s ethical ideas— it may well be that a Jewish student walking past the tents, who finds herself referred to as a Zionist, and then is warned to keep her distance, is, in that moment, the weakest participant in the zone. If the concept of safety is foundational to these students’ ethical philosophy (as I take it to be), and, if the protests are committed to reinserting ethical principles into a cynical and corrupt politics, it is not right to divest from these same ethics at the very moment they come into conflict with other imperatives. The point of a foundational ethics is that it is not contingent but foundational. That is precisely its challenge to a corrupt politics.

Practicing our ethics in the real world involves a constant testing of them, a recognition that our zones of ethical interest have no fixed boundaries and may need to widen and shrink moment by moment as the situation demands. (Those brave students who—in supporting the ethical necessity of a ceasefire—find themselves at painful odds with family, friends, faith, or community have already made this calculation.) This flexibility can also have the positive long-term political effect of allowing us to comprehend that, although our duty to the weakest is permanent, the role of “the weakest” is not an existential matter independent of time and space but, rather, a contingent situation, continually subject to change. By contrast, there is a dangerous rigidity to be found in the idea that concern for the dreadful situation of the hostages is somehow in opposition to, or incompatible with, the demand for a ceasefire. Surely a ceasefire—as well as being an ethical necessity—is also in the immediate absolute interest of the hostages, a fact that cannot be erased by tearing their posters off walls.

Part of the significance of a student protest is the ways in which it gives young people the opportunity to insist upon an ethical principle while still being, comparatively speaking, a more rational force than the supposed adults in the room, against whose crazed magical thinking they have been forced to define themselves. The equality of all human life was never a self-evident truth in racially segregated America. There was no way to “win” in Vietnam. Hamas will not be “eliminated.” The more than seven million Jewish human beings who live in the gap between the river and the sea will not simply vanish because you think that they should. All of that is just rhetoric. Words. Cathartic to chant, perhaps, but essentially meaningless. A ceasefire, meanwhile, is both a potential reality and an ethical necessity. The monstrous and brutal mass murder of more than eleven hundred people, the majority of them civilians, dozens of them children, on October 7th, has been followed by the monstrous and brutal mass murder (at the time of writing) of a reported fourteen thousand five hundred children. And many more human beings besides, but it’s impossible not to notice that the sort of people who take at face value phrases like “surgical strikes” and “controlled military operation” sometimes need to look at and/or think about dead children specifically in order to refocus their minds on reality.

To send the police in to arrest young people peacefully insisting upon a ceasefire represents a moral injury to us all. To do it with violence is a scandal. How could they do less than protest, in this moment? They are putting their own bodies into the machine. They deserve our support and praise. As to which postwar political arrangement any of these students may favor, and on what basis they favor it—that is all an argument for the day after a ceasefire. One state, two states, river to the sea—in my view, their views have no real weight in this particular moment, or very little weight next to the significance of their collective action, which (if I understand it correctly) is focussed on stopping the flow of money that is funding bloody murder, and calling for a ceasefire, the political euphemism that we use to mark the end of bloody murder. After a ceasefire, the criminal events of the past seven months should be tried and judged, and the infinitely difficult business of creating just, humane, and habitable political structures in the region must begin anew. Right now: ceasefire. And, as we make this demand, we might remind ourselves that a ceasefire is not, primarily, a political demand. Primarily, it is an ethical one.

But it is in the nature of the political that we cannot even attend to such ethical imperatives unless we first know the political position of whoever is speaking. (“Where do you stand on Israel/Palestine?”) In these constructed narratives, there are always a series of shibboleths, that is, phrases that can’t be said, or, conversely, phrases that must be said. Once these words or phrases have been spoken ( river to the sea, existential threat, right to defend, one state, two states, Zionist, colonialist, imperialist, terrorist ) and one’s positionality established, then and only then will the ethics of the question be attended to (or absolutely ignored). The objection may be raised at this point that I am behaving like a novelist, expressing a philosophy without a politics, or making some rarefied point about language and rhetoric while people commit bloody murder. This would normally be my own view, but, in the case of Israel/Palestine, language and rhetoric are and always have been weapons of mass destruction.

It is in fact perhaps the most acute example in the world of the use of words to justify bloody murder, to flatten and erase unbelievably labyrinthine histories, and to deliver the atavistic pleasure of violent simplicity to the many people who seem to believe that merely by saying something they make it so. It is no doubt a great relief to say the word “Hamas” as if it purely and solely described a terrorist entity. A great relief to say “There is no such thing as the Palestinian people” as they stand in front of you. A great relief to say “Zionist colonialist state” and accept those three words as a full and unimpeachable definition of the state of Israel, not only under the disastrous leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu but at every stage of its long and complex history, and also to hear them as a perfectly sufficient description of every man, woman, and child who has ever lived in Israel or happened to find themselves born within it. It is perhaps because we know these simplifications to be impossible that we insist upon them so passionately. They are shibboleths; they describe a people, by defining them against other people—but the people being described are ourselves. The person who says “We must eliminate Hamas” says this not necessarily because she thinks this is a possible outcome on this earth but because this sentence is the shibboleth that marks her membership in the community that says that. The person who uses the word “Zionist” as if that word were an unchanged and unchangeable monolith, meaning exactly the same thing in 2024 and 1948 as it meant in 1890 or 1901 or 1920—that person does not so much bring definitive clarity to the entangled history of Jews and Palestinians as they successfully and soothingly draw a line to mark their own zone of interest and where it ends. And while we all talk, carefully curating our shibboleths, presenting them to others and waiting for them to reveal themselves as with us or against us—while we do all that, bloody murder.

And now here we are, almost at the end of this little stream of words. We’ve arrived at the point at which I must state clearly “where I stand on the issue,” that is, which particular political settlement should, in my own, personal view, occur on the other side of a ceasefire. This is the point wherein—by my stating of a position—you are at once liberated into the simple pleasure of placing me firmly on one side or the other, putting me over there with those who lisp or those who don’t, with the Ephraimites, or with the people of Gilead. Yes, this is the point at which I stake my rhetorical flag in that fantastical, linguistical, conceptual, unreal place—built with words—where rapes are minimized as needs be, and the definition of genocide quibbled over, where the killing of babies is denied, and the precision of drones glorified, where histories are reconsidered or rewritten or analogized or simply ignored, and “Jew” and “colonialist” are synonymous, and “Palestinian” and “terrorist” are synonymous, and language is your accomplice and alibi in all of it. Language euphemized, instrumentalized, and abused, put to work for your cause and only for your cause, so that it does exactly and only what you want it to do. Let me make it easy for you. Put me wherever you want: misguided socialist, toothless humanist, naïve novelist, useful idiot, apologist, denier, ally, contrarian, collaborator, traitor, inexcusable coward. It is my view that my personal views have no more weight than an ear of corn in this particular essay. The only thing that has any weight in this particular essay is the dead. ♦

New Yorker Favorites

The day the dinosaurs died .

What if you started itching— and couldn’t stop ?

How a notorious gangster was exposed by his own sister .

Woodstock was overrated .

Diana Nyad’s hundred-and-eleven-mile swim .

Photo Booth: Deana Lawson’s hyper-staged portraits of Black love .

Fiction by Roald Dahl: “The Landlady”

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the best stories from The New Yorker .

By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement . This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Israel’s Politics of Protest

By Ruth Margalit

The Kids Are Not All Right. They Want to Be Heard

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

A Generation of Distrust

By Jay Caspian Kang

Is 2024 Doomed to Repeat 1968 or 2020&-or Both?

By Susan B. Glasser

Ohio State Alum Gives Worst Commencement Speech Ever While High On Ayahuasca, Prompting Sing-Along

The commencement speaker for Ohio State University's graduation this past weekend admitted to being high on psychedelic drugs, including ayahuasca. It's why his speech went quickly off the rails. 

Speaker Chris Pan, who the University promoted as a "social entrepreneur, musician and inspirational speaker" as well as Buckeye alumni, quickly went viral as OSU family members and underclassmen watching along to the live stream at home all had a resounding "WTF" reaction.

To put it bluntly, Pan's speech was an absolute crap show as he began pushing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments to the puzzled graduating class of more than 12,000. At one point, Pan even got into an exchange with OSU President Ted Carter who tried shuffling him off the stage, which led to a massive number of boos that made Pan seem like Kim Kardashian at Tom Brady's roast.

Oh, he also led the students in a sing-along not once, but twice!

SPEAKER WAS HIGH AS A KITE WHEN WRITING SPEECH

As Pan began speaking to the Buckeye graduates, his speech quickly went off the rails as he began randomly bringing up Bitcoin as a "misunderstood asset" before encouraging students to invest in crypto. I'm sure that's just what many graduates swimming in student debt payments wanted to hear!

If that wasn't enough, Pan then decided to lead the crowd in two musical singalongs. First up was "What's Going On?" by the Four Non Blondes, which was an ironic choice given that everyone in attendance was wondering the same thing. The other song was "This Little Light Of Mine" by Harry Dixon Loes. 

Turns out that second song made perfect sense, as Pan had admitted to being on intense psychedelics when he wrote his speech.

CHRIS PAN LINKEDIN PAGE

CHRIS PAN LINKEDIN PAGE via LinkedIn.

PAN WROTE SPEECH WHILE ON AYAHUASCA

After Pan's speech went viral, people soon found out that he had been documenting his speech on his personal LinkedIn page - where he also admitted to taking psychedelics and ayahuasca. (That's what Aaron Rodgers loves. )

In fact, Pan said that he had some help from AI - only it wasn't Artificial Intelligence, but what he referred to as Ayahuasca Intelligence. (Not a bad line, to be honest.)

At one point, Pan even did a magic trick with OSU President Carter, which went as awkwardly as you'd imagine.

Eventually, Pan's bizarre speech ended, but not before he offered everybody a free bracelet with an inspiring message on it from a company that he's currently working with, as a token of appreciation for listening to him speak. I'm sure a couple of people had some choice of their own words about what Pan could do with that bracelet.

Yesterday, OSU President Carter said that he had nothing to do with selecting Pan as the speaker and that the process was "underway before he became President." 

"I did not review his speech.  I did not know what he really was going to speak about, and again, it wouldn't matter because once he gets the microphone, he's got the microphone. It was certainly an interesting speech. I would say very nontraditional. There were some that liked it and a lot that didn't," Carter added.

But hey, at least Ohio State had a graduation - bitcoin gibberish and all, unlike some schools that allowed Pro-Palestinian encampments to occur and subsequently canceled end-of year ceremonies. 

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Speech Essay for Any Occasion

    Just like essays, all speeches have three main sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. However, unlike essays, speeches must be written to be heard as opposed to being read. You need to write a speech in a way that keeps the attention of an audience and helps paint a mental image at the same time.

  2. How to write a good speech [7 easily followed steps]

    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. Return to top. A step by step guide for writing a great speech.

  3. How to Write a Good Speech: 10 Steps and Tips

    Create an outline: Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval. Write in the speaker's voice: While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style.

  4. How to Write a Speech

    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. Introduction. It is the opening ...

  5. PDF Goals and Strategies for Preparing a Speech

    Outlining a Speech Just as you would outline an essay before writing it, you should also outline a speech to organize your main points before delivering them. The most basic structure of a speech includes the opening, the body, and the closing. 1. Opening: The opening consists of three main elements. a.

  6. How to Write a Speech: 6 Tips for a Powerful Address

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

  7. How to Write a Speech Essay

    Step 1. Identify the type of speech you will deliver. Know if you will be giving a persuasive speech, an informative speech, a how-to speech, or an analytical or narrative speech. Each type has a different purpose: A persuasive speech tries to convince the audience to accept an idea or take action; an informative speech provides information; a ...

  8. How To Write A Speech That Inspires You Audience: 13 Steps

    Step 7: Write the Body. Now you are ready to write the body of your speech. Draw from your research and flesh out the points stated in your introduction. As you create your body, use short sentences. People can't listen as long as they can read, so short and sweet sentences are most effective.

  9. Speeches

    Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience's emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

  10. How to Write a Speech: Top Tips

    Start by identifying your topic, title, and the purpose of your speech, which will set the foundation of your outline. Then, determine the main points of your speech; keep it short with two to three points. Remember, a short speech is typically less than ten minutes long, so keep your points concise and to the point.

  11. How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

    The purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you. You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your ...

  12. How to Write a Speech: Step-by-Step Guide

    How to Write a Speech: Step-by-Step Guide. Writing a speech is very similar to writing essays or some paper. You need to examine those who will listen to you, define the excellent length, identify your purpose, and choose the topic. It can apply to any speech, whether you need it for college purposes, conferences, or business meetings.

  13. How to Write a Structured Speech in 5 Steps

    See why leading organizations rely on MasterClass for learning & development. Learning how to write a speech requires a keen awareness of how to tailor your rhetoric to a given issue and specific audience. Check out our essential speech-writing guidelines to learn how to craft an effective message that resonates with your audience.

  14. Purpose and Thesis

    As with essay writing, the early work of speechwriting follows familiar steps: brainstorming, research, pre-writing, thesis, and so on. This chapter focuses on techniques that are unique to speechwriting. As a spoken form, speeches must be clear about the purpose and main idea or "takeaway.". Planned redundancy means that you will be ...

  15. Speech and Essay Samples • My Speech Class

    Get inspired by our FREE speech and essay examples. Use them to get the creative juices flowing. Don't copy any of these examples! Since these speeches are available for anyone to download, you can never be sure that another student has not used them, and that they will pass plagiarism evaluation tools, such as Turnitin or Plagscan.

  16. Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

    Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing. Vary the sentence structure. Use short sentences. Use occasional long ones to keep the audience alert. Fragments are fine if used sparingly and for emphasis. Use the active voice and avoid passive sentences. Active forms of speech make your sentences more powerful.

  17. 20+ Free Speech Examples to Craft the Best Speech

    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 ...

  18. Essay Writing, Essay Topics, Speech Examples and Ideas

    Abraham Lincoln's "The Gettysburg Address". Neil Armstrong's Speech on The Moon. Winston Churchill's "Never Give in". Baz Luhrmann and Mary Schmich- "Everybody's Free". Share this with your friends. Find essay topics, speech examples and samples of a speech. Learn essay writing and about English speech with the help of ...

  19. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Revised on July 23, 2023. An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold. You'll sometimes be asked to submit an essay outline as a separate ...

  20. Example of a Great Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates. In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills. Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence ...

  21. Speech Writing Format, Samples, Examples

    Example 1. Write a speech to be delivered in the school assembly as Rahul/ Rubaina of Delhi Public School emphasises the importance of cleanliness, implying that the level of cleanliness represents the character of its residents. (150-200 words) "Cleanliness is next to godliness," said the great John Wesley.

  22. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  23. Speech Vs. Essay

    Speech writing requires that a writer communicates a specific theme or topic to an audience. She uses a tone in her writing that produces an emotional effect on the audience. A presidential speech, for example, often uses a particular diction, full of patriotic, hopeful, grave or uplifting tones. While an essay also relies on tone for dramatic ...

  24. 40 Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, and More)

    Harvey Milk's "The Hope" Speech. Sample lines: "Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide.

  25. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out ...

  26. 40 Big Words That Make an Impact In Speech and Writing

    Whether you're writing an essay or speaking in front of a group, there are certain big words you can use to impress your audience. ... Whether you're giving a rollicking good speech or writing the next great American novel, being effective comes down to using the right words. Discerning the "right" words from the "wrong" ones can be ...

  27. Free Tutorial

    Writing an effective speech involves several key steps to ensure your message is clear, engaging, and impactful. Here's a guide to help you craft your speech: Know Your Audience: Understand who you'll be speaking to, including their interests, knowledge level, and expectations. Tailor your content and language to resonate with them.

  28. War in Gaza, Shibboleths on Campus

    Essay Shibboleth In the campus protests over the war in Gaza, language and rhetoric are—as they have always been when it comes to Israel and Palestine—weapons of mass destruction.

  29. Gonzalez v. Trevino: Free Speech, Retaliation, First Amendment

    Footnotes Jump to essay-1 U.S. Const. amend. I (Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . .The Supreme Court has held that some restrictions on speech are permissible. See Amdt1.7.5.1 Overview of Categorical Approach to Restricting Speech; see also Amdt1.7. 3.1 Overview of Content-Based and Content-Neutral Regulation of Speech.

  30. Ohio State Alum Gives Worst Commencement Speech Ever While ...

    The commencement speaker for Ohio State University's graduation this past weekend admitted to being high on psychedelic drugs, including ayahuasca. It's why his speech went quickly off the rails. Speaker Chris Pan, who the University promoted as a "social entrepreneur, musician and inspirational speaker" as well as Buckeye alumni, quickly went viral as OSU family members and underclassmen ...