If you ask people what their biggest fear is, many will tell you that it’s speaking in front of a crowd. In fact, public speaking or glossophobia is often regarded as one of the most common fears. It’s right up there at the top of the list with fear of heights, spiders, and needles. Unfortunately, delivering a speech is part of college education. You will be asked to write a speech at least once in your life whether or not you’re comfortable with public speaking. That being said, your confidence can be boosted if you know that you’ve written a good speech. You probably have a lot of questions now. What is a speech? How do you write a speech? How do you write a good speech? In this post, we will discuss what a speech is and look at some strategies for writing an excellent piece.
What is a speech paper?
A speech can be defined as a written work containing a message meant to be addressed to an audience. Speeches are tremendously varied. It can be as short as one page to extremely long that it takes more than an hour to read. The topic of a speech can also be anything, from something simple that most people will understand to something highly technical and meant only for a very specific audience. Speeches can also be written for a variety of contexts. For example, speeches can be meant for the public, such as in the case of a politician addressing the public, while some are more personal in nature, such as a speech delivered in a social gathering. Regardless of the content and the context, the main purpose of a speech is to effectively communicate a message to the audience.
How to write a speech?
Types of a speech
While the purpose of a speech is to convey a message to an audience, note that there are different types of speeches. As mentioned earlier, speeches are written for many different settings. These different settings account for the different types of speeches, each of which has its own particular objective. However, most speeches can be categorized into three types: informative, persuasive, and special occasion.
As the term itself suggests, an informative speech serves to inform the audience. Its objective is to impart knowledge to the audience without necessarily persuading them to fully agree. Some examples of informative speeches include a speech delivered in a seminar or conference, a TED-Ed talk, and a lecture by a professor.
A persuasive speech, on the other hand, is intended to convince the reader to agree with the speaker. A persuasive speech can be likened to a spoken form of a persuasive essay. Its objective is to influence the audience and take the speaker’s side. Some examples of persuasive speeches are those delivered by a politician to win the support of communities or speeches that call people to action. Even motivational speeches that seek to inspire people can be considered as persuasive speeches, since their goal is to make the audience believe in the inspiring message. Here are a few suggestions of topics for a persuasive speech.
Special occasion speech
Finally, the third type of speech is reserved for special occasions. This type of speech is usually delivered for personal reasons within the context of a social function. It often expresses congratulations, or gratitude, or well-wishes. An example of special occasion speech is a toast that a father delivers on the wedding day of his child. Another example of this type is a speech given by a person who has just received an award.
Extra: Impromptu Speech
Sometimes, we are asked to share a few words in front of friends and family. This is called an impromptu speech, a speech delivered without prior preparation which topic may vary from one thing to everything. Here are a few ideas about everything for an impromptu speech you may want to keep in mind, just in case you get called to speak a few words.
Structure of the speech
Though the speech is a piece meant to be delivered in front of an audience, it is still a piece of writing. For this reason, it has to be structured in order for the audience to follow the speaker. Speeches are usually structured like an essay. This means that a speech has three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. If you are already familiar with the structure of an essay, it should be easier for you to know how to begin, expand, and end your speech. Note, though, that there will be some changes because the speech has to be written as a piece for listening rather than reading. So let’s take a look at these three main sections:
The introduction is the opening part of your speech. In most cases, this will begin with a short greeting to your audience. For example, you may greet specific members of the audience before everyone else as well as offer thanks for being given the opportunity to share your speech.
After the greeting, the introduction proceeds to fulfill its goals. First, it serves as an icebreaker. Similar to an essay, the beginning of the speech is meant to capture your audience’s attention. Second, it provides background information. Your speech should offer some context behind the speech topic. Some questions you need to ask in order to determine what goes into this section are the following: Why is the topic important? Why should your audience hear what you have to say? What do they need to know to understand your message? Finally, the third goal is to present your argument. Like in an essay, you need to boil down your speech’s message to single sentence. Think of this as the thesis statement of your speech.
The second main section of the speech is the body. Again, similar to a thesis, the body is where you expand your message. This is the part where you present arguments, evidence, or explanations that support your main message. For example, if you are writing a persuasive speech that seeks to convince the audience to reduce the use of disposable plastic products, then you need to present evidence that show why this is a sensible decision. The body is also the section where you can include answers to possible questions that the audience may come up with while listening to your speech.
Finally, the conclusion is where you wrap up your speech. This is the part where you usually reiterate your message and review the main points you discussed. Furthermore, the conclusion is also where you can deliver inspiring or passionate lines meant to call your audience to action. Finally, this is the part where you can thank your audience for listening and for being given the opportunity to deliver your speech.
Strategies for writing a speech
Writing a speech is not easy. A speech has to be clear for it to be understandable to the audience. It is no wonder why even some of the most powerful people rely on speechwriters. For example, it is not unusual for politicians including presidents, prime ministers, and even royal personages to employ the services of speechwriters. It is quite common, therefore, for students to encounter difficulty. These strategies can make the writing process easier for you.
Know your objective
One of the most important things to consider when you’re writing a speech is to know your objective. Ask yourself: What are you trying to accomplish? Are you merely informing the audience or are you trying to persuade them? Determining your objective will help you identify the type of speech you are going to write. For example, if your objective is to share what you’ve learned, then you should write an informative speech. On the other hand, if your objective is to convince your listener that they should do something about climate change, then you should write a persuasive speech.
Know your audience
Knowing your audience is also a vital consideration. Different audiences have different levels of comprehension and familiarity of the topic. Most of the time, the audience will dictate the language that you will use in the speech. For example, an audience composed of the general public requires simple language to ensure that the speech can be understood by people of different levels of comprehension. By contrast, a speech on a technical topic intended for professionals will likely involve the use of jargon or terminology specific to the profession. Remember, you are not writing for yourself; you are writing for an audience.
Keep it clear and concise
When writing your speech, bear in mind that your audience will be listening rather than reading. So you should write in a clear and concise manner. This means that you should avoid long and winding sentences. If your sentences are too wordy and lengthy, your audience will not be able to follow your trail of thought. The message will be unclear and you risk losing your audience’s interest. So keep your sentences short and easy to understand.
Use literary devices and creative language
A lot of speeches are written with the intention to influence the audience’s emotions. The fact that audiences need to listen to you talk also requires that you retain their attention. So how do you influence your audience and keep them interested? Use creative language that beautifies your speech!
All of the greatest speeches in history use creative language to get the message across. Creative language appeals to audience’s senses and emotions. Learn to use literary devices, which can be described are techniques in writing that enhances the effect of words. An example of a literary device is repetition, which is done by repeating certain phrases for emphasis. This can be seen in the famous speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. titled “I Have a 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."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!”
Finally, make sure that you practice your speech before finalizing it. Practicing will help you in many ways. First, it will help you determine if your speech is within the time limit. Most speeches have a time limit. You need to respect your audience’s time. Going beyond your time allowance is not only quite disrespectful of your audience but it also risks losing their attention. Second, practicing will also help you determine if some parts are unclear. Try practicing with a friend or a family member. They may be able to help you by identifying parts that need more work. Finally, practicing in front of a mirror will help you develop effective body language.
Ask for help
Writing a speech is a challenge. As mentioned earlier, even the most successful and powerful people sometimes employ speechwriters. If you find yourself stuck and unsure of how to move forward, it might be the time for you to find a professional writer. Experienced writers know how to present information in the most logical and convincing way possible. Their expertise allows them to organize ideas and identify details that best support your message. With their creativity and skill, your writer will be able to provide you with speeches that are well-structured, memorable, and compelling, no matter what your objective is and who your listeners are. So go ahead. Do not be afraid to search the internet now for a trusted writing firm that offers excellent writing services.