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How to Write an Effective Speech

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Speeches are some of the most stressful assignments, mainly because they incorporate public speaking. Students that fear speech-writing should know that there are several simple ways to avoid frustration and craft an excellent, effective speech. Those strategies include:

  1. Knowing your audience. Giving a speech to an elderly crowd and giving a speech to a riotous teenage audience are two completely different experiences. When you’re crafting your speech, always take into consideration for whom the speech is for. You want to speak to your audience in a way that makes them feel you understand them, that you’re sensitive to what’s important to them, and you understand their unique position. Your speech should also be relevant to the audience, addressing a concern, issue. or opinion that’s important to them.

  2. Making it passionate. The worst speeches are the ones built on fact and logic; the ones where the speaker drones on for an hour with ten thousand valid reasons, but not an ounce of real enthusiasm. If you want to write a great speech, incorporate some real emotion. Use passionate phrasing, words, and metaphors to get your point across. This isn’t some boring research paper; this is a speech, a piece of writing meant to inspire others. So get your head in the game, and get passionate about what you’re writing!

  3. Keeping your message clear. A speech is meant to have one salient point – to argue one perspective, support one conclusion, or inspire an act. Speeches can be severely impaired when you try to argue too many different things at once. Stick to one approachable, clear idea and build support around it. This will make your position clear to your audience while also inspiring them to share your opinion. Remember: always return to your main point in one way or another.

  4. Watching the length. Once you get passionate about your speech, you may fall prey to the classic mistake of writing too much. Remember, less is often more. You want to make your point clearly, passionately, and effectively, but not at the expense of your audience’s valuable time. It doesn’t matter how excited and enthused you are, or how inspirational your speech is; if you talk, and talk, and talk for too long, you’ll lose your audience – so watch the length of your speech!

  5. Organizing. Like with an essay or research paper, you need to stay organized and make your speech easy to understand. This includes having a valid and captivating introduction, a logical progression of points, and a neat conclusion to wrap up. Your introduction should always work to expose the audience to the reason for your speech; the main part of your speech should support that reason, and your conclusion should wrap up what you’ve said. Stay organized and present your speech in a logical, easily comprehensible way.

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