• Login to save your own copy of this assignment
  • Home

Speech Template


  1. Class: Unspecified
  2. This template is published for use.
  1. Step 1: Preparation
    Percent time spent on this step: 30%


    • Regardless of whether you have been given a pre-assigned topic, or you need to choose it yourself, you must decide on how exactly it will sound in front of an audience.

      • You should search for a topic that corresponds with your interests and that you are familiar with.
      • Read and reread the topic you have chosen several times. Your task is to understand what exactly you are required to do; a decent topic should provide you with a bold clue about this.
      • Narrow the topic down. This step may not always be needed, but as practice shows, a lot of topics people try to write about are initially too broad or vague. The narrower the topic is, the more specific your task is, which means easier and more relevant research, writing, a stronger argumentative base, and so on.
      • Read the topic aloud. A typical mistake is not thinking aloud; in our heads, our thoughts sound differently than when we say them outloud. When you say a phrase in your mind, you can miss the nuances which make it sound natural. So, if there is no one around (or if you do not mind talking to yourself when other people look at you) read the topic aloud to see whether it does not sound like it was composed by robots.
      • After you have removed all the discrepancies and crudeness from the topic, write it down.
    • Speech is a genre in which it is not just the material you prepare that is important, but also people--the audience--whom it is addressed to. Therefore, before starting to write, you should get to know your audience better.

      • Figure out the approximate age of your audience. This is crucial because the style and tone of your speech will depend significantly on this value. Older people will most likely prefer a more serious manner of presentation, whereas young people value some jokes and a free, informal way of communication.
      • Find out what interests your audience. Usually, a speech is designed for a specific audience, so that the author already knows the field of interests and expertise of people he or she will be addressing their speech to. However, in case you need to “just say something,” you should get to know who your audience is and what possibly interests them.
      • How will your topic be useful to your audience? Knowing the answer to this question will be of a great benefit for your speech.
  2. Step 2: Research
    Percent time spent on this step: 30%


    • Speeches are often dedicated to debated or controversial topics; before you choose your point of view and start searching for supporting evidence, research major opinions regarding your topic.

      • Search the Web for thematic blogs dedicated to the subject of your choice. Websites like Debate.org can also be valuable for researching the opinions of people, who are not necessarily experts in discussed topics, but who still represent major opinions on your topic.
      • Look for thematic websites regarding your topic. For example, if your topic is abortions, you can browse websites like www.abortionno.org or abortionisprolife.com, depending on the position you chose (caution, websites may contain shocking content).
      • Check out popular magazines--they often write about controversial topics, because it attracts audiences.
      • If you have time, dig into some scientific works dedicated to your topic.
      • Decide on your own opinion regarding the topic. Formulate your opinion in up to three sentences; make sure you clearly name the topic, problems existing within it, your attitude to the chosen subject, and so on. This will be your thesis statement that you will need to support with arguments.
    • After you have learned what opinions exist on the topic you chose and figured out your own opinion, you can start searching for arguments that would support your opinion.

      • Once again, browse thematic websites, magazines, and other sources containing information about the topic of your choice. There is no need to study all of them--rather focus on those which share your point of view on the subject.
      • Record the strongest arguments which support your opinion. Make sure all of them correspond with your thesis statement. Try finding up to 10 arguments, and write them down; this can be statistical data, calculations, facts, news reports, results of recent research, a quote belonging to a renowned expert, and so on.
      • Group the alike arguments together.
      • Do not forget to mention sources where you have found supporting evidence; names, titles, and other information regarding authorship or intellectual rights should be cited properly.
      • Look through the list of arguments you have selected. If you decide to use all of them, it will mean that you will have less time to introduce each argument, since the time allotted for a speech is usually limited. However, choosing only one or two arguments and explaining them in details is not an option either. Depending on how much time you will have, it would be optimal to choose from three to five arguments.
  3. Step 3: Draft Your Speech
    Percent time spent on this step: 20%


    • Before actually drafting, you need to decide on the structure of your speech.

      • Consider preparing a speech in the classical format, which implies an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
      • Place the thesis statement that you have composed earlier in the introduction. Do not expand on it now--so far, it is enough to simply have it in the beginning of your speech as a sort of lighthouse.
      • Look at your arguments and decide in which order they would sound best when introduced to your audience. Usually, people move from the most significant or important arguments to the least important; however, keep in mind that your listeners will not be able to maintain the same level of attention throughout your entire speech. People tend to perceive and remember information better introduced in the beginning and at the end of a speech. So, it might be reasonable to place your most important arguments in the beginning and at the end of your speech.
      • Arrange your arguments between paragraphs. It is better to dedicate one paragraph for each main point you introduce.
      • Sketch out the conclusion; think about what information it will contain; what references and/or acknowledgements it might contain, and so on.
    • With the outline prepared, it will be easy for you to fill it in with details.

      • Allot some time to introduce the topic you will be talking about. Provide your audience with some historical background, if needed. Drag people into the context by explaining why the discussed topic is important (in particular, for people who are listening to you) and which problems exist in this field. Gradually narrow the scope down to your topic. Then, introduce your thesis statement.
      • The main body of your speech should be written almost the same as an essay; you should start every paragraph from the key argument, then expand on it in details and support it with factual and/or statistical information. In order to deliver your ideas to your audience more clearly, come up with a specific example or relate to a real-life situation to illustrate what you mean. Remember that examples from personal experience works great if appropriate.
      • Think about transitions between your arguments. Also, make sure to get your audience to know when you will be close to finishing your speech, or when you will be introducing the final part of your arguments so that your audience’s attention gets “turned on.”
      • In the conclusion, you can restate your thesis statement, briefly reintroduce your key points and show how they are connected to the interests of your audience, make an emphasis on the significance of the discussed topic, and so on.
  4. Step 4: Make the Final Draft
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%


    • Supposedly, you have already written the backbone of your speech; now it is time to put some meat on it. You must enhance the text of your speech, and add elements that make the speech different from an essay read aloud to the public.

      • First, check the text of your speech for grammatical and punctuation mistakes. Punctuation is especially important, since it shows you which intonations to use, where to make a pause, and so on.
      • Proofread the text of the speech to clear out all the typos, inconsistencies, and so on. Your audience is unlikely to ever read the text of your speech, but it does not mean that you can afford carelessness.
    • Your speech should not just introduce facts and convince other people in your point of view; it should also appeal to your audience’s emotions, and seem like a part of a live conversation between you and your listeners.

      • Reread the text of your speech. Is it too scientific? Dull? Official? Or is it, on the contrary, full of irrelevant humor or slang words? Considering the audience that you will address your speech to, make appropriate corrections to the style and tone of your speech.
      • Think about a couple of jokes. They say that the best jokes are born impromptu, but in the case of a speech, it is better to have some jokes prepared in advance. Jokes are pertinent even in a business environment--it is only a matter of quantity and content.
    • The final step of preparing a speech is testing it and getting to know how it will sound live.

      • Print out your speech and reread it aloud one more time. Mark all the places which, in your opinion, sounds unnatural, crude, or irrelevant. Make respective corrections. Repeat this process until your speech sounds perfect to you.
      • Learn your speech by heart. Or, if you are unable to do it, or if you are under time pressure, at least try to memorize the key arguments. Few things are as boring as listening to someone reading their speech from a paper sheet.
      • Practice your speech in front of the mirror. This is a classical trick known for decades (if not for centuries), but it works.
      • Since a speech is a part of communication, prepare yourself for reciprocal interactions--which means, be ready for questions regarding your topic. After rereading the text of your speech, imagine that you are the member of the audience. Which possible questions would you come up with? Write them down, and prepare answers for them. Also, keep in mind that sometimes audiences ask questions seemingly irrelevant to the content of your speech. Be prepared for such questions as well.
  5. Step 5: Final Preparations
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%


    • Unlike academic papers which you can simply submit, a speech implies your active participation.

      • Get into a positive mood. If you feel bored about your topic, anxious about speaking in front of people, or annoyed by the fact that you have to speak in front of the public, your audience will feel it. The better you feel about yourself and your speech, the higher are the chances that your audience will react favorably to what you say.
      • Remind yourself to stay tolerant. Regardless of your outlook or opinion on the discussed subject, remember that you must be polite and respect points of view that are different from yours.
      • Print out a short plan of your speech. In case if you suddenly forget what you wanted to say, you can use this plan without having to browse your entire speech in an attempt to find the place where you have stopped.
  6. Step 6: Feedback
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%


    • Visiting your school writing center is the best option. If you are not in school, hire a private tutor to look over your writing.

      • Set an appointment at your local writing center. Be sure to be on time, to bring in a printed copy of your writing, and to be open to suggestions/critique.
      • When hiring a private tutor, it is better to hire an experienced tutor that charges a bit more than expected. They can, sometimes, completely change your outlook on wiring and dramatically improve your writing.
    • Listen carefully to what your colleague and/or tutor has said, and make notes about what needs to change. Use your best discretion and change your speech according to your teacher’s criteria.

      • When receiving criticism, be open-minded. Do not fall into the trap of being defensive.
      • Do not be overly-receptive as well. Do not change your entire speech based on others’ comments if the changes do not work better than the original.
  • Login to save your own copy of this assignment
  • Home